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Queer Media Studies Working Group

The Queer Media Studies Working Group is devoted to the study of sexual desire and identity as it is made manifest in screen media and mobilized by digital technologies. The politics of media texts produced for and distributed to sexual minority audiences by the cultural industries are of special interest. The group sees research as a creative endeavor and, while it engages most directly with scholars working in the theory and history of television and new media and queer theory, it is invested in producing interdisciplinary work that crosses intellectual traditions and features an array of objects of analysis. What do sitcoms and other television programming suggest about sexual minorities and U.S. citizenship? What do mobile media applications reveal about the tensions between members of sexual minority publics? The group’s aim is nuanced ideological analysis in service of careful historical claims. While we take seriously the desires for freedom, belonging, and livable lives shared by so many sexual minorities, our scholarship remains wary of the ways that media forms offer that to people. The group’s ultimately goal is a mode of critique that is simultaneously skeptical and hopeful. How do media forms engender flushes of recognition and fantasies of generality? What social forces impinge on those promises? The group’s work asks historical questions not to argue that there is nothing new under the sun but to point to the persistence of particular, often parochial fantasies about what it means to be a sexual minority mobilized by cinema, television, and new media. 

Contact Information:

Faculty Lead: Professor Hollis Griffin
Email: hollisg@umich.edu

Faculty

Graduate Students

Sean Donovan, Film, Television, & Media PhD Candidate