Crip Fanfiction Research
Spotlighting some research in progress today. Cath Duchastel’s ongoing PhD research into disabled fans in online fanfiction communities looks at five key questions:
1. Are disabled fans contributing to the critical examination of disabled characters in fandoms and fanfiction?
2. Are disabled fans contributing to fostering discussion among fans about ablesim, web and other forms of accessibility, and the means by which disability oppression manifest?
3. Why have certain online fanfiction spaces welcomed disabled people whereas so many others have not?
4. What roles are the technological affordances and practices of digital media and technologies playing in the development of fanfiction communities as spaces where disability is present?
5. What insight can fanfiction as a creative practice offer about how and why cultural representation impacts agency and facilitates political participation and lasting social change?
One of Cath’s mini-projects is tracking of disability-related tags on AO3 over six months, and she is planning to put the results of this up on her website.