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Being Rey: Cosplay, Girlhood, and Fan Families

Date:
Wednesday 07 November 2018
Time:
2.00pm - 3.00pm

Presented by Dr Elizabeth Reed, Lecturer in Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London

Location: N44, St Mary's University, Twickenham

Following her debut in the Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, Rey was hailed in the media and by fans as an inspirational, feminist icon for girls and young women. Girls participating in ‘cosplay’ (costume play) as Rey atSan Diego Comic Con were described in a Buzzfeed article as “adorable mini-Reys”, with the piece concluding that Rey had “given the millions of little girls… an amazing female role model” (Flaherty, 2016).

Responses to the character of Rey, and girls cosplaying as her, capture a range of contradictions and tensions that exist about contemporary girlhood. Using an online questionnaire and drawing activity, the Being Reyresearch project sought to interrogate girls’ Rey cosplay from the perspective of the girls and their families.

Dr Reed will present some of the findings from the project and argue that participating in the consumption of Rey is one way in which families undertake collective identity work, constructing and performing themselves as the‘right’ kind of family, raising the ‘right’ kind of girl: one who is resilient and appropriately feminine. Dr Reed will highlight the tensions and restrictions in such an endeavour with a particular focus on the agency and interpretation of Rey by the girls themselves.

 

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Date:
Wednesday 07 November 2018
Time:
2.00pm - 3.00pm

Find out more

For more information about this event please email craig.owen@stmarys.ac.uk.

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