Viviana Bustamante

Fandom Lore: Finding Identity in Fiction

Mentor: Nomi Morris

Fan Culture has changed and challenged storytelling through social media platforms like TikTok, Tumblr, and Instagram, opening doors to other perspectives outside the dominant social groups. In the blink of an eye, fandom has turned pop culture into a conversation, highlighting every displeasure or appreciation for the fictional worlds. In these conversations, fans start talking about the representational gaps in the media and come to the mutual understanding that to be represented, marginalized social groups need to break down the mold built by the dominant groups. My project highlights the complexity and diversity of literary fandoms. The interactive website will feature a series of profiles that will investigate how fan culture has fostered a sense of identity and reflection for those who belong to marginalized groups. The interviews I conduct will cover a variety of topics, including how readers have found representation in books featuring marginalized characters and how readers have had to create their own representation in fictional settings of their own design. My investigation aims to help us understand how representation is required to highlight the multicultural nature of our world. It’s past time that the world recognized fandom for more than its negative aspects and instead acknowledged its potential for social good. 

See Viviana’s website Fandom Lore: Finding Identity in Fiction