"Playthings in the Margins of Literature": Cultural Critique and Rewriting Ideologies in Supernatural and Star Wars Fanfiction
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Building on the questions of gender and sexuality proposed by the ethnographic analyses of first wave fanfiction criticism, I identify the ways in which fanfiction may function as a feminist response to the mainstream patriarchal culture of two media texts: the Star Wars films and the television series Supernatural. To frame this argument, I question the problematic associations of Henry Jenkins’s massively influential metaphor of fan writers as “poachers,” which implicitly supports Theodore Adorno and Max Horkheimer’s vision of the lack of critical engagement engendered by popular culture. In my discussion of this metaphor and the prevalent resistance/incorporation paradigm of fan/producer interaction, I expand critical and theoretical notions of dialogue and intertextuality in terms of fanfiction works, and propose a shift in terminology for my own and future examinations of fan culture.