Emergent Feminisms: Complicating a Postfeminist Media Culture, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Emergent Feminisms

Complicating a Postfeminist Media Culture, 1st Edition

Edited by Jessalynn Keller, Maureen E. Ryan


238 pages

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Through twelve chapters that historicize and re-evaluate postfeminism as a dominant framework of feminist media studies, this collection maps out new modes of feminist media analysis at both theoretical and empirical levels and offers new insights into the visibility and circulation of feminist politics in contemporary media cultures. The essays in this collection resituate feminism within current debates about postfeminism, considering how both operate as modes of political engagement and as scholarly traditions. Authors analyze a range of media texts and practices including American television shows Being Mary Jane and Inside Amy Schumer, Beyonce’s "Formation" music video, misandry memes, and Hong Kong cinema.


"Emergent Feminisms provides an exciting map of mediated feminisms for the 21st century, finding intersectional activism and the potential for progressive change amidst the challenges of a postfeminist culture. These sharp analyses highlight the complexities of feminist expression across contemporary culture. A most welcome read!" -Elana Levine, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

"Emergent Feminisms drops a much needed anchor in the sea of current debates, reflections and commentaries on the vexed questions offered up by today’s feminisms and postfeminisms, and interrogates their intersections and interplays.

In marshalling the wide-ranging and highly topical work of their contributors, and in taking the temperature of the relationship between media and identity formations as they manifest today in their terrain mapping introduction, Keller and Ryan deftly navigate their readers through debates about the political significance of what they call today’s ‘emergent feminisms’. They negotiate the complexities of thinking about the tensions and pitfalls of their emergence alongside the persistence of postfeminist culture, across the spectrum of contemporary media texts and practices, and interrogating flashpoint moments and iconic figures in the mediation of contemporary feminisms.

This is exactly the kind of book that students and scholars of media, culture and identity have been waiting for - an essential resource for anyone involved in the teaching or study of intersectional feminist media studies, and anyone interested in the politics of gender and media now." -Hannah Hamad, Cardiff University

Table of Contents


  1. Being Mary Jane and Postfeminsms Problem With Race Amanda Rossie
  2. "Are you a feminist?": Celebrity, Publicity and the Making of a PR-Friendly Feminism Bryce Renninger
  3. "I’m Cool With It": The Popular Feminism of Inside Amy Schumer Taylor Nygaard
  4. Playing in the Closet: Female Rock Musicians, Fashion, and Citational Feminism Alyxandra Vesey
  5. Solidarities

  6. #iammorethanadistraction: Connecting Local Body Politics to a Digital Feminist Movement Emilie Zaslow
  7. Indignant Feminism: Parsing the Ironic Grammar of YouTube Activism Sujata Moorti
  8. From Pro-Equality to Anti-Sexual Violence: The Feminist Logics of Title IX in Media Culture Sarah Projansky
  9. Black "Rantings": Indigenous Feminisms Online Verity Trott
  10. Ambivalences

  11. The New Afro in a Postfeminist Media Culture: Rachel Dolezal, Beyoncés "Formation," and the Politics of Choice Cheryl Thompson
  12. #WomenAgainstFeminism: Towards a Phenomenology of Incoherence Jonathan Cohn
  13. Lean In or Bend Over? Postfeminism, Neoliberalism, and Hong Kong's Wonder Women Gina Marchetti
  14. @NoToFeminism, #FeministsAreUgly and Misandry Memes: How Social Media Feminist Humor is Calling out Antifeminism Emilie Lawrence and Jessica Ringrose

About the Editors

Jessalynn Keller is an Assistant Professor in Critical Media Studies at the University of Calgary, Canada.

Maureen E. Ryan is an Instructor in Media and Cinema Studies at DePaul University.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Gender, Sexuality, and Media

The aim of this series is to publish original research in the areas of feminist and queer media studies, with a particular but not exclusive focus on gender and sexuality. In doing so, this series brings to the market cutting-edge critical work that refreshes, reshapes, and redirects scholarship in these related fields while contributing to a better global understanding of how gender and sexual politics operate within historical and current mediascapes.

Affirming the integrated, multiperspectival approach associated with Cultural Studies, the series publishes richly contextualized research that explores gender and sexual politics not only in media texts but also in the practices of media production and consumption. Media are defined broadly in this series, as the books within it expand beyond these fields' historical focus on film and television to engage with other forms of media, including video games, popular music, and digital media. Books in the series centering on current media culture also explore the complexly transmedial, convergent, and participatory nature of popular culture today. Gender is configured broadly in this series also, and a key contribution is a further complicating of how multiple, intersecting modes of identity impact media representation, as well as the creation, distribution, publicity, and consumption of mediated texts.

For more information or to discuss a project, please contact Mary Celeste Kearney, [email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies