English, Department of


First Advisor

Deborah Minter

Date of this Version



Levitte, Regan. "'Thanks to 'X' for Beta-ing!': Fan Fiction Beta Readers in the Writing Center," University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2019.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at The University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: English, Under the Supervision of Professor Deborah Minter. Lincoln, Nebraska: April 2019.

Copyright (c) 2019 Regan Levitte


In this thesis, I pose the question: what can we learn from fan fiction beta reading practices that can be applied to the writing center? Through interviews of writing center consultants who have had beta reading experiences, I consider what collaborative practices they have transferred into their writing center consultant skill sets. This project records how their affinity groups supported their literacy habits, and which dynamics of power and embodiment meant the most to them in these two discourse communities.

Combining historic texts on what ideal writing center pedagogy looks like, I explore how writers could interact with acknowledgement of peer review and influence, the models of knowledge-sharing that shift and change with the power dynamic of novice and expert, and the othered-ness of affinity groups and writing centers through their feminine perceptions. Using the theory of feminist repurposing, I hypothesize that beta reading and writing centers both repurpose the traditional editorial process into the Burkean parlor/workshop, though sharing knowledge with the mutable dynamic of expertise.

Advisor: Deborah Minter