Blog Post

Greetings everyone!

Whew! Racing in under the wire... (Sorry, we're still doing grading over in my neck of the woods.)


Hello everyone! My name is Katie Morrissey. I'm a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I'm in the English Department's Media, Cinema and Digital Studies track. Generally, my research interests involve genre and depictions of romance, gender, and sexuality in popular media. I'm particularly interested in thinking about genre as a cultural mediation process that crosses industry and medium specific silos. My major project at the moment is my dissertation, which explores ways that romance is adapting to digitization, participatory culture, and niche markets.

I've participated in several critical writing workshops in the past, all face-to-face. This will be my first time trying this online. I do have some exposure to feminist scholarship, but my awareness can be a bit uneven. Typically I know more about what's going on in areas that are very close to my own research interests. Actually, this is a big part of why I wanted to get involved in this writing workshop! I want to begin building some checks into my process, and to start getting a better sense of what ideas/thinkers other folks are working with. (Also, I want to get better aquainted with HASTAC. Still very new to this site.)

For the workshop, I'd like to submit a conference paper that would greatly benefit from some feedback to push it further. I am hoping to expand this paper into an article over the summer, but it also feeds into one of my dissertation chapters. My paper is on the narrative structure of reality wedding shows. I am arguing that reality shows like Say Yes to the Dress use processes of a) narrative modularity to accommodate varying norms/ideologies for marriage and b) romantic continuity to sustain the figure of the bride and the wedding as a significant social event. Underlying this is an interest in ways that the "heterosexual imaginary" (as discussed by Chrys Ingraham in 1999) is being adjusted in contemporary media.

As is, the paper focuses on TLC's Say Yes to the Dress, but I have been researching several other shows as well. In my dissertation chapter, I will broaden the discussion to discuss TLC's Four Weddings and We's My Fair Wedding and Bridezillas (and probably some other shows as well). For the purpose of an article, however, I am unsure if I should stick with one show or start adding in more. I'm also worried that I may be missing some useful theory in here. So far, I've been reading a lot of theory specific to reality TV and wedding media. In particular, Ingraham's project on the heterosexual imaginary has been useful, but it's older. With all of this in mind, it would be really helpful to hear back from others doing feminist media studies to hear what parts of this are working for them, where they're seeing holes, etc. I also have very little experience expanding pieces into articles, so I'd love advice on how others approach this process and suggestions on where I might start with a paper like this. 


My contact info is:
twitter - @_katiedidnt
email -
www -
tumblr -





Hi Katie,

It sounds like you have some really neat projects going on. I'm curious to learn more about how you're analyzing these TLC shows (which I imagine provide rather rich fodder for analysis).

In the meantime, we'll try to put you in a group with other folks who are working on feminism and media studies. :)


Lori Beth 


Hi Katie,

We have some similar research interests and I look forward to learning more about your project.