Fandom and media competence: analysis of aesthetic reading in “Young Hearts” fanfic




Fan Culture, media competence, semiotic/aesthetic reader, fanfic, Young Hearts


When creating fanfics, fans develop strategies for writing and communication related to multimodal and multimedia content, as well as new textual forms of network conversation (Jenkins 2012, Scolari 2018). The textual and intertextual reading by the avid audience establishes a clear dialogue with Eco’s (2002) concept of semiotic/aesthetic reader, in which stories explore various interpretative layers and go beyond the paratext. Based on this theoretical approach, this paper intends to analyze the dimensions of media competence, proposed by Ferrés and Piscitelli (2015), that are in operation in the creation of Oitavo B, a piece of fanfiction published on the platform Spirit Fanfic e Histórias. The story reframes the narrative arc of characters Lica and Samantha, from Young Hearts. Using their critical comprehension, fans creatively expand and give new meaning to the plot through multimodal and intertextual elements. Their reflections go beyond the canonical limits of the fictional universe and establish distinct correlations in dialogue with other audiovisual productions, literary works, social issues, true events, among others. It is concluded that the fanfic in question not only reinforces and expands the young adult telenovela, but also establishes new interpretative layers.


Aragon, Cecilia and Davis, Katie (2019). Writers in the Secret Garden: Fanfiction, Youth and New Forms of Mentoring. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Bacon-Smith, Camille (1992). Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth (Contemporary Ethnography). Filadélfia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Barthes, Roland. (1992). S/Z. Lisboa: Edições 70

Bennett, Lucy (2014). Tracing Textual Poachers: reflections on the development of fan studies and digital fandom. Journal of Fandom Studies 2 (1): 5-20.

Booth, Paul (2010). Digital Fandom: New Media Studies. New York: Peter Lang.

Booth, Paul (2015). Fandom: The Classroom of the Future. Transformative Works and Cultures 19: [s.l]

Borges, Gabriela and Sigiliano, Daiana. (2019). Media competence in fan practice: intertextuality in the telenovela Liberdade, Liberdade. Comunicación y Sociedad 16: 1-23.

Bourdaa, ‪Mélanie and Lozano, Javier (2016). Contemporary participative TV audiences: Identity, authorship and advertising practices between fandom. Participations - Journal of Audience and Reception Studies 13(2): 2-13. . (last accessed 18-07-21)‬

Busse, Kristina (2017) Framing Fan Fiction: Literary and Social Practices in Fan Fiction Communities. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press.

Davis, Mark (2016). Padawan’s journey: Remixing Star Wars radio for adolescente literacy education. Journal of Media Literacy Education 8:93-100. (last accessed 18-07-21)

Duffett, Mark (2013). Understanding Fandom - An introduction to the study of media fan culture. London: Bloomsbury.

Eco, Umberto (2002). Sobre a literatura. Rio de Janeiro: Record.

Edwards, Alexandra (2018). “Literature Fans and Literary Fans”. In A Companion to Media Fandom and Fan Studies, edited by Paul Booth, 78-90. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Ferrés, Joan and Piscitelli, Alejandro (2015). Competência midiática: proposta articulada de dimensões e indicadores. Lumina 9 (1): 1-16. (last accessed 18-07-21)

Fiske, John (1992) The Cultural Economy of Fandom. In The Adoring Audience, edited by Lisa Lewis, 30-49, London: Routledge.

Grandío, Maria and Bonaut, Joseba (2012). Transmedia audiences and television fiction: A comparative approach between Skins (UK) and El Bar-co (Spain). Participations, 9(2), 558-574. (last accessed 18-07-21)

Gray, Jonathan et al. (2017). Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World. New York: New York University Press.

Guerrero-Pico, Mar (2015). Producción y lectura de fan fiction en la comunidad online de la serie Fringe: transmedialidad, competencia y alfabetización mediática. Palabra Clave 18(3): 722-745.

Guerrero-Pico, Mar et al (2017). Fandom, perspectivas renovadas. Palabra Clave 20: (4), 847-855.

Guerrero-Pico, Mar and Lugo, Nuno (2018) “Competencias narrativas y estéticas”. In CAdolescentes, medios de comunicación y culturas colaborativas - Aprovechando las competencias transmedia de los jóvenes en el aula, edited by Carlos Scolari, 65-73. Barcelona: H2020 Research and Innovation Actions

Herbig, Art & Herrmann, Andrew (2016). Polymediated Narrative: The Case of the Supernatural Episode Fan fiction. International Journal of Communication 10: 748-765. (last accessed 18-07-21)

Herrero-Diz, Paula et al (2017). Estudio de las competencias digitales en el espectador fan español. Palabra Clave, 20 (4), 917-947. (last accessed 18-07-21)

Hills, Matt (2015). Fandom as an object and the objects of fandom. Matrizes 9 (1): 147-163.

Hills, Matt (2007). Essential tensions: Winnicottian object-relations in the media sociology of Roger Silverstone. International Journal of Communication 1: 37-48. https://

Hills, Matt (2017). From Fan Culture/Community to the Fan World: Possible Pathways and Ways of Having Done Fandom. Palabra Clave 20 (4): 856-883.

Hirsjärvi, Irma (2013). Alfabetización mediática, fandom y culturas participativas. Un desafío global. Anàlisi Monogràfic 48: 37-48. https://

Howell, Katherine (2018). Fandom as Classroom Practice. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press.

Jacob, Maria et al. (2015). “Entre novelas e novelos: um estudo das fanfictions de telenovelas brasileiras (2010-2013)”. In Por uma teoria de fãs da ficção televisiva brasileira, edited by Maria Immacolata Vassallo de Lopes, 107-154. Porto Alegre: Sulina.

Jamison, Anne. (2013). Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World. Dallas: Smart Pop

Jencks, Charles (1977). The language of post-modern architecture. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Jenkins, Henry (1992). Textual poachers: television fans and participatory culture. New York: Routledge.

Jenkins, Henry (2008). Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: NYU Press.

Jenkins, Henry (2019). Art Happens not in Isolation, But in Community’: The Collective Literacies of Media Fandom. Cultural Science Journal 11(1): 78–88.

Jenkins, Henry (2012) Lendo criticamente e lendo criativamente. Matrizes 9 (1): 11-24.

Jenkins, Henry et al (2013). Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked. New York : New York University Press

Lamerichs, Nicolle (2018) Productive Fandom: Intermediality and Affective Reception in Fan Cultures. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

Martins, Patricia (2020) Multiliteracies and Language Ideologies in Contemporary Fanfic Literacy Practices. Trabalhos em Linguística Aplicada 59(1): 353-385.

Malhação (2020, November 9). Memória Globo. (last accessed 18-07-21)

Pereira, Sara and Moura, Pedro (2019). Assessing media literacy competences: a study with Portuguese young people. European Journal of Communication 32(1): 20-37.

Pereira, S et al (2019). El aprendizaje de los jóvenes con medios digitales fuera de la escuela: De lo informal a lo formal. Comunicar 58: 41-50, 2019.

Prego-Nieto, Marta (2020). Tendencias epistemológicas de los fan studiesen la investigación en comunicación: una propuesta de clasificación. Anàlisi: Quaderns deComunicació i Cultura, 63: 1-14.

Sandvoss, Cornel (2005). Fans: the mirror of consumption. Malden: Polity Press.

Scolari, Carlos (2018). Literacia transmedia na nova ecologia mediática - Livro Branco. Barcelona: Europen Union Funding for Research & Innovasion.

Stanfill, Mel (2018) “The Fan Fiction Gold Rush, Generational Turnover, and The Battle for Fandom’s Soul”. In The Routledge Companion to Media Fandom, edited by Melissa Click et al, 110-139, New York: Routledge.

Thomas, Angela (2017). “Blurring and Breaking through the Boundaries of Narrative, Literacy, and Identity in Adolescent Fan Fiction”. In. A new literacies sampler, edited by Knobel, Michele and Lankshear, Colin, 137-166, New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

Tirocchi, Simona (2018). “Wattpad”. In Adolescentes, medios de comunicación y culturas colaborativas - Aprovechando las competencias transmedia de los jóvenes en el aula, edited by Carlos Scolari, 99-104, Barcelona: H2020 Research and Innovation Actions.

Umaotaku-Chan. (2018, January) Oitavo B. Spirit Fanfics e Histórias. Available at: (last accessed 18-07-21)




How to Cite

Sigiliano, D., & Borges, G. (2021). Fandom and media competence: analysis of aesthetic reading in “Young Hearts” fanfic. Series - International Journal of TV Serial Narratives, 7(2), 87–98.