Queering Fanfiction: Imagination and Identity

DATE & TIME: 5:30pm EDT April 27, 2017
LOCATION: Commons West
The GSS Club and the Humanities and Social Sciences Division will host writer Abby Friedman and “Acafan” (academic fan) Cara Messina for a discussion on queer identity in fanfiction, moderated by Cassie Manzo.

What is fanfiction and what are its hallmark characteristics? Why do people rewrite popular characters into alternative plots and relationships? What’s the point? Join us for a discussion on the “queering” of characters in fanfiction, the building of identity, and a look into the relationship between the genre and broader academia. Alumna Cassandra Manzo will moderate the discussion. Light refreshments will be available. 


About the Speakers

Abby Friedman was first published professionally at the age of 14.  Since then, she has had both poetry and short stories appear in publication and on e-zines.  She is best known for her poem “Myself,” which appeared on New York City’s buses and subways as part of Poetry In Motion. Abby started writing fanfiction at an even younger age; somewhere in the logs of American On-Line there is still Star Trek fic with her screen name attached to it.  She first started exploring slash fic, and other ways of queering characters, in the early 2000s, and never looked back.  Her fanfiction can be found at here, as well as on her livejournal and (she is known as “Allecto” in both spaces.)  She is therealallecto on tumblr.  

Cara Messina is currently pursuing her PhD at Northeastern University in Writing and Rhetoric. She self-identifies as an avid “acafan,” combining her passion for fan communities, fan fiction, digital humanities, and composition studies. Her interest in fan fiction scholarship revolves around the critical ways fan fiction writers play with the texts they love; she (idealistically) hopes to inspire student writers to explore their identities, share their voice, and remix/remediate the world around them.