Ari Page

(Trans)formative Works: Fanfiction, Authorship, and the Digital Lives of Transgender Fans

Ari Page, Spring 2022

 Director: Lindsay DiCuirci

Committee Members: Jessica Berman, Mejdulene Shomali, Keegan Cook Finberg

My work focuses on the underrepresented population of transgender fans online who use fanfiction and fan works as a means of accessing transgender euphoria. Fan works allow for fans to invent characters and worlds beyond what original creators intended, making these works rich sites for trans fans to imagine themselves otherwise—imagine an alternative location where transness may be celebrated and not ostracized. In my thesis, I track fan studies from the early days to now, with a focus on shifting representations of trans fans in academic discourse. I look to what trans fans are creating and discussing online today, and the possibilities that can arise if fan studies pays attention to these fans and their fannish output. Ultimately, I argue that fan works can be vital tools for accessing trans euphoria, so fan studies must make space for these works in order to truly understand the experiences, desires, and needs of trans fans.