Our Blessed Rebel Queen: Essays on Carrie Fisher (Wayne State University Press, October 2021)

This anthology is the first full-length exploration of Carrie Fisher’s career as actress, writer, and advocate.  The volume argues that Fisher’s legacy is inextricably linked to her performance of the iconic Princess Leia, to whom she has a complicated relationship. Editors Linda Mizejewski and Tanya D. Zuk have assembled a collection that engages with the multiple interfaces between Fisher’s most famous character and her other life-giving work. In addition to the co-authored introduction to the collection, I contributed an essay, “Carrie Fisher Sent Me: Gendered Political Protest, Princess Leia and the Women’s March.” This essay examines the use of Carrie Fisher’s image as Leia as a form of fan activism and memetic protest. 

Resonance Journal Cover of orange sound wave meeting a purple cloud

Queering the Unseen Character: Remediation and Radical Ambiguity in Welcome to Night Vale (Resonance, Vol. 3, Issue 2, Summer 2022)

This article explores the show’s use of radical ambiguity through a remediated aesthetic and “noise” to set a queer uncanny scene. The use of queer vocal markers, a masked sonic color line, and racialized casting practices all contribute to the creation of an unseen/undescribed character that is open to audience interpretation. Combined with the creative production team’s assertion that all audience visualizations of the character are to be considered equally canonical, Welcome to Night Vale has created not only an acousmêtric character, but one that is a multiform as well. Though there is a long history of undescribed characters in sound studies and audience use of reverse ekphrasis to visualize characters is not new, the combination creates the opportunity for audiences to create infinite canonical variations of the same character—an innovative sound structure.

Book Review: Only at Comic-Con: Hollywood, Fans, and the Limits of Exclusivity. (Media Industries Journal, Vol. 7, Issue 2, 2020)

In Only at Comic-Con, Erin Hanna uses a framework of exclusivity to dismantle the power structures embedded in fan conventions generally and Comic-Con specifically. According to Hanna, “exclusivity is not defined by presences at all, but by the power to produce absences” (35). Hanna outlines the power dynamics between media industry representatives and convention organizers (and fans), between fans and convention staff, and between fans themselves. Exclusivity functions as a “cultural construct that relies on the power to produce, enforce, or negotiate limits” (4). Exclusivity is a way to manufacture capital and economic capital for fans, the convention, and Hollywood studios.

“Coming Out on Grey’s Anatomy: Industrial Scandal, Constructing a Lesbian Storyline, and Fan Action” was published in a special issue on Queer Female Fandom in Transformative Works and Cultures 24 (2017). 

This discourse analysis focuses on the series of industrial scandals that created a need for and the development of a lesbian storyline on Grey’s Anatomy.  It examines the methods used to establish an “authentic” representation, and the audience’s response to the “emotional realism” of the characters (Lindholm 2008, 1; Ang 1985, 41-43). Evidence is derived from production and industry analysis, textual analysis, and online ethnography of a particular lesbian-focused fan group, Erica_Callie on LiveJournal. 

As the former Managing Editor for In Media Res, I have coordinated over a 20 theme weeks including Consent Culture, Fan Financing, Fantasy Cartography, Blerds, and Sci-Fi Anthology. Additionally, I have contributed over 10 pieces to the online academic blog, including: “#ProudtobeRestricted: Queer Media & YouTube’s Restricted Mode;” “The Sci-Fi Anthology’s Revival Isn’t Only Seen, It’s Heard;” “A New Kind of FIG;” “Sound Mapping Imaginary Worlds;” and “Transformational Exchange of Cultural Values through Cooperative Play in Never Alone.”

It Happens at Comic-Con: Ethnographic Essays on a Pop Culture Phenomenon is a collection 13 new essays employs ethnographic methods to investigate San Diego’s Comic-Con International, the largest annual celebration of the popular arts in North America. Working from a common grounding in fan studies, these individual explorations examine a range of cultural practices at an event drawing crowds of nearly 150,000 each summer. My chapter entitled “Where are all the Webshows?” looking at the placement and incorporation of webshows (and their fans) into the media meleé that is Comic-Con International. 

The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture is a web-based, peer-reviewed journal committed to the academic exploration, analysis and interpretation, from a range of disciplinary perspectives, of the interrelations and interactions between religion and religious expression and popular culture, broadly defined as the products of contemporary mass culture. My article is entitled “Proud Mormon Polygamist: Assimilation, Popular Memory, and the Mormon Churches in Big Love.” This paper explores the tensions between the official Mormon church of the Latter-day Saints and the polygamist Fundamental Latter Day Saints as popular memory of these subcultures are created through a variety of media representations including fictional programming like Big Love, media branding campaigns from both secular and religious groups, and reality programming such as Sister Wives and Polygamy USA

Icons of the American Comic Book: From Captain America to Wonder Woman contains 100 entries that provide historical background, explore the impact of the comic-book character on American culture, and summarize what is iconic about the subject of the entry. Each entry also lists essential works, suggests further readings, and contains at least one sidebar that provides entertaining and often quirky insight not covered in the main entry. I contributed to entries to this two-volume set. The first on Maus, an iconic Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel. The second on Art Spiegelman, the creator of Maus.