Niki Fakhoori (Savannah College of Art and Design)
Fandom flourishes thanks greatly in part to the contributions made by members of marginalized communities. From fanfictions based on queer readings of the original material, to fan art depicting BIPOC character headcanons, fandom has given people the opportunity to engage with media in ways that are oftentimes more inclusive than the original text itself.
This panel welcomes papers on the ways fandom offers spaces to explore identity, amplify silenced voices, and how fans’ resilience against under- and misrepresentation has resulted in rich communities that welcome inclusivity, both in-person and online; and transformative creative works that can take on lives of their own. Such works may influence how other fandom members engage with and interpret the source material, and sometimes even influence the source material in return, blurring the line between author and audience. Other creations may even see publication as entirely new works with characters altered, resulting in entirely new fandoms and continuing the cycle.
By exploring these acts of reclamation and communities of inclusivity, we can gain further insight on the role creative expression and increased diversity plays in peoples’ interest in and access to improving their media literacy. We can also consider the ways in which these communities and transformative works positively affect the diversity of media through fandom and source materials influencing each other, as well as members of fandom breaking into the realm of the published with their own original works.
This panel explores the ways in which contributions to fandom serve as acts of resistance against under- and misrepresentation, and the ways these works promote increased media literacy, inclusive communities, and diversity in fiction.