Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fantastic Fanfiction Research: Update #10

Today is the last official fanfiction research update. I will probably talk more about my research in future updates, but they will no longer be numbered! You can also expect me to blog about my adventures as a teacher's assistant next semester. This is also the announcement of a hiatus from blogging. I will be taking a break until the semester starts. Expect updates to resume September 3rd. Follow us on Facebook for updates.

Tomorrow I will be submitting my final research update to the collaborative research organizers, along with an abstract for NCUR (National Conference for Undergraduate Research). At the end of the summer seminar each student submits a draft of an abstract. The hope is that student's will be able to submit these abstracts to NCUR. Last year NCUR was a good experience for me, and I hope to attend again.

One of the skills I learned over this summer seminar is the ability to write a good abstract. It is an acquired skill, and abstracts can be difficult to write. I've also learned to peer-review the abstracts of others, so I hope to be able to pass these skills on.

You may remember a few weeks ago when I talked about chromatic recasting. Fans recast characters in popular media as actors and actresses of color. This can be seen as similar to recasting predominately male characters as female (as in genderswap). I began to wonder if fans also created works that empowered people of different body types. In general, popular media portrays people of very similar body types. Surely there was something for fans that was different?

Well, there is. Fans of The Avengers series can enjoy The Adventures of Fatty Thor.

And he is "adorbs!"
With the tagline, "Real Vikings are fat and fabulous," this website recasts Thor. The cos-player who plays him is playing to "fanon" (fan-canon). And it's amazing.

I will continue my research into genderswap, now armed with the knowledge that fans are doing much more than simply re-casting gender. For some, it is important to see others who are similar to them. For others, genderswap is unremarkable. It is simply another genre in a patchwork of fanfiction genres.


  1. Hello Dianna.

    I've just read through some of your updates on your genderswap research, and I have a few questions.

    First, I need to explain myself: I'm an A Level English Language student, and I'm carrying out an investigation into language use and tropes in fanfiction. My teacher has told me that I need to include my wider reading and theorists, but unfortunately, the closest thing that I have come across is a few choice quotes from Ika Willis.

    As you were doing a thesis, I was wondering whether during your research, you found many theorists or other researchers who were also looking at fanfiction, and whether you could direct me to their work.

    I was actually very interested in your research; I'm not exactly a fan of genderswap fics or rule 63 in general, although I am a big fan of slash fiction. I was wondering what your stance on genderswap, slash, and fanfiction as a whole was?

    Thanks for reading this comment. I hope you get back to me soon...
    And I hope your thesis went well!


    1. Hi Enoby,

      If you check under the "Resources" tab on the top of the page you will see a few links, including my honors thesis hosted on google docs. Here's a direct link:

      You can check out my citations and see if any fit your project! Also feel free to read and cite my honors thesis in your work, if you find it helpful.

      If you have any more questions please let me know!




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