Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network <p>This is the official publication of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network. It is a journal run exclusively by, and&nbsp;featuring content solely from,&nbsp;postgraduate and early career researchers.</p> en-US (Patricia Prieto-Blanco) (Einar Thorsen) Tue, 17 Oct 2017 17:01:33 +0100 OJS 60 Sex and Sexualities in Popular Culture: A Networking Knowledge Special Issue <p>In November 2015, we held a symposium on the theme of Sex &amp; Sexualities in Popular Culture at the Watershed, Bristol. Having met at a conference on popular music fandom and the public sphere, earlier that year, the symposium was a result of our shared interest in, and work on, sex and sexualities in popular culture. Bethan has worked extensively on antifandom of Fifty Shades of Grey and the moral panics surrounding the ‘irrational’ behavior of One Direction and Twilight fans. Milena’s research focuses on sexual consent in erotic fan fiction, and they have a keen interest in how media and culture interact with the discursive construction of sex, sexualities, and consent. Through the symposium, then, we wanted to<br>afford a platform for postgraduate researchers and creative practitioners exploring the nuances of sex and sexualities within popular culture to meet and share ideas. Of course, the terms ‘sex’, ‘sexualities’ and ‘popular culture’ are not fixed or immutable and while we included suggestions for what papers might examine, the abstracts we received covered a range of topics, from literature and computer games to social media and fan fiction, and advertising to social activism. The symposium was well received both in person and online. We encouraged attendees to live tweet using the hashtag #popsex15, and discussions took place both at the Watershed and on Twitter about consent, the normative depictions of sex and<br>relationships in popular culture, misogynistic hate speech and intersex characters in literature. The amount of engagement with the ideas and themes coming out of the symposium suggested that a deeper analysis was needed, and this special issue of <em><strong>Networking Knowledge - Journal of the MeCCSA-PGN</strong> </em>attempts to engage in more detail with some of these.</p> Milena Popova, Bethan Jones ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tue, 17 Oct 2017 16:41:43 +0100 ‘Dear Future Husband’: young people’s critical exploration of gender and sexuality in pop music videos <p>This study aimed to explore how young people can critically engage with music videos to explore dominant constructions of gender and sexuality. As the primary consumers of popular music and music videos, adolescents are also a group who exist in a unique sociocultural space, where both misogyny and feminism are present in their highly media-driven lives. This study used focus group workshops with young people in high school to generate qualitative data based on the participants’ discussion and interpretations of gender and sexuality in two music videos. Seven groups of young people aged 14 – 16 analysed two popular music videos and reflected particularly upon discourses of expected femininity and female sexuality. Discussion elucidated insightful analysis around gendered subjectivity, and presented three complex and opposing themes, which are explored in detail. A cohesive thread emerged in the data in which young people demonstrated their capacity to identify hegemonic gender constructs, while also relying on these constructs to read and police the women shown in the music videos.</p> Elly Scrine ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tue, 17 Oct 2017 16:33:41 +0100 Camping Outside the Magic Kingdom’s Gates: The Power of Femslash in the Disney Fandom <p>Walt Disney Studios has long been considered the curator and creator of the American fairy tale canon, establishing the tacit narratives that reflect the United States’ unique set of values, which are then disseminated throughout the Western world. As such, the fairy tales, myths, and legends the studio chooses to animate have enormous influence in arbitrating who does and does not belong in Western society. Because Disney’s canon representation of queer women in these narratives has been non-existent, many queer female fans feel they are othered, obscured, and erased in real life. Not content to simply wait for such recognition, these Disney fans have rallied together to create their own positive representation, lovingly cutting and stitching characters from Disney’s animated texts to create femslash narratives that satisfy their desire to see themselves reflected in the films they love. In other words, in a society that rejects and discriminates against queer female relationships, Disney femslash fans poach Disney’s animated canon in order to create a space that validates their queer identities.</p> Kodi Maier ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tue, 17 Oct 2017 16:40:26 +0100 The Hidden Sex: Representations of Intersex People in Circus and Sideshow Novels <p>Despite being the hidden sex in society, intersex people with ambiguous genitalia are visible in a number of circus and sideshow novels. These characters are often used as plot devices, performing a stable gender identity whilst concealing their intersex status for the sake of the plot. They are portrayed as deceptive and licentious, their identities placing them outside of the sex and gender binaries and leaving them dehumanised. It is only in Pantomime by Laura Lam that the possibility of an alternative portrayal is glimpsed, although questions regarding the sex and gender binaries and non-normative sexuality remain.</p> Naomi Frisby ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tue, 17 Oct 2017 16:43:58 +0100 ‘We Are Not Things’: Infertility, Reproduction, and Rhetoric of Control in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Mad Max: Fury Road <p>Pregnancy occupies an uncertain position in Hollywood cinema, and discussions of infertility are notably absent. Indeed, two blockbusters (Avengers: Age of Ultron and Mad Max: Fury Road) invested in the politics and rhetoric of reproduction met with disparate critical and popular opinion. This article will examine the potential reasons for this, whilst establishing ideological parity between the films.</p> Emily Rowson ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tue, 17 Oct 2017 16:39:14 +0100 Revolting Animation: The Hierarchy of Masculinities in the Representation of Race and Male Same-Sex Desire in Adult Cartoons <p>This article examines the representations of race and male same-sex desire portrayed by black gay male characters on the adult animated television show, The Boondocks (2005). Centralizing its analysis of The Boondocks as a canonical text of black gay representation within animation, this paper highlights the signs of the male matriarch, booty warrior, and homothug and their iterations in three other animated TV shows—The Cleveland Show (2009), American Dad! (2005), and Chozen (2014). This article posits that these signs connote the ideology of hegemonic masculinity and its racial ordering. Drawing on Halberstam’s (2011) ‘revolting animation’, Ngai’s (2005) ‘animatedness’, and Wells’ (1998) ‘hierarchies of masculinities’, this article addresses these contradicting signs of black gay masculinities within the aforementioned animated television shows, situating them within respective sexual and racial politics in the United States.</p> Irene Fubara-Manuel ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tue, 17 Oct 2017 16:36:18 +0100