Enabling/Disabling: Fanfiction and Disability Discourse
While fanfiction ostensibly provides a safe space to explore and challenge ideologies about any belief media texts reify, a review of fan studies literature shows little attention to disability from scholars in the field. This erasure seems odd, since Archive of Our Own, the fanfiction archive associated with the Organization for Transformative Works, lists “disability” in its list of “most popular” tags, and most fandoms include a significant body of texts that disable its characters (“Tags”). Blindness, deafness, injuries leading to mobility impairments, and other visible and invisible disabilities feature strongly as tropes in fanfictions themselves. Clearly fandom has something to do with disability of all kinds: physical, cognitive, and emotional.