(Re)Writing mary sue: Écriture feminine and the performance of subjectivity

Beth E. Bonnstetter, Brian L. Ott

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This essay undertakes a critical re-assessment of Mary Sue fan fictiona popular genre of fan writing in which (typically) female authors insert themselves as primary characters into the universe of a beloved media text. Despite being denigrated by scholars and fans alike, this essay contends that Mary Sue fan fictionas an instance of ecriture femininechallenges the patriarchal economy of writing. It does so by allowing women to write their own desires, deconstructing the Author-God function, and utilizing poetic language. The essay rhetorically enacts its argument by employing a performative, narrative, fragmentary, intertextual style that invites readers to actively coproduce rather than to passively consume the essay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-367
Number of pages26
JournalText and Performance Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Cixous
  • Ecriture Feminine
  • Fan Fiction
  • Mary Sue
  • Performative Writing


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