A year or so ago, an associate of mine presented a paper at a literary conference focused on pop culture. These were undergrads, doctoral students, and college professors presenting papers on various topics that spread across all sorts of geek fandoms — Buffy, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Sherlock, etc.
The really weird thing, though, is how much of it focused on fan-fiction, specifically slash fan-fiction. She tells me that these people — many of them actual tenured college professors — were arguing back and forth about which slash pairings were more legitimate than others.
That struck me as incredibly bizarre, since my perspective has always been that all fan-fiction is illegitimate — which is to say, it’s not canonical. I just thought it was weird and hilarious that people were getting into heated arguments about why their favorite ship makes more sense than anyone else’s, when none of it is canon.