Research project FAN(GS) analyses two phenomena in contemporary Western culture: the vampire trope and fan fiction (texts published online, which build on an already existing fictional universe). The project particularly focuses on how sexualities and gender are represented in the texts.
Close readings of fanfic increase the understanding of how readers interpret stories they encounter. Our results nuance discussions about the role of fiction in today’s culture; how it inspires amateur authors’ creativity, and how structures in the source texts change to encompass the fanfic authors’ experiences. The latter is highly visible in fanfics which challenge the heteronorm. The vampire trope lends itself well to this as it is associated with transgressive sexualities. Fan fiction about contemporary and historical vampires show how readers concretely interpret the trope and what functions it has in their texts