News  
Queer Studies in Media & Popular Culture 3.3 is now available

Intellect is excited to announce that Queer Studies in Media & Popular Culture 3.3 is now available!


For more information about the issue, click here >> https://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-issue,id=3683/

Content

Judges matter: The courts and culture
Authors: Bruce E. Drushel 

Murderbot pronouns: A snapshot of changing gender conventions in the United States
Authors: Holly Swyers And Emily Thomas 
 

The ways in which US English speakers use third person personal pronouns for agentive beings require gendering the person based on the gender binary (he or she). In recent years, activism by transgender and non-binary individuals has accelerated a shift in this requirement, building on scholarly debate in the 1970s–90s that unseated he as a gender-neutral (epicene) pronoun. This has laid the groundwork for the gradual acceptance of singular they and the idea of preferred pronouns. In 2017, reviewers of the popular novella All Systems Red (Wells) addressed the dilemma of choosing an epicene pronoun for a genderless, cyborg protagonist called Murderbot. Of 667 reviews collected in December 2017 that describe Murderbot, almost 85 per cent attempt to respect Murderbot’s pronouns (it, its) despite discomfort with using it for agentive beings. This suggests an increase in US public culture awareness that the gender binary does not include everyone and may warrant optimism for improved conditions for gender non-conforming individuals.
 

‘Darkness Turned into Power’: Drag as resistance in the era of Trumpian reversal
Authors: Ella Greenhalgh 


In ‘Darkness Turned to Power’ Ella Greenhalgh unearths the role of the contemporary drag queen as a force of revitalized queer resistance in the United States. Beginning by tracing the political, cultural and social impact that Donald Trump’s election campaign and presidency has had on queer Americans thus far, Greenhalgh demonstrates that it is Trump’s toxic masculinity that creates a context in which drag is more obviously defiant. The role of drag as an innately resistive and political art form is acknowledged in drag’s long history. However, Greenhalgh goes on to portray modern drag as having greater power in political activism, with a greater mainstream public interest due, most notably, to the television show RuPaul’s Drag Race (2009–present, US: Logo and VH1). Three queens who use their drag to oppose Trump in differing ways are considered. She finds resistance emerges through direct action, interpretive art and dance, social media presence and straight-up mockery. While highlighting that drag is antithetical to the conservative world-view that considers binaries fundamental, Greenhalgh notes the inherent limitations within drag’s rise to the mainstream, concluding that if drag is ‘darkness turned into power’, drag artists must use this power to fight inclusively against the common enemy.

 (Trans)gendering public toilets: Queering toilet humour in South Park’s ‘The Cissy’
Authors: Andrew Robbins 


This article reads South Park’s episode ‘The Cissy’, which aired in 2014, to consider broader social discourse about gendered public toilet segregation in America. A resurgent interest in policing the borders of public toilets has led to the development of ‘bathroom bill’ legislation in some states. Given the unique challenges that this causes for elementary schools, South Park’s take on the practice of gendered toileting is deemed a relevant text. This article argues that ‘The Cissy’ queers the animation series’ own framework of toilet humour by using the toilet and its boundaries as a vehicle through which to explicate a position of transgender rights.

Abjection of the bisexual self: How haptic visuality brings internalized biphobia to screen in Collard’s Les Nuits fauves and Kechiche’s La Vie d’Adèle
Authors: Kirby Childress 

Bisexual people often find themselves stranded between a homosexual and heterosexual world, which can lead to feeling invisible and alone. To add to the struggle, many on both sides criticize bisexuality as being merely a phase before coming fully out of the closet. A lack of support can cause bisexual people to internalize the negativity and biphobia that surrounds them. This article examines how internalized biphobia is depicted in the lives of two characters, who never self-identify as bisexual, though they engage in both heterosexual and same-sex sexual relations. Laura Marks’ idea of haptic visuality is used to dissect camera movements and shots, while Julia Kristeva’s theory of abjection serves as a basis for analysing the differences in portrayal of heterosexual and same-sex relationships.

Queer assemblage as queer futurity: Seeking a utopian solution beyond No Future
Authors: Keeley B. Gogul 

Lee Edelman’s No Future proposes a disavowal of reproductive futurity as the only effective form of queer resistance. By contrast, in Cruising Utopia Jose Muñoz (2009) insists on the existence of a utopic queer future that is always, by default, not yet here. Although both authors recognize the Child as symbolic of heteronormative futurity, Muñoz’s writings allow room for hope and Edelman’s do not. Importantly, the version of reproductive futurity that each posits as operating at the structural level is always already normative reproductive futurity. This article will analyse the existing structural causes of normativity at the level of reproductive futurity and consider whether theorizing non-normative reproductive futurity in the form of assemblages makes space for the queer future that Edelman claims cannot exist. A comparison of Judith Butler’s Antigone and Octavia Butler’s Lilith will illustrate the possibilities that exist when queer assemblages are deployed in the creation of what Jasbir Puar calls ‘spatial, temporal and corporeal convergences, implosions and rearrangements’.

Queer gender performance and media in school: Dissident reading, bullying and the word ‘gay’
Authors: Christopher Pullen 

This article explores the potential of youth to learn about gender performance and sexual identity in school, framing the vulnerability of LGBTQ youth and issues of bullying. Exploring the significance of ‘dissident reading’ as the ability of a student to independently read or interpret media representations that may involve an analysis of stereotyping and irony, this article foregrounds research from five schools in the United Kingdom involving responses from 82 school children. Offering both a theoretical examination of dissident reading as a process to challenge hierarchies of gender performance and sexual identity, and an analysis of the discourse of school children themselves, a mixed-methods approach is involved in this research, framing limitations in school environments in the education of sexual diversity. This article argues that individual teachers have not only historically embarked on personal strategies of education outside the curriculum on the needs of LGBTQ youth but also that with the contemporary rise of populism, there is an increasing need for this.

Reviews
Authors: James M. Elrod And Octavio R. González And Claudia Schippert 

  • The New Gay for Pay: The Sexual Politics of American Television Production, Julia Himberg (2017)
  • From Drag Queens to Leathermen: Language, Gender and Gay Male Subcultures, Rusty Barrett (2017)
  • Television Antiheroines: Women Behaving Badly in Crime and Prison Drama, Milly Buonanno (ed.) (2017)

Media Reviews
Authors: James Lawrence Slattery And  Alithia Zamantakis 

  • Crashing, Art by Lee Bul, Curated by Stephanie Rosenthal, London: Hayward Gallery, 1 June–19 August 2018
  • The Shape Of Water, directed by Guillermo Del Toro, Screenplay By Guillermo Del Toro and Vanessa Ta ylor (2017), Ontario, Canada: Fox Searchlight Pictures Inc.

Classic Media Review
Authors: Traci B. Abbott  

 

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