Communication Graduate Student Publication Series

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  • Publication
    Emotional Realism, Affective Labor, and Politics in the Arab Fandom of Game of Thrones
    (2017-01-01) Alhayek, Katty
    This article examines the Game of Thrones (GoT) fan phenomena in the Arab world. Although I contextualize GoT as a commodity within HBO’s global ambitions to attract a global audience, I study GoT Arab fans as an organized interpretive online community. I examine the Arabic fan Facebook page “Game of Thrones‒Official Arabic Page” (GoTOAP), which has over 240,000 followers, as a case study of cultural production and consumption by fans. Based on interviews with members of the administration staff of the GoT-OAP Facebook page, as well as textual analysis of the page’s posts, I ask: How is fan culture around GoT produced in the Arab world? How are the boundaries between being fans, media producers, and consumers negotiated? Are there connections between the themes of GoT and the current unrest across the Arab region? If so, how are they articulated? Through emotional realism and hybridity, I show that Arab fans find ways to negotiate their fandom of GoT with their local context and lived experiences.
  • Publication
    The Cultural Cold War Goes "Vulgar": Radio Serial Melodrama in Post-Korean War South Korea, 1956-1960
    (2017-01-01) Kim, Bohyeong
    This study explores the birth of the popular radio serial drama under the Cold War doctrine of national broadcasting in 1950s South Korea. By examining texts, critiques, production practices, and writers, I interrogate how the anti-Communism propaganda mandate was negotiated in radio drama, influenced not only by the South Korean government and the field of radio production but also by the U.S. cultural Cold War programs and Americanization. As the result of historical contingencies within radiodrama production, the propaganda mission of national broadcasting morphed into “vulgar” melodrama, focused on romantic triangles and urban lifestyles. Whereas themes contrasted with the government intention, the genre effectively supported the purposes of anti-Communist propaganda by promoting the American way of life, wherein individual freedom was identified with capitalist consumer modernity. In this vein, serialized melodrama heralded an important shift in radio propaganda from direct and overt anti-Communism to a more ambiguous and recreational direction. This complex process is considered in relation to Americanization of radio writers and the U.S. cultural Cold War efforts, such as the Broadcasters Exchange Program.
  • Publication
    Friends With Benefits: Plausible Optimism and the Practice of Teabagging in Video Games
    (2017-01-01) Myers, Brian
    Recent scholarship in gaming studies has challenged the field to investigate and critique the hard core gaming audience (stereotypically seen as straight, White, cis-gendered male gamers) in a way that does not reinforce either the perceived marginalization of gamers or broader social hierarchies of gender, sexuality, and class. This article demonstrates a way to acknowledge the complexity of this audience without dismissing its most virulent tendencies via practice theory and weak theory. Using data drawn from a qualitative survey of 393 self-identified first-person shooter video game players, this article looks at the specific practice of “teabagging” in online competitive gaming contexts. Ultimately, this article argues that drawing attention to the gaps and fissures that local gaming practices can produce in broader structures of gaming, sexuality, and class can help critical gaming scholars encourage and cultivate such practices as well as construct new, reparative alliances between different fields and communities.
  • Publication
    Christine de Pizan's The Book of the City of Ladies as reclamatory fan work
    (2017-01-01) Nielsen, E. J.
    In what ways can medieval texts be looked at as fan works? How might the rhetorical tools of fan studies or affect theory aid in further understanding of these texts? Likewise, can we use medieval understandings of literary production to look at modern fan works in order to complicate our contemporary ideas of authorship? Here I consider how Christine de Pizan's The Book of the City of Ladies (Le Livre de la Cité des Dames) can be read as a reclamatory fan work addressing issues of representation and gender within both the texts it responds to and the larger culture within which the work is situated. Moreover, contextualizing de Pizan's work as fan work can help fan scholars by locating fan studies within a broader literary history. By reframing these earlier works of literature as part of a longer history of women's writing that also involves the works being done today within modalities of fan writing, and by reconsidering fan works as part of a historical continuum of women's writing, we, much as de Pizan herself did, create a theoretical space that historicizes, contextualizes, and indeed valorizes women writers of both fannish and nonfannish works.
  • Publication
    Porn And Me(n): Sexual Morality, Objectification, And Religion At The Wheelock Anti-Pornography Conference
    (2008-01-01) Boulton, Chris
    In the Spring of 2007, I interviewed a panel of four men who, along with me, had just attended a national anti-pornography conference at Wheelock College. As we discussed topics ranging from masturbation to sexual ethics, many described their continuing struggle to reconcile their desires with deeply held moral beliefs and political convictions. This essay recounts various events from the Wheelock conference and draws on the published work of prominent male feminists such as John Stoltenberg, Robert Jensen, and Sut Jhally. I argue that, by failing to adequately account for the pleasures of objectification, the radical feminist analysis of pornography faces a dual risk: 1) remaining marginal and irrelevant and/or 2) being absorbed by the much larger Christian anti-pornography movement.