My name is Brandy Dieterle and I just finished up my second year in the Texts and Technology Ph.D. program at University of Central Florida. Speaking more generally, I’m interesting in studying multimodality, identity, digital rhetoric, and social media. The research project for this workshop is developing a paper to present at the Feminisms and Rhetorics conference coming up in October. However, I also hope to explore similar ideas in my dissertation research, but I have comprehensive exams to finish up before really diving into that.
So, here’s an explanation of my research project:
My project is very much in the prewriting/first draft stage, and I’ll be looking at Lady Gaga’s gender performance and representation on her Instagram account. I haven’t developed a formal methodology yet for analyzing and interpreting her Instagram posts, but from observations thus far I’ve noticed that Lady Gaga positions herself in various places on the gender spectrum. She does not position or typify her gender in a particular way. Her gender performance ranges from boy drag to business feminine to chic to au naturel. I’m particularly interesting in seeing how this manifests within a photosharing application, like Instagram, since photos rely so heavily on representation and performance. The kind of feedback I’m looking for is largely related to existing research that might be relevant or applicable. I haven’t formally studied feminism or gender theory, so my lit review now largely consists of Judith Butler (discussing the multiplicity of gender) and Jack Halberstam (discussing the concept of disidentification as working within the normative system in order to critique/challenge it). Also, I’d appreciate some insight on a methodology for analysis. Currently I’m considering developing a particular criteria and categorization for analysis by trying to define the different representations Lady Gaga embodies, but I’m struggling a bit with how I might define those, and also how I would select and then archive posts through Instagram.
One of the main things I’d like to get out of this workshop is to network and connect with others in the field who are interested in feminist research, and I’d also like to get some insight into some existing literature that might be useful for my research interests. When I’ve spoken to people about recommendations in the past, they have been varied and broad, so my hope is my research project would help to direct/focus the recommendations a bit more towards what I’m looking into.
Looking forward to *virtually* meeting everyone!