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Two presentations on fanfic

On December 5th, 2019, we welcomed two presentations on fanfic: one by Mark Algee-Hewitt and Annika Butler-Wall entitled “Harry Potter and the Engaged Reader: Community Interactions and Influence in Serialized Fan Fiction" and one by Quinn Dombrowski, Steele Douris, Masha Gorshkova, and Antonio Lenzo, focusing on “Multilingual Fanfiction.”

Abstract: Harry Potter and the Engaged Reader

(Algee-Hewitt and Butler-Wall)

Fan fiction communities can help explore the complex relationships between authors and readers, offering us new opportunities to study how this reciprocal engagement affects serially published fiction. Engaged in an interactive community, invested readers become what Frank Kelleter calls “agents of narrative continuation.” The challenge for contemporary researchers is to reconstruct those communities in the absence of concrete material evidence. Given their high publishing volume, as well as the opportunities for commenting, liking and following that the digital platform affords, quantitative approaches to the study of fan fiction can identify individual reader/author engagement and track broad trends across the archive. Our project uses the Harry Potter fan fiction archive to ask two related questions. First, what aspects of reader engagement can predict success for a text? And, in the context of specific stories, how are authors influenced by reader suggestions for content inclusion?

Abstract: Multilingual Fanfiction

(Dombrowski, Douris, Gorshkova, and Lenzo)

The Harry Potter franchise is a global phenomenon, with books and films translated into hundreds of languages. While readers and viewers worldwide have the same point of departure, the fan fiction responses to that material diverge in ways that are shaped by shaped by language and culture (both national cultures and the community cultures of particular fanfic archives). In this talk, we will discuss how the affordances and conventions of three archives (Italian, Russian, and primarily-English, and the languages and cultures of their writers, have contributed to differences ranging from rating and genre to warnings, characters, and pairings.