Betty Boop and Hentai Studies

This episode on Betty Boop is our final episode of the season, and one of my favorites because I get to talk about hentai, one of my favorite subjects to study. I have a complicated relationship with hentai. On the one hand, I really don’t care what a person’s kinks are. On the other hand,…

Pop Culture Lens on Hello Kitty

In the thirty-third episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson (Seems Obvious to Me) and I welcome friend of the podcast Norma Jones to discuss the venerable pop culture brand that is Hello Kitty. In this episode, Norma and I position Hello Kitty not only as a pop icon but as a heroic…

Identification with Favorite Media Personae

I presented this study at my first International Communication Association conference in May 2005. It was the first major study I did by myself in graduate school. I remember making these slides to show on a projector — there was no PowerPoint! I should probably revisit it.  Identification with Favorite Media Personae: A phenomenologically-informed conceptualization of…

A Subject by Choice: The Agency of Fans

I wrote this reflection paper back in 2007 to consider how theories about subjectivation occurs in fandom. Which is to say, how fans of something willingly become identified with that thing they are a fan of. Subjectivation would argue that people passively become something through external ideological forces — that they have no say in…

Adolescents, Media Use, and Identity Formation

A long time ago, when I first started graduate school, one of my primary research interests was the role the media plays in forming people’s identities.  At the time, I researched everything I could on the psychological and sociological underpinnings of identity formation, to try to understand how the media could be involved in this…

Media Personae Identification: Early Thoughts

In the spring of 2005, I attended my first academic conference with a paper written primarily as a class assignment, but one that I expanded for this conference.  I used the ideas in the paper in my master’s thesis, but I have not had a chance to revisit them.  I hope to, and as part…