"Yes, the Evil Queen is Latina!": Racial dynamics of online femslash fandoms


  • Rukmini Pande University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
  • Swati Moitra Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India




Fan community, Fan fiction, Intersectionality, Queerness, Race, TV


Online media or participatory fandom has long been theorized as a unique creative and communicative space for women. Further, scholarly work has highlighted the possibility of it functioning as a space that is conducive to the articulation of queerness—both through transformative work and participant identity. However, this theorization has failed to account for the differential operations of these spaces when they are forced to deal with issues of race and racism. This essay argues that this is a significant blind spot as fannish spaces cannot but negotiate with the multiple loci of privilege and intersectional concerns that underpin their functioning. It therefore proposes a significant intervention in the study of the same, drawing our attention to the historically queer and oft-sidelined fannish spaces of femslash fandoms. This analysis seeks to locate the ways in which such queer spaces grapple with critiques of misogyny and homophobia in popular cultural texts and online spaces, as well as the problematics of race and racial identity within such spaces, focusing on the queer fan community built around the relationship of Regina Mills and Emma Swan, eponymously known as Swan Queen, in the television show Once Upon a Time (2011–).

Author Biographies

Rukmini Pande, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

PhD student in English and Cultural Studies

Swati Moitra, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

PhD student in Centre for English Studies (Dissertation submitted)