Fanon Bernie Sanders: Political real person fan fiction and the construction of a candidate

  • Rachel Winter University of Central Florida
Keywords: Archive of Our Own, Candidate branding, Political fandom, US presidential election


Writers of Bernie Sanders fan fiction incorporate elements of both canon and fanon in their characterization. Canon elements largely reflect the mediated reality of the senator and showcase the impact of media-produced narratives on followers. Writers incorporate fanon elements as a manner of altering unsatisfying realities and participating in communities in which they are not typically welcomed, such as politics. Engaging in writing political real person fiction enables fans to envision altered realities and gain a greater understanding of politics, a phenomenon which was especially evident during the unpredictable 2016 election season.