Bringing Fanfiction into the English Language Arts Classroom

Connecting learners with authentic audiences: challenges and opportunities

Friday 11 October 2019 | 9.30am

Event details

Research on writers’ experiences in fanfiction communities shows that these spaces offer youth access to authentic writerly identities and connects them with passionate audiences, often leading to increased motivation and sustained engagement in writing.

While some have highlighted benefits to bringing fanfiction into classrooms, researchers often caution against relocating youth literacies into classroom spaces for fear of co-opting or corrupting them. The instrumental case study presented in this talk examined the design and implementation of a secondary elective course called, “Fanfiction and Creative Writing: Sharing Your Work in Online Spaces.”

This qualitative research draws on observations, interviews, and artifactual data to generate assertions about how bringing together classrooms and networked publics affected writing instruction. Analysis revealed challenges and opportunities that teachers and writers faced in the course. Looking at this case provides the basis for our exploration about whether and how to make space for out-of-school literacies in the curriculum.

Presenter & program

Jane Lammers

Jayne C. Lammers (Ph.D. – Arizona State University) is an Associate Professor of Education at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education and Human Development, where she directs the secondary English teacher preparation program and is a founding Associate Director in the Center for Learning in the Digital Age (LiDA). She is on leave as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar, conducting research about Indonesian young people’s interest-driven digital literacy practices. She has conducted research exploring adolescents’ writing and fan-based literacies shared in online spaces, with the aim of informing classroom practices. Her scholarship appears in Research in the Teaching of English, Literacy, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, and Written Communication.


9.30–10.30amKeynote address: Jayne C. Lammers (University of Rochester; Fulbright U.S. Scholar in Semarang, Indonesia)

Morning tea

Discussion: Making space for out-of-school literacy practices in school
Participants are invited to join us after Jayne’s keynote for a discussion about out-of-school literacy practices. Participants are invited to bring an example from their own experience or research in this area to discuss in small table groups. Participants are also invited to email questions in advance, or come with questions for us to include at the beginning of the day. Each table will be chaired by a member of the Deakin literacy team.

Indicative questions:

  • What kinds of literacy practices are evident in examples shared?
  • (How) do specific forms of out of school literacy engagement map against formal curriculum documents and requirements?
  • What are the affordances and constraints of working with out-of-school, on or offline texts, in the classroom?

Lunch: participants are invited to join us for a light lunch and informal networking.

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Key information

Date and time

Friday 11 October 2019


Deakin Burwood Corporate Centre
Level 2, Building BC
221 Burwood Highway
Burwood, VIC 3125