Rereading the magical world of Harry Potter: fanfiction as an alternative critical modality

Suzanne Passmore

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

Fanfiction (stories written by fans based on and existing ‘source’ text) has been an object of inquiry since the late 1980s. Studies in this field often use fanfiction as evidence of active consumption of media by fans; however, a trend in more recent work, such as Hellekson and Busse’s 2006 collection Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet, suggests that fanfiction texts may be studied in their own right. These approaches both contend that writing fanfiction is a form of critical engagement with the fan object or source text. This thesis builds on this previous work and argues that reading fanfiction may also encourage its readers to engage critically with the source text. Fanfiction can, therefore, function similarly to academic literary criticism, which encourages its readers to rethink texts in similar ways. This thesis analyses the ways fanfiction facilitates a critical reading of the ideology of the source text, through close analysis of five novellength Harry Potter fanfiction texts. The thesis is organised into three sections which reflect the themes of the family, masculinity and the body which emerged from the fanfiction under investigation.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2011

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