Fan Fiction Workshop

deadline for submissions: 
December 1, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
University of Zurich
contact email: 

An interdisciplinary workshop on Fan Fiction

14 – 15 February 2020

                                                              English Department, University of Zurich

Fan fiction is an important part of fandom, particularly in the online communities that form around art, entertainment, or celebrities. Members of these communities produce pieces of writing taking their favourite books, TV shows, K-pop groups, and many more as inspiration, and they make their stories available in diverse online spaces, often including specifically dedicated archives. The Archive of Our Own (AO3) alone counts more than five million fanworks, and a community of over two million users that write, read, and provide feedback and appreciation. There is something for everyone, and unless one is the lone fan, there seems to be an unending stream of delightful fan fiction to read, as the archive continues to grow – what, after all, is a good night's sleep compared to the next fake relationship story in your favourite fandom?

Beside the interest of avid readers and writers, fan fiction has garnered the attention of research in a variety of fields: the online practices surrounding the production and consumption of fan-produced works of fiction, as well as the literary products themselves, have been of interest to literary scholars, linguists, culture and media analysts, sociologists, and many others. Fan fiction has for instance inspired discussions about intertextuality, the subversive nature of stories produced especially by women and minority groups, the nature and function of feedback within the communities, and how writers and readers construct their identities as part of fandoms.

This interdisciplinary workshop hopes to bring together researchers from a variety of fields to discuss fan fiction as a literary, linguistic, and socio-cultural practice. The workshop will also include two practical sessions: one will showcase the communal experience of fan fiction through a writing (and reading) session, while the other will provide a brief introduction to computer-assisted analysis of fan fiction texts.

Keynotes will be given by Dr. Valeria Franceschi, University of Verona (14 February) and Dr. Anne Kustritz, University of Utrecht (15 Feburary)

We invite abstracts for 20-minute papers in English focusing on any aspect of fan fiction from any theoretical perspective or discipline. Topics may include but are not limited to:

▪ Narrative practices in fan fiction (e.g. intertextuality, the seriality of fan fictions, transmedial transformations)

▪ Discursive practices in fan fiction (e.g. author notes, comments, beta-readers)

▪ Socio-cultural practices in fan fiction (e.g. identity construction in the fandom)

▪ Ethical considerations related to fan fiction (e.g. age ratings, trigger warnings, real- people fan fiction)

▪ Multilingualism in fan fiction (e.g. code-switching, translations, second language speakers in fan fiction)

▪ Inter-communal engagement in fan fiction writing (e.g. cross-over fan fiction)

▪ Fan fiction and fanon (e.g. memes, archives, terminology)

▪ Themes and topics in fan fiction (e.g. identity politics, pornography, the body)

To apply, please submit a 250-300 word abstract along with a 50-word biographical note to by 1 December 2019. Notification of acceptance will be given by early December. Early career researchers will be given preference.

Organisers: Johanna Vogelsanger, Rahel Oppliger, Olivia Tjon-A-Meeuw

For further information, please visit