March 9, 2022
Cecilia Aragon, a Professor in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering, has studied and written about the world of fanfiction, and how the creative outlet encourages and empowers young people to embrace their imagination and fosters a sense of belonging.
In 2019, Aragon and collaborator Katie Davis published a book on the topic, "Writers in the Secret Garden: Fanfiction, Youth and New Forms of Mentoring." In December 2021, Professor Aragon gave a TED Talk about her research and exploration in this area. View the 15 minute video below.
About the Ted Talk
The wildly diverse, thoughtful and hilarious world of fanfiction -- where writers reimagine favorite stories like "Harry Potter," "Pokémon," "My Little Pony" and more -- is ever-growing and becoming a vital social and learning tool. Author, professor and fanfiction writer Cecilia Aragon has observed how this incredible outlet for creativity encourages and empowers young people to embrace their imagination. Detailing her research into the vast online fanfiction community, Aragon shares its potential to foster a sense of belonging, strengthen writing skills and shape the future of literature.