Fix-It Fics: Challenging the Status Quo through Fan Fiction

Kaitlin Tonti (Ed.)

by Percevile Forester (San Diego State University), Paige Hartenburg (New York University), Ethan Calof (Vanderbilt University), Darsey Meredith , Sharon Sutherland , Laura Tolbert , Anna Caterino (University of Milan, Italy), Jamie MacGregor , Kristy Smith (York University), Amanda Boyce (Universität Trier, Germany), Jordan Hansen (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), Meghan N. Cronin (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)

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Over the past ten years, fan fiction has outgrown its perceived taboo, as made by the public, and has evolved into a legitimate form of writing and self-expression. Academics, too, have recognized the potential for fan fiction studies through the lens of the humanities, psychology, sociology, and gender and queer studies. What makes 'Fix-It Fics: Challenging the Status Quo through Fanfiction' unique is in its specific focus on the fan fiction subgenre: fix-it fics. Also known in fan fiction communities as the fix-it, fans writing in this subgenre are motivated by fixing what they believe the original creators did not get right the first time. More significantly, fix-it fic writers generally use their prose to fix the unaddressed biases that are perpetuated on their favorite character, or plot lines, by either the original creator or other fans. The fix-it fic has existed for some time; however, it was after J.K. Rowling’s degrading remarks about the transgender community that fix-it fic writers clearly saw themselves as the only ones who could challenge the prejudices associated with their fandoms. The essay featured in this book reflects on the fix-it fic as an outlet for self-advocacy and community activism through the written word. Chapters in this book focus on fandoms including but not limited to Supernatural, Harry Potter, Wentworth, Stranger Things, Game of Thrones, Hannibal, Star Trek, and Batman, while also addressing topics such as the Omegaverse, healing trauma, and creating community archives. 'Fix-It Fics: Challenging the Status Quo through Fanfiction' will appeal to popular culture, sociology, and gender and queer studies scholars who are invested in the larger academic conversation and offers an array of essays that any college professor teaching popular culture will surely benefit from including in their courses.

Introduction: Fixing the Status Quo
Kaitlin Tonti
Albright College

Part One: Putting in the Fix
Chapter 1 Fan Fiction Fixes for Queer Erasure in Mainstream Media
Percevile Forester
San Diego State University
Chapter 2 Beyond the Knot: Reparative Fiction and the Omegaverse
Paige Hartenburg
New York University
Chapter 3 Fannish Yiddish and Communal Becoming in the Rogue Archive
Ethan Calof
Vanderbilt University
Chapter 4 The Macro Fix-It: Practicing Activism through Fan Fiction
Darsey Meredith and Sharon Sutherland
Independent Scholars

Part Two: Fixing the Canon, Fixing the Author
Chapter 5 Fan Fiction Fights Back: Harry Potter and the Effort to Build a Better Wizarding World
Laura Tolbert
Independent Scholar
Chapter 6 ‘I have my version and you have yours’: Fan Fiction and Supernatural Fans’ Road to Damascus
Anna Caterino
University of Milan
Chapter 7 “‘This is all I ever wanted for you, Will. For both of us.’ ‘It’s beautiful.’”: Hannibal Post-Canon Fics and Queer Futurity
Jamie MacGregor
Independent Scholar
Chapter 8 Fixing ‘The Fixer’: Fan Fictional Representations of Wentworth’s Joan Ferguson in Lesbian Relationships
Kristy Smith
York University

Part Three: Fixing Other Genres
Chapter 9 The Fix-It Novel: How Commercial Authors Instrumentalize Fan Fiction’s Subversive Potential
Amanda Boyce
Universität Trier
Chapter 10 Real-Life Magic: Harry Potter and the Fan Film Canon
Jordan Hansen
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Chapter 11 “It ruins the gritty realism of a man who fights crime dressed as a bat”: Satire, Parody, and Multimodal Intertextuality in Holy Musical B@man!
Meghan N. Cronin
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Kaitlin Tonti has a Ph.D. in English Literature and Criticism and has taught literature and composition at several colleges and universities. The thread that connects her scholarly interests is a fascination with individual and community identity formation. She is an expert in early American literature and the author of several publications in the early American field, including “Reclaiming the Narrative: Hamilton as a Repertory Archive” in ‘The Hamilton Phenomenon’. However, Tonti has always considered popular culture and fandom as a secondary area of interest and expertise. In the past, she has studied representations of early America in popular culture and has presented on Salem ‘witches’ in modern television at several academic conferences. Inspired by Star Trek actors who in 2020 agreed to perform a fix-it fic interpretation about their characters via Zoom, Tonti hosted a panel on performative fan fiction at the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) Conference in 2021. It evolved into this book. Furthering her interests in identity scholarship, ‘Fix-It Fics: Challenging the Status Quo through Fan Fiction’ explores the ways that fix-it fic authors encourage identity exploration through their writing, ultimately demonstrating that the fix-it fic is an outlet for personal advocacy and community activism.

popular culture, queer lives, world-building, reparative fiction, queerbaiting, queer coding, queer erasure, queer futurity, LGBTQ+, transgender, heteronormative, patriarchy, hegemonic

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Fix-It Fics: Challenging the Status Quo through Fan Fiction





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June 2024