This very brief analysis of the history of German fan fiction, as well as the results of our cursory comparison of the exclusively German-language archive and the international Archive of Our Own, suggest that fandoms, fan practices, and fannish affections are complex and heterogeneous. Generalizing assumptions about an (imagined) unity in a specific fan fiction community are highly questionable. There is not, for example, a single Harry Potter fan fiction community but rather numerous ones that differ in their sets of rules, the socialization and education of their members, and the popularity of certain characters, pairings, tropes, or genres. In addition, political, historical, economic, and legal factors influence a national fan fiction history.

Cuntz-Leng, Vera, and Jacqueline Meintzinger. 2015. “A Brief History of Fan Fiction in Germany.” In “European Fans and European Fan Objects: Localization and Translation,” edited by Anne Kustritz, special issue, Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 19.