Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Susan Groenke

Committee Members

Ashlee Anderson, Stergios Botzakis, Judson Laughter


Despite a growing body of research in New Literacies, the balance between providing strong New Literacies instruction while maintaining required traditional literacies instruction has been difficult for teachers. Incorporating ever-changing technologies can feel superficial, emphasizing a technology tool rather than the “ethos” of New Literacies. Despite efforts to increase the use of technology in the classroom, students still feel a disconnect between in-school and out-of-school literacies as in-school literacies, even with technology, do not capture the ethos of out-of-school experiences.To bridge this gap, this study takes a New Materialist approach to studying fanfiction, a phenomenon that incorporates both new and traditional literacies. This lens provides a way of accounting for multiple factors that create the ethos of a New Literacies experience, allowing for more effective transfer into the classroom. Using interviews with fanfiction writers as well as analyzing their fanfiction, I describe the intra-action among the fanfiction space, the source book (Throne of Glass), and the adolescent writer.Findings include the ways in which adolescents intra-act with fanfiction because of unique access, educational opportunities, self-expression, immersion in the story, social interaction, and pleasure. Findings also include the ways in which the Throne of Glass series intra-acted with the adolescents including personal connections with characters, the author, and other fans as well as engagement with elements of the story. Finally, findings showed that the Throne of Glass series intra-acted with the fanfiction space through multiple characters, a large fandom, a genre that includes a vast, ongoing, and intriguing world, an intricate and dramatic plot, and specific style.Discussion includes the ways in which the findings exemplified elements of both traditional and New Literacies as well as the ways in which these findings can be used to more effectively plan for New Literacies activities in the classroom. Findings suggest that teachers may wish to create literacy activities with multiple entry points including selecting texts with multiple, diverse characters that are part of contemporary cultural conversations or fandoms, incorporating choice in texts and product formats, and making assignments collaborative including instruction on how to engage a fanfiction audience.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."