I have just spent several days poring through a crop of MA and PhD theses by postgraduates around the world who are studying cultures of internet celebrity, microcelebrity, and influencers. I was really excited by this steady stream of pre-published or soon-to-be published works on emergent and cutting-edge practices that have been so swiftly archived and analysed by these early career researchers.
If it is helpful, I list these references and their publicly-available links (mostly Open Access via the authors’ institutional repositories) below. If you have a thesis to add to the list, please feel free to comment. If you are nearly completing a thesis on any aspect of internet celebrity, I would love to hear from you (especially if you focus on cultures outside of the US and UK).
Here is a paragraph summarising this crop of theses, lifted from a forthcoming piece of mine to be published in December 2018 in ‘Abidin, Crystal, and Megan Lindsay Brown (eds). (forthcoming, 2018). Microcelebrity Around the Globe: Approaches to cultures of internet fame. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing.’
“Focusing on how commerce and industry are impact microcelebrity-audience relations are Neal’s (2017) thesis on Instagram influencers and sponsorship, Mustonen’s (2017) thesis on YouTubers coming out to fan communities, Sedláček’s (2016) thesis on how YouTubers’ audiences are shifting away from TV practices, and Bruijn’s (2016) thesis on how YouTubers are negotiating a balance between commercialism and authenticity. Considering the cultures of microcelebrity on newer social media platforms are Gkoni et al.’s (2017) thesis on Snapchat and emoji use as ‘fam’ subcultures, Bingham’s (2017) thesis on practices of professionalism among Twitch microcelebrities, Blight’s (2016) thesis on community building across streaming platforms, and van de Put’s (2017) thesis on the process of becoming a celebrity on Musical.ly. Finally, looking outside of the Anglo-centric U.S. and Euro-centric U.K. are Bakke’s (2017) thesis on commercial bloggers in Norway, Meng’s (2014) and Wang’s (2017) theses looking at wanghong on Weibo in China, Meylinda’s (2017) thesis looking at beauty vlogs in South Korea, and Limkangvanmongkol’s (2018) thesis looking at beauty bloggers’ practices in Thailand. As newer cohorts of postgraduates and early career researchers delve deeper into the cultural and political complexities of microcelebrity practices in their parts of the world, one can be assured of generations of critical works on cultures of internet celebrity from around the globe.”
I am feeling a little brave after writing on the need for postcolonial research on internet celebrity, drawing from Edward Said (1978), Gayatri Spivak (1993), Raewyn Connell (2007, 2014), Daya Thussu (2006, 2009), Koichi Iwabuchi (2002), and Christine Yano (2013). If it’s helpful, refs are below.
I would love to read more in this vein on the politics of knowledge production and cultural circulation, so please feel free to beep me your recommendations. Tack!
A culmination of events from last year led me to feel extremely devalued in academia. In response, I decided I needed to set some ground rules for myself and my career. I refuse to have my self-worth determined by academic achievement. Academia is not my life. I am a person who happens to be an academic as a vocation. And as much as I happen to really really enjoy my work, pouring hours of passion and care into it, I refuse for being an academic to be my master status.
I am a person outside of being an academic. I have a life outside of academia, outside of fieldwork, outside of the office, outside of academic socializing, and I am learning to jealously protect and defend these spaces. And to do so, I set some ground rules for myself over the Christmas break.
It has been eight weeks since then and I write this as a reflection on my new work-life balance, so to speak. To be honest, these attempts have not been without backlash, have come at the expense of other things, and have not been thoroughly successful. But as I work my way through refusing a culture of overwork in academia, I hope these fieldnotes bring encouragement or commiseration to others who are trying to do the same. Continue reading Academia and the refusal of overwork culture.