I may have been right about something

After reading all 432,377 words of Background Pony by shortskirtsandexplosions, I declared that someday it would appear on college reading lists.

It hasn’t happened yet, but the larger issue — is there a place for pony stories on a formal syllabus? — has been answered in the affirmative. ENG 222 at Princeton is titled Fanfiction: Transformative Works from Shakespeare to Sherlock, and included in the readings for the course are several items currently on Fimfiction, including some I’ve read.

Here’s part of the course description:

What makes “fanfiction” different from Shakespeare basing his plays on sources, or House turning a Victorian detective into a doctor in West Windsor? What can amateur, unauthorized stories about other people’s characters do for readers and writers that paid, official culture can’t or won’t? In this course, we’ll be reading a lot of fanfic as well as looking at other cultural uses of adaptation and appropriation such as TV shows, web series, and avant-garde poetry. We’ll look at the historical tradition of “writing from sources” and examine the co-evolution of fanfiction and mass media from the 1890s to today. We will also welcome visitors (electronic and in-person) ranging from writers on Elementary and House to John/Sherlock slashers, as well as fan studies scholars, intellectual property attorneys, and a panel of fan writers and journalists who will discuss the changing relationship between fans, their creative work, and the media, publishing, and entertainment industries.

Ah, Raphael Holinshed, thou shouldst be living at this hour.

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