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Televisión Cuir: Streaming LGBTQ2+ Hispanic Cultures

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Organizer: Jesús Porras-Vielma

Co-Organizer: Miguel García Lopez

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This seminar aims to foster a critical discussion around queer Hispanic representation on contemporary streaming television from a queer decolonial, intersectional, cultural, and material studies lens. Against the backdrop of a burgeoning streaming television industry and the surging popularity of Hispanic TV series, this seminar seeks to delve into the nuances of queer Hispanic audiovisual cultures. The exponential growth of Hispanic TV series production over the past decade provides a significant backdrop for investigating this landscape.

Television series hold a pivotal place within contemporary Hispanic culture, enabling the envisioning, creation, and support of non-normative or marginalized individuals and communities. Recent studies (González de Garay 2020; Zurián 2018) suggest that a wider range of media representation of LGBTQ2+ identities can encourage positive attitudes towards non-normative communities, making it clear that audio-visual representation has an important educational and ideological role as an agent of mediation, visibility, and social change. Through massive exposure to millions of viewers and through stories that depict reality, imagination, or a combination of both, this art form penetrates the most intimate physical space in society: the home, exerting its potential to create manuals of behaviour and enhance our understanding of individuals' internal affective negotiation and their projection towards others.

Until 2010, there seemed to be very little financial incentive to produce streaming TV series that allowed for a more visible and extensive queer representation. The advent of the Netflix phenomenon in Latin America in 2011 and the introduction of Netflix in Spain in 2015 ushered in a new era for queer depiction. The most recent annual GLAAD’s “Where We Are on TV” report indicates that “[a]cross the streaming networks with the largest U.S. audiences, [they] counted a total of 49 LGBTQ characters featured on Spanish-language shows or multilingual shows with Spanish-speaking characters this year” (40); which suggests that the LGBTQ2+ community has greater visibility in this cultural field. Some critics have observed that storylines have a "post-closet era" (Becker 2009) approach when portraying queer characters, while others have referred to it as a sort of disappearance of the closet in arts (Bimbi 2017). This seminar thus interrogates queer Hispanic subjectivities' representation on streaming television.

We invite scholars from various academic fields based on their common research interests in the LGBTQ2+ spectrum and media/television studies. This seminar encourages the presentation of papers—in English or Spanish—that employ an intersectional lens. This approach fosters critical conversations of queer, trans, and gender non-conforming lived experiences at the junctions of race, class, migration, disability, citizenship, post-colonialism, power, and other fields within cultural studies.

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