Stories, like cartography, help us navigate landscapes, and yet they are often the landscape itself. Stories are both our terrain and our map.
I grew up fascinated with storytelling. In elementary school I would watch a film over and over until I could quote the dialogue by heart and hum its orchestral theme throughout the day. As a teenager, I delightfully (and to the chagrin of my friends, I’m sure) compared others’ real world experiences and struggles to the archetypal hero's journey. As an adult, I can see now that what truly fascinated me was not just the story itself, but the return to the story; I liked approaching themes and ideas from a variety of angles.
Authentic Chameleons: Mythic Identity, Performative Trickster-ing, and the Potential of the Telephone Booth Moment
In both of these stories, I saw trickster figures, even though the shapeshifting means accomplish different ends.
As a Continuing Studies student at Duke in Spring of 2016, I completed a research project on #geekgirls that charted the history and varied uses of the hashtag across social platforms from 2009 to present day. Last fall my graduate independent study project in Visual and Media Studies revolved around geektvisim as a digital social movement. I plan to continue examining and talking about transformative works as a new form of storytelling and the role of such works within geektivist campaigns.
Fans, as both consumers and producers (or, as Henry Jenkins says, “prosumers”), continue the threads of beloved stories by reworking them through their own creative and productive means. I call these transformative works “bent narratives” because, to me, fans bend stories to their will.