College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

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participatory culture, fan fiction, derivative works, non-commodified, fan culture


The internet has revolutionized how we interact with the world around us. We now have access to information, creations, and people on such a scale previously impossible. A direct result of the rise of the internet age is the growing popularity and visibility of fandoms and their creation and dissemination of derivative works, such as fan fiction. While fan fiction in its modern form can easily be traced back to the early days of Star Trek and fan made "zines," it is now perhaps the most visible and well known fan creation. Fan fiction has evolved from the expansions or reimaginings of the source text to involve the wide-scale participation and communication amongst fans through the writing, reading, and reviewing of fan fiction. This gift culture allows people to work together to produce something that reflects who they are and what they desire at that particular point in time, often giving once unexplored insight into a range of interpretations and interactions with the original text. As fan fiction and fan culture become more mainstream, fan fiction as an accepted form of writing will continue to challenge the writing process and how consumers interact with a text and an author.