Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department / School

Communication and Journalism

First Advisor

Rebecca A. Kuehl


The Anne with an E fan campaign highlighted storylines of social issues that fans felt were important for society. Of particular interest to the fan community was a storyline from the series in which Anne and her friends organized a protest following incidents of sexual assault and censorship aimed at silencing girls from speaking out on gendered issues. This storyline was heavily referenced in the billboards that the fan-based campaign displayed in Toronto and New York City (Anne Nation, 2020). In this analysis, I used fantasy theme analysis (Bormann, 1972) and metaphorical criticism (Osborn, 2018) to conduct a visual and textual rhetorical analysis of billboard advertisements from the campaign in conversation with the television episodes that the billboards referenced. The billboards were found to contain visual rhetoric and metaphors that represented Anne’s feminist values as a rationale for the fan-based community’s own rhetorical vision, which emphasized fighting for what is right and making their voices heard. I conclude with implications, limitations, and future directions for research of fan-based campaigns as part of social movements.


South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright