Writing with Impunity in a Space of Their Own: On Cultural Appropriation, Imaginative Play, and a New Ethics of Slash in Harry Potter Fan Fiction

  • James Joshua Coleman
Keywords: Harry Potter series, slash fiction, fan fiction, cultural appropriation, LBGTQ

Abstract

As defined by Ika Willis, slash is “fiction written by women involving man-on-man (m/m) sexual and/or romantic relationships” (290). Refracted through the contemporary theories of moral philosophy, this paper names such slash as cultural appropriation; however, it further contends that such cultural appropriation is not inherently unethical but instead represents a generative imaginative space in which new configurations of gender and sexuality might be theorized. Building upon this premise, this paper argues that slash’s appropriative nature only becomes problematic when it generates misrepresentations that decouple the gay community from its histories, both joyous and painful.

Author Biography

James Joshua Coleman

James Joshua Coleman (Josh) is a Doctoral Candidate in the Reading/Writing/Literacy program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. His dissertation project, Restorying Painful Histories, considers the import of counter-storytelling for queer educators and advocates for the integration of affect studies into critical literacy scholarship. His general academic interests include critical literacy, affect studies, queer studies, and children’s and young adult literature.

Published
2019-08-15
How to Cite
Coleman, J. (2019). Writing with Impunity in a Space of Their Own: On Cultural Appropriation, Imaginative Play, and a New Ethics of Slash in Harry Potter Fan Fiction. Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, 11(1), 84-111. Retrieved from https://jeunessejournal.ca/index.php/yptc/article/view/431
Section
Articles