John Evans' Blog

Tag: fan fiction

Fan works from an academic perspective

by on Aug.18, 2008, under Uncategorized

Are you interested in fan works? That includes fan fiction, fan art, writing or drawing your own versions of established characters, music videos that remix other works, fan videos…

If any of those interest you, you should read How Fan Fiction Can Teach Us a New Way to Read Moby-Dick (Part One). It includes part of a draft of a guide for using fan works in the classroom.

Today, I wanted to share with you a section from the guide which is intended to explain to teachers what fan fiction is and how it might inform their classroom practices. I am not so much advocating that they take existing fan fiction into the schoolroom. I suspect what is valuable to young fan fiction writers is precisely what would get lost if we imposed teacherly standards on their production. Rather, I am interested in drawing on the reading and interpretation practices that inform fan fiction to open up new ways for students and teachers to talk about fictional works. My hope is that we can teach students not only to read critically but also creatively and free them to make the books they read for school into resources for their own imaginative speculations.

I want to know what fans think of this material and so I am posting it here in hopes of soliciting your comments. There are so many teachers and librarians in fandom that I suspect you have a special stake in making sure we get this material right and a special insight into how we might bridge between these two worlds. We are in a process of iterative design with this material; we will be collaborating closely with the teachers and students involved in our study to refine and revise this material over the coming year. So, let me know what you think.

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