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The below is the text of an article on fanfic by Edward M. Eveld, published in the Kansas City Star on July 13th, 2012 and briefly available online at < http://www.kansascity.com/2012/07/13/3703722/thanks-to-fan-fiction-we-get-harriet.html#storylink=rss > but now already gone from the web for some reason. If anyone knows of another semi-stable link for it, please let me know. Right now, I'm sticking it here for reference.

Thanks to fan fiction, we get Harriet Potter and erotic ‘Twilight’
Anything is possible in the growing, wonderful world of online fan fiction.
By EDWARD M. EVELD
The Kansas City Star

Fifty shades of ‘Twilight’: Bella/Ana, Edward/Christian and other shocking similarities

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In the hands of “fan fiction” writers, Sherlock Holmes shifts centuries and surfaces as an intergalactic detective.

Harry Potter becomes a girl wizard sorted into Slytherin House, not Gryffindor.

Hester Prynne gathers Pearl, sets sail for England and gets tangled in Oliver Cromwell’s world. Also, she can sense other people’s sins, without the benefit of a scarlet letter.

Fans of those fictional characters and of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “The Avengers” and many, many other novels, movies, TV shows, video games, anime, comics, songs, poems — nearly any story form — embrace their beloved tales and then get busy changing them up: fan fiction.

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Sherlock, James, and Harry (syllabus)

SHERLOCK, JAMES, and HARRY

"Sherlock, James, and Harry" will examine the texts and contexts surrounding three icons of British masculinity: Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, and Harry Potter. While each of these figures was born in text, all three rapidly went "transmedia," appearing in film, television, comics, video games, theme parks, and other unlikely venues. Each also has the ability to conjure up an entire literary, historical, and cultural milieu: Victorian London, Europe during the Cold War, and the Great Britain of New Labour. While our primary texts will be works by Arthur Conan Doyle, Ian Fleming, and J.K. Rowling, we will also be examining relevant works by their literary contemporaries (e.g. Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde, Raymond Chandler and Kingsley Amis, Lev Grossman and Susannah Clarke). We will also be studying the cultural and historical contexts these characters evoke (particularly in terms of class, nationalism, industrialization, technology, and gender), as well as following their transmedia adventures in various genres: magazine stories, novels, film, television etc. Lastly, we will be examining Sherlock, James, and Harry particularly as varieties of Englishmen, or rather, as astonishingly successful representations of masculinity and nation that have been exported around the world. Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, and Harry Potter are characters that millions of people have become invested in, and through them, we can begin to examine what kind of stories become meaningful and powerful at particular moments—and why.

Requirements and Course Schedule beneath the cutCollapse )
PERFORMING POPULAR CULTURE:
ONSTAGE WITH BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER

Instructors: Drs. Francesca Coppa (English) and James Peck (Theatre)

Description: The television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer filters the monstrous panoramas of gothic melodrama through California youth culture to offer complex popular representations of contemporary life. Patrolling a panoply of social evils encountered by young adults, Buffy raises but does not neatly resolve anxieties of gender, sexuality, and race as they haunt and occasionally terrorize American society. This course will examine BTVS and its many extensions into popular culture (through such media as short stories, websites, comic books, video games, and fanvids) in light of the growing and diverse body of scholarship on the series. Does Buffy stake out progressive (especially feminist and queer) positions? Or does it defang anti-authoritarian ideals, reiterating commodified stereotypes of resistance? Our research will encompass fan communities who debate the outcome of controversial plot strands and create new stories about the characters. In addition to analyzing key episodes, students will imaginatively appropriate the Buffyverse through theatre, fiction writing, and vidding. Students with other interests (graphic art, dance, web-design, etc.) could use those media instead. Fun much? Join us on the Hellmouth, Scoobies.

Critical Lenses: We are going to bring three different and yet interrelated approaches to BTVS; as we watch and discuss key episodes, we will consider:

1) Subject Positions and Ideology
BTVS foregrounds issues of identity; such lived categories as gender, sexuality, race, class, generation and species exert immense influence in the Buffyverse. How does the series represent this range of subjectivities? How does it suggest people occupying different subject positions relate to one another? What sorts of subjectivity and relationship does the series endorse? Condemn? Into what subject positions does the series invite the viewer? How does it do so? Often, BTVS overturns or confounds debilitating cultural stereotypes; at other times, it seems to reiterate them. What might these ideological contradictions mean?

2) Genre and Intertexts
BTVS is self-proclaimed genre fiction; it revels in generic conventions. Obviously, the gothic (especially the vampire story) looms large throughout. In addition, the series partakes of melodrama, soap opera, "quality television," experimental cinema, heroic fiction, graphic novels, science fiction, “chick lit,” romance, and bildingsroman. Sometimes, BTVS replays the conventions of genre; at times, it subverts them. What are BTVS’s intertexts? How does it converse with them?

3) Production and Reception
BTVS is a television show. Not an insignificant detail, this. The semiotics of television will preoccupy us. In this respect, the dramatic structures of the scripts and the visual structures of frame composition and editing will be primary objects of analysis. We will factor in the economic context of mass media storytelling. We will also investigate the reception of the series. BTVS is among the most critically acclaimed series in the history of television. Why? BTVS has fans, (including your instructors!), and its fan base continues to grow three years after the series stopped production. We will look at fandom history and fan cultures, working toward an ethnography of the fans of BTVS. Our materials will encompass fan criticism, interactions between fans and the creators of the series, and fan-created visual art, vids, and fiction. We will approach fan artworks both as creative products and as modes of analysis.

Requirements and Course Schedule under the cutCollapse )

Writing About Remix (syllabus)

WRITING ABOUT REMIX

The artistic practices collected under the umbrella term of remix – rewrites, mashups, transformations, juxtapositions, edits, collages, pastiches, and parodies – are both very old ways of making art and central to a vibrant and emerging digital culture. In this course, we will survey a broad array of multimedia remix practices, including literary remixes, musical remixes, and popular video remixes like fan vids, anime music videos, and political remix videos. We will write about these works in order to theorize their aesthetics and articulate their (often complex and referential) layers of meaning. This class is writing intensive and will take place both in our Muhlenberg classroom and in a number of virtual spaces online.

Our video homepage for this course is: http://writingaboutremix.mirocommunity.org/

Requirements and Schedule under the cutCollapse )