Seminar Series Nov 4th Zoe Shacklock The Category Is: Streaming Queer Television

Thursday 27 October 2022

We are thrilled to welcome you back to this year’s StAIGS (St Andrews Institute for Gender Studies) Seminar Series, in which staff across the university will be sharing and discussing their work on gender-related topic. This semester we have two seminars, which will both be in-person in School V. If you are interested in presenting next semester, please let us know! 


Friday November 4th, 2:30-4 pm: Dr Zoë Shacklock, Department of Film Studies


In our first seminar, Dr Zoë Shacklock will be discussing her work on streaming services and queer television. Please see below for the abstract, and we hope to see you there! 

The Category Is: Streaming Queer Television
Streaming television is often seen as a progressive space for queer representation, due to the wealth of queer people and stories found across its programmes. Yet for queer people to be seen on streaming television, they must first be made visible at the level of the interface, which determines which programmes are presented to users and in what ways. Through the organisation of the interface, streaming television acts as a discursive formation that constructs knowledge about what it means to be queer. Borrowing from both Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Lynne Joyrich, I argue that streaming television constructs an epistemology of the category, in which queerness is presented as categorisable and predictable. I explore how the two key features of streaming television’s interfaces – categories and algorithms – construct an understanding of queerness as normatively visible and inseparable from consumer choice. Yet while streaming giants construct a neoliberal understanding of normatively visible and consumable queerness, queer-specific streaming services such as Revry offer a different, “messier” understanding of queer lives, suggesting that streaming television holds the potential of a more radical interface with queerness.