Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Women's and Gender Studies

Degree Program

Women's and Gender Studies, MA

Committee Chair

Heinecken, Dawn

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Pecknold, Diane

Committee Member

Pecknold, Diane

Committee Member

Marshall, Gul


Fans (Persons)--Psychology; Television viewers--Psychology; Homosexuality on television; Sherlock (Television program : 2010- ); Supernatural (Television program : 2005- )


In this thesis, I focus on questions of fan power, resistance, and producer interaction, particularly around the issue of sexuality. I examine the fan cultures surrounding Supernatural and Sherlock, constructing two case studies. Each case study examines the text of the shows, the producer-fan relationship and the fan re-workings of the text, specifically fanfiction. This approach allows for an analysis situated firmly within the world of the fan. By situating my work against the larger conversation regarding resistance and power in fan studies, I work to further trouble the characterization of fan spaces as resistant. Additionally, I trace the different communication styles used by producers and examine what types of fan efforts are sanctioned. My research demonstrates that Supernatural and Sherlock are encoded with homoerotic subtext and have used conventional slash tropes and interpretations to do so, as well as exploring the vastly different ways fan cultures have developed.