Magic Swords: The Queer Erotics of Muscled Warriors in 1980s Kids Programming
Accepted for presentation at the 2021 International Communication Association (ICA) Annual Conference, Virtual, May 2021.
Abstract: The 1980s featured a niche slate of syndicated shows prizing nostalgia, sex, consumerism, and camp–and often in children’s programming! First-run syndication in this era was rife with the queer erotics of characters, featuring rippling muscled toons like He-Man and Masters of the Universe, The Transformers, and ThunderCats alongside the spandex-clad American Gladiators and the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. These shows and characters, with their glittery, provocative, and sexualized aesthetics blended, subverted, or were openly hostile to long-entrenched genre conventions of most of television and certainly children’s TV. They are remembered fondly today as contributing to and derived from the zeitgeist of a pop culture and televisual era enamored of excess. Using historical analysis from a media policy perspective, this presentation traces the collision of syndication with cultural, regulatory, political, and industrial circumstances that created a culture of queer kids programming in the 1980s.
The “ProQuote” initiative: Women journalists in Germany push to revolutionize newsroom leadership
Abstract: Using standpoint epistemology and critical mass theories this study examines outcomes of the 2012 ProQuote [ProQuota] initiative in Germany demanding at least 30% women in leadership per newsroom. In-depth interviews with 53 journalists in 21 newsrooms show that ProQuote boosted women’s ascension into leadership by triggering and sustaining a debate about gender in newsroom […]
Whitewashing diverse voices: (De)constructing race and ethnicity in Spanish-language television dubbing
Abstract: When television programs are translated for global audiences, languages are changed, but so too are constructions of diverse identities. Characters who are Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC) undergo transformations in order to be intelligible outside of their original national contexts; such transformations might reinforce these characters’ difference or eliminate it, effectively whitewashing […]