Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.618224
Title: Skin, celebrity and online media : affect and humour on gossip blogs
Author: Graefer, Anne
ISNI:       0000 0004 5353 6642
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2014
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Abstract:
This thesis investigates the affective and embodied ways in which representations of celebrity on gossip blogs generate ideas about femininity, queerness and whiteness. To date, celebrity studies has largely focused on how celebrity representations shape cultural ideas about proper and improper forms of subjectivity through discursive or semiotic approaches. I extend these readings by drawing attention to the technological and affective specificities of celebrity representations on such gossip blogs as Dlisted.com, Jezebel.com and Perezhilton.com. I do so by bringing feminist work on the politics of emotions into dialogue with key new materialist and phenomenologist thinkers. Using the concept of skin as a heuristic device to read these representations of celebrity allows me to think through the relations of affect, embodiment and technology that shape our meaning-making processes. Skin enables us to understand online representations not as fixed texts on the screen but as dynamic and sensuous interfaces that affect and are affected by that with which they come into contact. This thesis is comprised of three core chapters. The first focuses on the affective production of femininity in these gossip websites. Drawing on feminist theorisations of touch, I demonstrate how meaning is produced beyond the realm of visibility. The affective- discursive force of humour is a central concern throughout the thesis, but the second core chapter explores the role of humour in some depth in order to tease out how it serves the creation of queerness in these websites. The third main chapter examines some of the ways in which the technological affordances of online blogs influence the affective production of whiteness. The thesis places these gossip blogs within the context of neoliberal consumer culture in which the production and modulation of affect is vital for the creation of profit. Far from locating these online productions as mere products of market forces, however, I argue that they can move the reader in new critical directions, thereby challenging dominant ideas about femininity, queerness and whiteness. This potentiality lies in the complex ways in which the humour and the affective force of these online representations move and touch the offline reading body.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.618224  DOI: Not available
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