Concurrent Panel Session Six

Abstract Title

“You Are An Experience”—LGBTQ+ Themes in “Steven Universe”

Start Date

7-4-2018 3:00 PM

End Date

7-4-2018 3:50 PM

Abstract

This presentation talks about the importance of how the television show “Steven Universe” gives representation in a few different fields of identity: sexuality, gender, and relationship type. It will also cover some reactions to said representation, why the creator put these themes in the show, and why it is important for this representation to exist. Part of the point of this research is to focus on advances in how oppressed groups are represented, literally and metaphorically, in shows aimed at younger viewers, and the ways that seeing such representations can and probably will affect them.

A close reading of various “fusions,” or the physical and mental union of characters in the show, lends itself to interesting perspectives on the idea of borders. Here, the elimination of borders between characters leads to the creation of new characters, allowing the show to represent queer bodies, identities, and relationships. At the same time, the existence of stable and unstable fusions gives further insight into healthy and unhealthy relationships. Throughout all of this, show creator Rebecca Sugar also challenges boundaries imposed on the young, asserting their ability to understand and empathize with LGBTQ+ characters and relationships.

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Apr 7th, 3:00 PM Apr 7th, 3:50 PM

“You Are An Experience”—LGBTQ+ Themes in “Steven Universe”

This presentation talks about the importance of how the television show “Steven Universe” gives representation in a few different fields of identity: sexuality, gender, and relationship type. It will also cover some reactions to said representation, why the creator put these themes in the show, and why it is important for this representation to exist. Part of the point of this research is to focus on advances in how oppressed groups are represented, literally and metaphorically, in shows aimed at younger viewers, and the ways that seeing such representations can and probably will affect them.

A close reading of various “fusions,” or the physical and mental union of characters in the show, lends itself to interesting perspectives on the idea of borders. Here, the elimination of borders between characters leads to the creation of new characters, allowing the show to represent queer bodies, identities, and relationships. At the same time, the existence of stable and unstable fusions gives further insight into healthy and unhealthy relationships. Throughout all of this, show creator Rebecca Sugar also challenges boundaries imposed on the young, asserting their ability to understand and empathize with LGBTQ+ characters and relationships.