“My (Fan) Love for You Is Eternal: Creating and Consuming Fanfiction in Response to the Im/mortal Relationship Dynamics of Shadowhunters’ Magnus Bane and Alexander Lightwood.” Children’s Literature Association Conference, Indianapolis, IN, June 13-16, 2019.
In this presentation, I provided an overview of a book chapter I submitted for publication consideration, rather than reading an 8-10 page excerpt from it. The basic argument I am making in this chapter is that due to the fact that one character in this fictional romantic relationship is canonically immortal (Magnus Bane) and the other is not (Alexander Lightwood), fan writers commonly respond to this lifespan disparity in one of three ways: they write fanfiction in which a) Alec becomes immortal, b) one of them (usually Alec) dies and the other is left to mourn, or c) the characters and readers get no closure, as the aging dichotomy is discussed but left intact. I argue that the propensity of fan writers to write this type of fanfic about Malec demonstrates the potential of “shipping” to involve grappling with very serious subjects, such as partner death and grief.
“The Pedagogical Benefits of Fanfiction: Assigning a Fanfiction Writing Project in the College English Studies Classroom.” Computers and Writing Conference, Fairfax, VA, May 24-27, 2018.
Thesis: In this presentation, my intention was to demonstrate the pedagogical benefits of including fanworks in the college English Studies classroom. For the sake of time, I focused specifically on fanfiction. In the presentation, I argued for the inclusion of a fanfiction project (writing an adaptation based on a text read/watched in class) across multiple types of English Studies courses, such as composition, creative writing, and literature. I grounded my argument by using student examples from a literary narrative course I taught in the fall of 2016. In my presentation, I argued that a fanfiction project has particular pedagogical benefits when teaching rhetorical, writing, and literary skills, especially to undergraduate students who might lack in interest when taking English courses as part of their general education requirements. I concluded with a brief discussion of my fanfiction project’s current limitations and what actions I’ve taken to mitigate these limits.
“‘Can You See What I See?’: The Pedagogical Implications of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition.” Children’s Literature Association Conference, Tampa, Fl, june 22-24, 2017.
Thesis: The new illustrated editions of the Harry Potter novels provide educators not only with the opportunity to teach their students lessons on linguistic literacy, they also allow them the chance to improve the visual literacy skills of their students and teach students, both children and adults alike, how these illustrations function rhetorically to communicate meaning in addition to that which is provided by the verbal text…I have taken a content analysis approach to analyzing these illustrations, and have further focused my analysis to the compositional modality of the site of the image itself, as per current visual rhetorics scholarship. Though a quantitive method, content analysis allows for qualitative interpretations of the patterns revealed via the numerical data collected, which will also be explored in this presentation.
“Locations, Places, and Spaces: Mapping Milo’s Journey-Turned-Quest in Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth.” Children’s Literature Association Conference, Columbus, OH, June 9-11, 2016.
Thesis: “Scholarship about Phantom Tollbooth seems to largely ignore how the actual geography of Lands Beyond — the locations, places, and spaces Milo experiences – in large part lays the foundation for Milo’s learning and new appreciation for his education. Due to this gap in the scholarship, the goal of this presentation is to illustrate how the locations, places, and spaces in Lands Beyond mimic, are affected by, and influence Milo’s shift from disinterested to avid learner.”
“Beware ‘Happily Ever After’: The Dangers of ‘True Love’ in ABC’s Once Upon a Time.” International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts Conference, Orlando, FL, March 16-19, 2016.
Thesis: “At the core of this show is the familiar insistence that living happily-ever-after is directly tied to finding ‘true love,’ insinuating that this is what every character, and perhaps audience member, should strive for above all else. Paradoxically, for all its avowal of the wonder of true love, the storylines in Once continually undermine this supposed fact and illustrate instead the problems caused by such strident beliefs in this ideal.”
“Dismantling Boundaries: The Posthuman World of M.T. Anderson’s Feed.” Children’s Literature Association Conference, Richmond, VA, June 19-21, 2015.
Thesis: “A more comprehensive study of the lack of individualism in Feed’s characters requires a posthumanist lens, as it creates a stronger analysis of how Anderson breaks down the human/nonhuman binary through depictions of fluidity between material bodies and cognitive processes, organic and inorganic matter, male and female, as well as adults and children.”
“‘Where Am I?’: Getting Lost in Graphic Novel Panels.” Midwest Popular Culture and American Culture Association, Indianapolis, IN, October 2-5, 2014.
Thesis: “In order to understand the nuanced stories depicted in comic books and graphic novels, readers must first internalize a form of literacy that allows them to read words and images simultaneously, while also understanding the various functions and effects of the medium’s panel formations…The necessity of a more comprehensive literacy becomes especially evident when one attempts to read recently published comic books and graphic novels that are filled with intricately placed and often non-linear visual and textual narrative components…The consequences of the increasingly intricate narrative style — an insular readership group and confusion among novice readers– can help explain the amount of superhero adaptations seen in the current entertainment business.”
“Product or Subject?: Identity Creation in the Corporation-Controlled World of M.T. Anderson’s Feed.” Southwest Popular Culture and American Culture Association, Albuquerque, NM, February 19-22, 2014.
Thesis: “Feed offers a multilayered warning of the extreme risk society our consumer culture is on the path of creating. Titus and Violet both illustrate how an individual’s identity, physical appearance, and personality are products of external forces, calling into question whether an individual can ever be an entity separate from the feed’s influence. Anderson’s novel is simultaneously a social commentary and a warning to readers on the effects a consumer-driven culture has on one’s everyday thoughts and actions.”
“Mary Sue’s and OOC’s: Exploring Divergent Forms of Literacy in the Fan Fiction Community.” Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association, Atlantic City, NJ, November 7, 2013.
Thesis: This presentation explored different forms of literacy found in the online fan fiction community as a way to demonstrate how middle school, high school, and college curriculums could benefit from including fan fiction in classrooms. In this presentation, I showed various examples of the literacies and the effects they have on fan fiction community members, such as expanding their knowledge of other cultures and improving their reading and writing skills.
“Blurring Boundaries: Transitioning from Consumer to Producer through Adaptation.” Children’s Literature Association, Biloxi, MS, June 13, 2013.
Thesis: “With the preponderance of adaptations found in today’s consumer society, playing with the source material instead of simply imitating it is a popular way of interacting with the original texts. In this way, originality does not need to apply only to the source material, but can also be used to define works that expand on another story in innovative ways…With the technological advances available and high consumer appreciation for these products, imitative and playful adaptations have become some of the most profitable texts in American popular culture.”