Aarhus Universitets segl

Fantastic franchising. Reading Star Wars toys as paratextual gendering of a fan space

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While Disney’s Star Wars films thus far have all been championed by various commentators and critics as feminist and progressive, the lack of leading female characters amongst the merchandise and toy action figures tells a quite different story. The fan movements of #whereIsRey and #WheresRose will serve as a lense to explore how media franchising strategies and fan critique can be read as a rich site of paratextual struggle that opens up for a nuanced understanding of media franchises as highly gendered media spaces. Building on the theoretical framework of media paratexts , toy studies and fan studies as well as media franchising , this presentation explores how paratexts serve powerful gatekeeping functions of a fantastic franchise. Moving from the tentpole feature films of a franchise to toys and action figures, underscores the trouble with ‘transmediation’ – how transmedia police certain aspects of a franchise while, at the same time, often invalidates or erases certain fan practices. What is at stake in this fantagonism of the producer-text-fan relationship is the complexities of merchandising and consumption, a transmedia struggle between commercial products and fan responses to them, which both maintain heteronormative structures as well as challenge conventional gender binaries.
Udgivelsesårmaj 2021
StatusUdgivet - maj 2021
BegivenhedUtopia & Dystopia Conference: The Fantastic in Media Entertainment - University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Danmark
Varighed: 27 maj 202129 maj 2021


KonferenceUtopia & Dystopia Conference
LokationUniversity of Southern Denmark

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