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Writing with Impunity in a Space of Their Own: On Cultural Appropriation, Imaginative Play, and a New Ethics of Slash in Harry Potter Fan Fiction

By James Joshua Coleman


As defined by Ika Willis, slash is “fiction written by women involving man-on-man (m/m) sexual and/or romantic relationships” (290). Refracted through the contemporary theories of moral philosophy, this paper names such slash as cultural appropriation; however, it further contends that such cultural appropriation is not inherently unethical but instead represents a generative imaginative space in which new configurations of gender and sexuality might be theorized. Building upon this premise, this paper argues that slash’s appropriative nature only becomes problematic when it generates misrepresentations that decouple the gay community from its histories, both joyous and painful

Topics: Harry Potter series, slash fiction, fan fiction, cultural appropriation, LBGTQ
Publisher: University of Winnipeg
Year: 2019
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