Reading People Watching Music: Feminism, Fandom, Trolls

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Conference Proceeding
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This paper considers feminist approaches to contrasting modalities of communication in online forums and fansites. I begin by engaging with Eve Sedgwick's schematic distinction between paranoid and reparative readings, and link each modality to a different figure of the “troll”. While paranoia and repair each provide space for novel feminist reading practices around musical and visual cultures, the troll is defined either by a refusal to read, or by its production of noise that prevents others from continuing to read. Taking as my case studies the controversy surrounding Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’, the paper argues that the politics of reading online may involve not only ideological combat over what people do read, but also a struggle over what people can legitimately claim not to have read.
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