This study applies theories of texts and technologies to examine ways in which fan culture and mainstream entertainment media can shape and be shaped by each other through digital interactions and negotiations. Further, it considers ways in which these interactions have potential to foster community building and advocacy efforts beyond the limitations of the screen. The analysis focuses, in particular, on the subject of asexuality as it is represented in BBC's 2010 television series, Sherlock, tracing the multiple ways in which the traditional boundaries between fans and entertainment professionals have been breached as each group works to engage the other while pursuing their separate objectives, including social change, personal and professional acceptance and/or acclaim, and commercial profit. The dissertation traces four distinct but interconnected types/sites of interface among fans, advocates, mainstream media, showrunners, and celebrities, including 1) mainstream media articles related to Sherlock and those officially associated with it; 2) social media; 3) single-owner or small group-operated fan websites; and 4) fan fiction and associated comments. This interdisciplinary project draws on the work of fandom/digital culture scholarship (e.g., Henry Jenkins, Matthew Hills, Paul Boothe) within a broader framework informed by scholars of digital culture and queer and feminist ideologies (e.g., Donna Haraway, Lee Edelmen, Lauren Berlant), as well as emerging scholarship on asexuality, which is informed by queer and feminist perspectives (e.g., Brenda Chu, Julia Decker, Jacinthe Flore).
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Texts and Technology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Wojton, Jennifer, "Sherlock Fandom Online: Toward an Ethic of Advocacy" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 5211.