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‘How come most people don't see it?’: Slashing the Lord of the Rings

Allington, Daniel (2007). ‘How come most people don't see it?’: Slashing the Lord of the Rings. Social Semiotics, 17(1) pp. 43–62.

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The now well-established fan tradition of “slash fiction” locates homoerotic undercurrents beneath the surface of popular films, television serials, and books, from Star Trek to Pride and Prejudice. The encoding/decoding model of media production and reception has recently been used to explain how enthusiasts of slash fiction are able to discern subtexts invisible to the majority of readers and viewers, with those enthusiasts’ discussions of texts being cited as evidence; here, it is argued that this mis-characterises complex rhetorical manoeuvres as transparent reports on private comprehension processes. A sample of online fan discourse regarding one particular homoerotic pairing is analysed, it being proposed that reception study as a whole must re-conceptualise the data upon which it most heavily relies; namely, spoken or written reports of encounters with texts. This forms part of an ongoing project employing discursive psychology and the study of argumentation to investigate reading and textual culture.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2007 Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1035-0330
Keywords: slash; readers; audience; fans; reception; interpretation; rhetoric; discourse analysis; discursive psychology; The Lord of the Rings
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 15334
Depositing User: Daniel Allington
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2009 09:34
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2018 17:18
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