Essay topic

DUE DATE: 20th May 2016

Essays should be handed in to the SLL department office (Beattie building) before 4pm.

  • I don’t usually have a problem with granting extensions if you ask in advance, and if you have a good reason. However, all extensions for this course should be arranged through the SLL department office, NOT directly through me; essays should also be handed in to the SLL office.
  • This section of the course involves a lot of Internet material. Internet references in your bibliographies MUST include the FULL URL of the specific article (not just the URL of the home page), plus the title of the article or page, and the date on which you accessed it.  Where possible, the author’s name and the copyright date of the material must also be included.
  • You will need to reference the work(s) of fan fiction you are focusing on; these will look a bit odd, given that author’s names are usually nicknames or usernames. Don’t worry; put in as much info as you can, including the author’s odd alias, the title of the fic, the name of the website, and make sure the URL is to the specific fic, not to the site in general.
    Example:celli, “When I Think (Oh, it Terrifies Me), Archive of Our Own, 3 April 2012,, accessed 20 April 2014
  • Please make sure that URLs are correctly typed (I suggest you cut-and-paste from your browser).  Chasing up URLs which only give error messages because they’re mis-typed, really annoys me and causes essays to mysteriously lose marks.
  • Resist the temptation to steal your ideas from a website or article. I’m much more interested in your analysis than in your ability to synthesise outside sources.
  • I will not under any circumstances tolerate plagiarism at third-year level; students detected in plagiarism will be sent to the University Court.  I do know a lot of these articles well, and if not I check them, and plagiarism really annoys me.


Essay length should be around 2000 words.
You may use an example or examples of erotic fan fiction based on any canon text of your choice. While you may refer to them in passing for purposes of comparison, your analysis should NOT focus on the specific works of fan fiction we have discussed in class.

Using an example or examples of fan fiction, analyse the construction of a particular erotic relationship which explicitly sexualises a relationship which is not sexualised in the canon text. You should attempt to account for the writer’s decision to transform this canon relationship into an erotic one: what narrative or cultural elements in the canon text might motivate this transformation? What aspects of the canon text are deliberately re-written? What kind of pleasure does this offer writer and reader? Please provide some close analysis of key scenes or interactions to support your argument.


… [Fan fiction]’s subject is not a homosexual love affair between two men, but love and sex as women want them … What they do want is … a love that is entirely free of the culture’s whole discourse of gender and sex roles… They also want to create images of male bodies as objects of desire.
(Joanna Russ)

With close reference to relevant passages from a specific work or works of fan fiction, discuss Russ’s view, above, of fan fiction as pornography written by and for women.

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