CFP: Shame, Gender, and Cultural Capital: The Problems of Reading and Writing Fan Fiction

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This is a call for participants for a Fan Studies panel at PCA 2016. We’d like to put together a diverse group of speakers, ideally acafans who are also active in their fandoms and aware of the intersectional issues that occur when it comes to responses to fannish reading and writing.

There are very specific histories and stigmas associated with women’s writing and reading. Whether it’s a question of popular reading or canon formation, the responses are still the same: “that’s not good for you!”/ “that’s trashy!” / “why can’t you read Serious Literature?” The big questions we would like to especially consider are: “Why is reading and writing fic a problem for some people?” and “Where does reading fit into participatory culture?” It seems that in the scholarship fic is viewed is as something women write, and that we as scholars read critically–but we seldom to never consider how fans read fic for pleasure as leisure activity.With the increasing mainstream knowledge of and exposure to fanworks, this topic is especially pertinent, given public attacks on women’s writing (and especially young women’s writing) in television and news media.This roundtable would like to discuss how the fan models of women’s writing and its reception is complicated both through genre and fan history. And finally: Why must women always defend what we want to read and write?

We would like to add 3-4 additional participants to the three scholars already assembled (myself, Candace Benefiel from Texas A&M, and Katherine Larsen from George Washington University).

Please send a statement of interest of no more than 250 words to cait.coker@gmail.com by September 1, 2015.

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