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Katerina Symes – Queer Crossovers: The Popularization of Queer Sexuality on Television

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5 à 7
March 21, 2018
Time: 5:00-7:00pm

Feminist Media Studio
CJ Building, Room 2.130
Concordia University
7141 Sherbrooke W Montreal (Qc)

Television’s changing modes of production, distribution, and consumption are ushering in an identifiable genre of “crossover” television programming through the popularization of queer and trans content, which includes series such as Orange Is the New Black (OITNB, Netflix), Transparent (Amazon), and Her Story (Web Series). This presentation examines the invitational structure through which queer crossover television programs address larger audiences by analyzing a selection of paratexts (e.g., press reviews, official promotional posters, advertising campaigns, trailers, etc.) from season one of Orange Is the New BlackTransparent, and Her Story. As I argue, while these programs make space for queer and trans content within dominant and popular culture, how they are framed and marketed to audiences addresses and imagines cisgender and straight-identified audiences as a category of viewership.

Katerina Symes is a PhD candidate in Communication Studies at Concordia University. Her research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). She is co-author (along with Krista Geneviève Lynes) of “Cyborgs and Virtual Bodies” in the Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theory, and author of “Orange is the New Black: The Popularization of Lesbian Sexuality and Heterosexual Modes of Viewing” in Feminist Media Studies. Her forthcoming article “Orange Is the New Black: Menstruation, Comedy, and the Unruly Feminine” can be found in the special issue of Demeter Press: Feminist Publishing on Mothering, Reproduction, Sexuality and Family entitled Menstruation Now: What Does Blood Perform?