06 February 2004
Harry Potter fandom
Henry Jenkins offers a media literacy perspective on high school aged kids' Harry Potter fan fiction:
Literary purists, of course, might question the wisdom of having kids develop as creative writers in this nontraditional way. But while there is certainly value in writing about one's own experiences, adolescents often have difficulty stepping outside themselves and seeing the world through other people’s eyes. Their closeness to Harry and his friends makes it possible to get some critical distance from their own lives and think through their concerns from a new perspective.
And writing about Harry offers them something else, too: an audience with a built-in interest in the stories—an interest that would be difficult to match with stories involving original fictional characters. The power of popular culture to command attention is being harnessed at a grassroots level to find a readership for these emerging storytellers.
From MIT Technology Review's Why Heather Can Write
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