Dolgin redefines genre

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Fanfiction is often stereotyped as underdeveloped work written entirely for the purpose of placing oneself inside a fictional world. But perhaps it is a genre full of works worth studying.

That is what senior Tailor Dolgin believes, and it is what her senior project, titled “’Being dead does little for one’s acumens’: Fanfiction, Affect Theory, and Sherlock Holmes” seeks to prove. According to Dolgin, The project’s goal is to help legitimize fanfiction by looking at the techniques writers of fanfiction use to shape readers’ emotions.

Dolgin’s presentation analyzes five pieces of fanfiction based on the original series of Sherlock Holmes books, posted to the website Archive of Our Own. All of the works take place in the series’ fictional gap of time, The Great Hiatus. Many of the stories Dolgin analyzes will focus on the trope of hurt and comfort, in which one character, who is hurt, is comforted by another character who is not hurt, often leading to romance.

Dolgin said she chose her topic as a result of her love for fanfiction, which she started enjoying in high school.

“I never thought I would get excited about writing a 30-page paper,” Dolgin said. “There’s been a lot of personal growth and acceptance this year, which has been fun.”

Dolgin’s presentation will begin at 3:30 P.M. in Berglund Hall 230 on Senior Projects Day, April 25.