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Tale as Old as Time: Nostalgia and Fandom with Dr. Christina Beck

Hailey Wilt |

On Tuesday, April 11, 2017, Radford University’s School of Communication, held its keynote speaker Dr. Christina Beck for the annual ‘Communication Week’. The event was titled “Tale as Old as Time: Nostalgia and Fandom” and was based around the Communication Week’s theme of Disney. Dr. Beck is well known around Radford University having taught at the establishment for years. Now having made the move to Ohio, she has served as the First Vice-President of the National Communication Association. Dr. Beck was a previous President of the Central States Communication Association. She was also an editor for the Communication Yearbook.


Dr. Christina Beck’s concentration is Health and Media; Language and Social Interaction; Popular Culture and Fandom. The keynote speech was all about her infatuation with fandoms and the culture around them. One slide in Dr. Beck’s PowerPoint presentation held a quote that was important to her, which stated: “The timeless in you is aware of life’s timelessness and knows the yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream.” Speaking upon this motto and how the things in one’s life can cause feelings of nostalgia and how you have memories to hold on to.


In Dr. Beck’s younger days, she was very fond of Back to the Future and knew she loved the fandoms atmosphere. Back to the Future has such a high cult following that she reminisced about going to the movie theater with friends just watching it over and over. Dr. Beck spoke of how her love for Star Wars and Back to the Future came rushing back when she could introduce it to her children. Having another generation to show your favorite shows and movies to provides parents a chance to relive days that have since passed.


The keynote speech was quite appropriate towards the theme of the week with its incorporation of Star Wars. This May, Star Wars, will turn 40-years-old and even the slight mention of Star Wars got a huge response from the crowd. Dr. Beck went on to the film franchise to mention how it was something that began 40-years ago and is still creating new content. Those within the fandom have pushed and pushed so far that there will never be a moment for the next few years where Star Wars content will not be on the horizon.


Nostalgia is a large portion of what it means to be a fan of something. Dr. Beck says that you feel nostalgia when the mere mention of something causes a flush of memories to appear and when it warms your heart. Having spent much of her career on this very topic, one cannot help but see how it is all truly connected.

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