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This thesis explores the cultural and pedagogical potential of the fanfiction community. The practices of recursive peer feedback, reinvention as invention, and production of subversive narratives via repurposing posits the fanfiction community a democratic space where a myriad of identities can react to, interact with, and disseminate information in a productive learning community. During a time when socio-political interactions are so intense, it is necessary that teachers of composition and rhetoric pay attention to learning communities where democratic deliberation is promoted through the production and sharing of writing. Ultimately, this thesis argues that reinvention and repurposing within the fanfiction community can be adapted for first-year composition to produce an innovative and resistive pedagogy. This thesis comes in two parts. First, it explores the histories and practices of women and/or queer writers within the fanfiction community, giving particular attention to the compositional tools of reinvention and repurposing. These tools give marginalized writers the space to share their voice as well as helps them make meaning out of the collision of disparate narratives and identities. Second, it offers ways that repurposing and reinvention, as well as the collaborative practices of works-in-progress (WIP), gift-giving, and beta-reading, can be used within first-year composition to produce a democratic learning space within the classroom. Rather than blindly assigning fanfiction practices to fulfill these goals within then classroom, it outlines the ways the fan practices can be used to cultivate a learning community, thus providing an innovative pedagogy built on the convergence of theoretical composition backgrounds and fan practices.
Advisor: Stacey Waite