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Queer cuttings on YouTube: re-editing soaps as a form of fan-produced queer resistance

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Abstract
As more and more television series feature recurring queer characters, queer visibility seems to have increased in the twenty-first century. Still, even though series such as Will & Grace and Brothers & Sisters have been hailed for foregrounding queer characters and depicting them as round and complex characters, I need to emphasize that these series are embedded in a hegemonic heteronormative discourse and function as sites that produce and reiterate specific heteronormative assumptions regarding for instance gender roles or sexuality. As such, characters may be represented as non-heterosexual but may be living their lives according to the heterosexual norm. Hence, the inclusion of queer characters on for instance Coronation Street, As The World Turns and Verbotene Liebe does not necessarily imply that these soap operas have reversed the normative. Though what may subvert the embedded heteronormativity are re-edits of the queer love stories on these soap operas, produced by fans with presumably no bounds to the production companies of these soaps. They are being broadcast on YouTube and can be considered to be quite popular, based on the number of screenings. These webisodes exist out of scenes that feature the queer characters or that are essential to plot lines that evolve around the queer characters. Drawing on queer theory, this paper wants to study the resistory potential of these queer cuttings, as they redirect the queer to the centre of the soap opera and the non-queer to the margins. By the means of a close reading of the webisodes based on Verbotene Liebe, I will try to clarify and illustrate the role these webisodes can play in resisting its source material. Moreover, considering the role of slash fiction (see Jenkins, 1992), I will try to argue that via YouTube other possibilities have been created to counter popular culture through ‘rewriting’ heteronormative content into queer content. Finally, I will point to the limits of these specific queer edits, as they often stay faithful to heteronormative notions such as true love, domestic loyalty and stability.

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Chicago
Dhaenens, Frederik. 2009. “Queer Cuttings on YouTube: Re-editing Soaps as a Form of Fan-produced Queer Resistance.” In ECREA Media and Communication Conference, Proceedings, 1–13. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
APA
Dhaenens, F. (2009). Queer cuttings on YouTube: re-editing soaps as a form of fan-produced queer resistance. ECREA media and communication conference, Proceedings (pp. 1–13). Presented at the ECREA Media and Communication Conference, Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Vancouver
1.
Dhaenens F. Queer cuttings on YouTube: re-editing soaps as a form of fan-produced queer resistance. ECREA media and communication conference, Proceedings. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture, Erasmus University Rotterdam; 2009. p. 1–13.
MLA
Dhaenens, Frederik. “Queer Cuttings on YouTube: Re-editing Soaps as a Form of Fan-produced Queer Resistance.” ECREA Media and Communication Conference, Proceedings. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture, Erasmus University Rotterdam, 2009. 1–13. Print.
@inproceedings{1182486,
  abstract     = {As more and more television series feature recurring queer characters, queer visibility seems to have increased in the twenty-first century. Still, even though series such as Will & Grace and Brothers & Sisters have been hailed for foregrounding queer characters and depicting them as round and complex characters, I need to emphasize that these series are embedded in a hegemonic heteronormative discourse and function as sites that produce and reiterate specific heteronormative assumptions regarding for instance gender roles or sexuality. As such, characters may be represented as non-heterosexual but may be living their lives according to the heterosexual norm. Hence, the inclusion of queer characters on for instance Coronation Street, As The World Turns and Verbotene Liebe does not necessarily imply that these soap operas have reversed the normative. Though what may subvert the embedded heteronormativity are re-edits of the queer love stories on these soap operas, produced by fans with presumably no bounds to the production companies of these soaps. They are being broadcast on YouTube and can be considered to be quite popular, based on the number of screenings. These webisodes exist out of scenes that feature the queer characters or that are essential to plot lines that evolve around the queer characters. Drawing on queer theory, this paper wants to study the resistory potential of these queer cuttings, as they redirect the queer to the centre of the soap opera and the non-queer to the margins. By the means of a close reading of the webisodes based on Verbotene Liebe, I will try to clarify and illustrate the role these webisodes can play in resisting its source material. Moreover, considering the role of slash fiction (see Jenkins, 1992), I will try to argue that via YouTube other possibilities have been created to counter popular culture through ‘rewriting’ heteronormative content into queer content. Finally, I will point to the limits of these specific queer edits, as they often stay faithful to heteronormative notions such as true love, domestic loyalty and stability.},
  author       = {Dhaenens, Frederik},
  booktitle    = {ECREA media and communication conference, Proceedings},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Rotterdam, The Netherlands},
  pages        = {1--13},
  publisher    = {Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture, Erasmus University Rotterdam},
  title        = {Queer cuttings on YouTube: re-editing soaps as a form of fan-produced queer resistance},
  year         = {2009},
}