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.”
* Continue reading MA and PhD theses on cultures of internet celebrity.
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!
* Continue reading Readings on the politics of knowledge production.
I am at the International Communication Association conference (#ica18) this week. I gave my talk this morning but felt really unsatisfied with it, mostly because while I was speaking I suddenly saw a new way of reframing my approach and liked that so much better. And so, to soothe my soul and also to braindump everything so I don’t forget the magic, I am going to speed blog my thoughts as a stream of consciousness here (as such, please excuse the lack of references, especially to the very good emerging scholarship on Tumblr, etc. But feel free to drop me an email if you would like to be pointed to further resources).
The talk was entitled “Where is the money on Tumblr? Cultures of celebrity and labour in Tumblr’s architecture” and I hope to polish it into a publishable version soon.
If you would like to familiarize yourself with my prior work on Influencer cultures and internet celebrity, click through here. Continue reading Where is the money on Tumblr? (part 1)
I was invited to be on a podcast with the good people over at The Human Show, shedding light on what it is anthropologists actually do. Here is 35:32 of me dishing some brain foods on Influencers, youth cultures online, the place of platforms and traditional media in the age of internet celebrity, and the value of anthropology.
–04:39 on how we can practice participant observation on the internet
–06:17 on the value of Influencers beyond commerce
–10:30 on how Influencers and platforms impact each other
–18:36 on the relationship between Influencers and traditional media
–26:46 on whether young internet celebrities are just being exploited online
–28:23 on truth bombs about whether you should sign up for a PhD or work as a practitioner anthropologist
Includes gold nugget streams-of-consciousness such as:
“if you do decide to pursue academia, by doing a higher postgrad study, always keep your doors open. Don’t be the type of person who’s really confident that you’ll finish your PhD and be a professor and retire and then die, because those things do not exist anymore. At the same time, don’t be too despaired by all the quit lit that academia is a crazy space, because there are people who have found communities, who have found like-minded people who enjoy the work you do. And we do find ways to call out insecurities and inequalities as we see it to make this environment better for all of us who are living in it.”
I hope you enjoy it (and not hate my voice as much as I do).
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking to Patricia Karvelas for ABC Radio National Drive to discuss online virality. Specifically, we chatted about the recent slime making craze. Below, I reproduce a transcript of our conversation, centered around the rise of “visibility metrics” and the need to equip young people with “digital literacies” to discern the validity of information they encounter on the internet.
If you’re so inclined, the 5:11 interview is recorded here. Transcription below edited slightly for flow. Continue reading Slime safety: concerns about the latest online craze