Daniel Udy (KCL) - 2014-15 Students

Going Viral: Mediation, Subjectivity and American Queer Politics in the YouTube Decade

Using the first ten years of YouTube (2005-2015) as my framework, I am analysing how queer communities have used online video streaming to articulate new forms of subjectivity. In doing so, I explore how archives of video and television have been used to connect with a political heritage and also to engender queer futures. Taking early queer theory, AIDS activism and its associated media as an interconnected cultural “history”, I am interested in what new possibilities for activism and scholarship are opened when this queer moment of the early 1990s is, for the first time, beyond the lived experience of some. I ask how performative gestures have been used to establish queer forms of cultural memory, negotiate the problematics of institutional archives and colonise the virtual spaces of YouTube. How do queer subjects navigate the tensions between corporeality and virtuality presented by activism within this new media landscape? How have the further marginalised – trans communities and queers of colour – employed these histories and technologies to establish their own distinct political voice? And, ultimately, how does such critique resonate both within and beyond the academy?

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