Book Launch: Fairy Tales on the Teen Screen

I launched my book, Fairy Tales on the Teen Screen: Rituals of Girlhood, a couple of weeks ago. Making this book has been a lengthy labour of love — it began as my PhD thesis, which I completed in September 2015 — and so seeing it come to fruition and celebrating it with dear friends, family and colleagues…

The threat of the female gaze?

Several months ago, I wrote a brief blog post on tumblr about the female gaze, and recent television series that allow that gaze to look at male bodies as objects of desire. I wrote about how this gaze is not necessarily the inverse of the male gaze, which is predicated on domination and reduction of…

Women’s Fandoms: Unruly Desires, Perverse Pleasures

In fandom, the beloved text or set of texts can be read in many ways: interpretations may conform to the creator’s preferred reading or they may veer off into wilder, more unruly and unexpected territories. The latter is more often the case because fandom necessarily involves a personal reading, a way of tapping into what…

‘But it’s Historically Accurate!’: Why I’m So Done with This Defence

TW: discussion of rape, violence against women The frequency and relish with which ‘historical’ television shows (primarily made by men, for men) fetishistically represent women being brutalised, tortured, and raped by men is disturbing. The ease with which people defend these representations as ‘historically accurate’ is equally disturbing *yeah, I’m looking at you, Game of…

When is a Girl “Good Enough?”: Quote of the Day

Valerie Walkerdine writes that in girl’s narratives the prince’s arrival is ‘attractive precisely because it is the getting and keeping of the man which in a very basic and crucial way establishes that the girl is “good enough”…It is because getting a man is identified as a central resolution to problems of female desire that…

Documentary Recommendation: Don’t Need You – The Herstory of Riot Grrrl

Fantastic documentary about the Riot Grrrl movement available to watch on YouTube. I showed a clip from this documentary to my students in our discussion about the political importance of love between women. The women and men interviewed in this documentary provide some great insights into the period during which Riot Grrrl emerged, as well…

We Must First Imagine Acting

“Culture does not follow the linear track of political action: it works on perception, subterranean and subtle, and lodges in dreams. To act, in life as in film, we must first imagine acting” — B. Ruby Rich In: Rich, B. Ruby. 2013. New Queer Cinema: The Director’s Cut. Durham and London: Duke University Press.

“My Ovaries Just Exploded!”: Fangirling’s Unruly Language of Desire

Declarations of ovary explosion, uterus throbbing, and being ‘PREGNANT, LITERALLY PREGNANT!’ are part and parcel of the online fangirl lexicon. These ecstatic utterances often refer to the enjoyment experienced at the sight of a text’s handsome protagonist in a state of undress, or doing something completely adorable like weeping silently by a campfire about his…

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and the Policing of Women’s Erotic Imagination

‘Actually…I really liked the Fifty Shades of Grey movie,’ confessed an academic colleague of mine (who shall remain nameless). She followed this statement up with: ‘but you’re the only person I could tell that to,’ because street cred. I think she could tell me because I watch and write about screen media that a lot…

The Politics of Fangirling: On Watching Outlander

Fangirling, for the uninitiated, is a practice of fervently loving something, usually a text like screen media, music, an aspect of celebrity culture, writing and so on. There is a kind of rapturous involvement with the loved text, an envelopment in its pleasures and an unashamed expression of delight in this. A lot of mainstream…