Swan Queen, shipping, and boundary regulation in fandom

Victoria M. Gonzalez

Abstract


There are a number of fan activities and practices that are subject to regulation. The mechanisms of regulation in shipping, however, are not always clear. Shipping, the fan activity of romantically pairing two fictional characters, has become a popular and contentious facet of fan interaction. The case that will be examined in this article is that of the Swan Queen ship, which pairs two female characters from Once Upon a Time (2011–). The lengths that fans have gone to support and promote this ship led to rather intense discussion and infighting among members of the Once Upon a Time fandom. I utilize comments and posts made on Tumblr to examine the mechanisms that dictate inclusion and exclusion in shipper communities. In doing so, I hope to identify the kinds of shipper activities that are subject to regulation and the kinds of boundaries that this regulation establishes. Shipping is dictated not only by fans' imaginations but also by boundaries that are performed and regulated on digital forums.

Keywords


Canon; Contention; Fan practices; Fanon; <em>Once Upon a Time</em> (2011&#8211;); Popular culture; Sexuality; Tumblr

Full Text:

HTML




Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC), ISSN 1941-2258, is an online-only Gold Open Access publication of the nonprofit Organization for Transformative Works copyrighted under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License. TWC is a member of DOAJ. Contact the Editor with questions.