Female Identities in Lesbian Web Series

Transnational Community Building in Anglo-, Hispano-, and Francophone Contexts

Lesbian Web Series narrate female-centred stories, strengthen identity construction, and generate transnational communities beyond cultural barriers. Julia Obermayr explores the first definition of a new format, the first representations of lesbian women in US-American, Canadian, and Spanish web series from 2007 and onward, as well as their reciprocal effects regarding identity construction and community building of their transnational, mainly female, audience.

The analyzed corpus comprises scenes taken from Venice the Series (2009) and its backstory »Otalia« on the soap opera Guiding Light (1952-2009), Seeking Simone (2009), Out With Dad (2010), Féminin/ Féminin (2014), Chica Busca Chica (2007) and its cinematic sequel De Chica En Chica (2015), as well as Notas Aparte (2016).

€50.00 * $75.00 *

31 August 2020, 256 pages
ISBN: 978-3-8376-5291-8

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Julia Obermayr

Julia Obermayr, Universität Graz, Österreich

1. Why did you choose this topic?

Storytelling is an essential means to preserve cultures, maintain a vibrant collective memory, and thus shape identities. Lesbian narratives, however, share a long history of misrepresentations, omission, and censorship. In this book, Lesbian Web Series free themselves from this socio-historic burden and – as a transnational online format – offer female minorities across different cultures and media new ways to tell their stories and create accurate portrayals serving as positive role models.

2. What new perspectives does your book offer?

This book offers a first definition of Lesbian Web Series and analyzes how the protagonists presented seemingly effortlessly portray women as independent, complex characters without censorship or late-night broadcasting hours as seen on TV. While the male gaze dominates the film industry, this book elaborates on the lesbian gaze (particularly in mirror scenes) and on how transmedia storytelling affects transnational community building.

3. What makes your topic relevant for current research debates?

The academic discourse lacks research on transnational lesbian communities and their way of storytelling/cultural production. Lesbian Web Series do not only offer a safe space for lesbian narratives and their audiences but for female stories in general, naturally passing the Bechdel test while abolishing the otherwise common lesbian death trope.

4. Choose one person you would like to discuss your book with!

It would be interesting to discuss my book with web series creators and diverse LGBT+ audiences in the US, Canada, and Spain alike, shifting the scientific discourse to a public one.

5. Your book summary in one sentence:

Lesbian Web Series create female-centred narratives, reinforce identity construction,

and produce transnational communities beyond cultural borders.

Julia Obermayr
Book title
Female Identities in Lesbian Web Series Transnational Community Building in Anglo-, Hispano-, and Francophone Contexts
transcript Verlag
kart., Dispersionsbindung, 16 Farbabbildungen
Commodity Group
SOC032000 SOC012000 LIT004020
Release date
31 August 2020
Geschlecht, Internet, Literatur
Lesbian/LGBT/Queer Studies, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Romance Studies, American & Canadian Studies, Film & Media Studies, Visual Studies
Lesbian Web Series, Identity, Media, LGBT, Culture, YouTube, Women, US, Canada, Spain, Gender, Internet, Literature, Gender Studies, Queer Theory, American Studies, Romance Studies, Cultural Studies

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