Elena Rosa Maris: Queer Xena, Old Xena: Examining Online Audience Influence through a Fandom’s Tactical Lineage
Xena: Warrior Princess was a syndicated TV series that aired from 1995–2001. This presentation considers the case of the Xena fandom in two different eras to examine audiences’ feminist/queer online tactics to influence mainstream media content. The original Xena case demonstrates that, at least temporarily, new technologies can allow for increased audience influence on media industries/content. However, the story of Xena’s recent inability to be successfully rebooted illustrates contemporary limitations for online feminist/queer tactics.
Emily Hund: Stay-at-home mom/full-time worker: Exploring the possibilities and limitations of making life shoppable on social media.
Over the last decade ,“digital influencers”--the bloggers, Instagrammers, Pinners, and others who deliver curated content to audiences on social media and earn income by collaborating with major brands--have become an outsize cultural and economic presence. Plugging into popular discourses of “doing what you love” and the freedoms of independent work, influencers construct themselves as entrepreneurial and driven by passion (Duffy, 2017), and the space has become a rich illustration of contemporary expectations and pathways to success for those who create content and, by extension, those who follow them. Through their image-heavy social media accounts, influencers depict their lives as impeccably curated and—most importantly—immediately shoppable. This paper builds on prior work to further develop the concept of “shoppable life” as a career path that has emerged on social media. Drawing on a sample of Instagram images as well as interviews with influencers, I highlight how the phenomenon (1) is an idealized, lifestyle-driven professional path, (2) emerged as a response to precarity, and (3) the domain of young women, though theoretically open to anyone.
All are welcome. Lunch will be served.