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Understanding lesbian fandom: a case study of the Xena: Warrior Princess (XSTT) lesbian internet fans

By Rosalind Maria Hanmer

Abstract

This thesis is written to promote and pursue an understanding of lesbian fandom and its function on the Internet. It will demonstrate how a particular television text Xena: Warrior Princess (X: WP) and a dedicated online fandom „xenasubtexttalk‟ (XSTT) of diverse lesbian fan membership gained empowerment and agency through their fan practices. Since the screening of the television fantasy series X: WP (1995-2001), there has been a marked increase in academic enquiry into lesbian fan culture on the Internet. This thesis contributes to the lesbian spectatorship of fandom with a specific interest in online fandom. This research suggests there are many readings of X: WP and the dedicated websites set up to discuss the series have increased during and post the series broadcast period. This study explores the contradictions, the gaps, and the differences between fan responses to the series, especially the lesbian discourse and fan fiction that developed during and after the television series ended. This investigation suggests that fan scholarship can obtain a new insight into lesbian Internet fan practices as a virtual space producing new lesbian fan online identities and discourses that challenge traditional forms of lesbian fandom. It does this by presenting three distinct, significant and interrelated layers of lesbian online textual engagement. While interrelated, these layers are separate and important as they each reveal new lesbian online fan performances of identity that challenge traditional performances of reading and writing habits of lesbian fans

Topics: PN0080 Criticism, PR English literature, PS American literature, PN1990 Broadcasting
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:etheses.bham.ac.uk:1536

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