Identity, Community, and Sexuality in Slash Fan Fiction

Anne Kustritz

Omslag 'Pocket Publics' (2023)

In Identity, Community, and Sexuality in Slash Fan Fiction: Pocket Publics, Assistant Professor in Media and Culture Studies Anne Kustritz explores slash fan fiction communities during the pivotal years of the late 1990s and early 2000s as the practice transitioned from print to digital circulation.

History of a feminist, queer media subculture

Delving into over ten years of online and in-person ethnography, Pocket Publics offers an in-depth examination of slash fan fiction – original stories written by and circulated within female-centred communities about same-sex characters borrowed from previously published sources. She aims to document the history of a feminist, queer media subculture whose infrastructure, creativity, and ways of life are often obscured in dominant histories of the internet’s development and by the contemporary focus on industry-friendly but often misogynist digital fan subcultures.

Arguing that online slash communities created an alternate public space that provided opportunities for unanticipated encounters with a wide range of complex sexual, relational, and political practices, the book contends that slash thereby added to readers’ tools for experiencing and thinking about pleasure and ways of living by forming a ‘pocket public’, that is a digital space public enough to be found and protected enough to shield participants from harassment and censorship.

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