The Aesthetics and Affects of Cuteness

Edited by Joshua Paul Dale, Joyce Goggin, Julia Leyda, Anthony P. McIntyre, and Diane Negra

Amazon’s #1 New Release in Media Studies 


Cuteness is one of the most culturally pervasive aesthetics of the new millennium and its rapid social proliferation suggests that the affective responses it provokes find particular purchase in a contemporary era marked by intensive media-saturation and spreading economic precarity. Rejecting superficial assessments that would deem this ever-growing plethora of cute texts trivial, The Aesthetics and Affects of Cuteness directs serious scholarly attention from a variety of academic disciplines to this ubiquitous phenomenon. The sheer plasticity of this minor aesthetic is strongly on display in this collection as we draw together analyses from around the world that examine cuteness’s fundamental role in cultural expressions stemming such diverse sources as military cultures, high-end contemporary art worlds, and animal shelters. Pushing beyond prevailing understandings that associate cuteness solely with childhood or posit an interpellated parental bond as its primary affective attachment, the essays in this collection variously draw connections between cuteness and the social, political, economic, and technological conditions of the early 21st century and in doing so generate fresh understandings of the central role cuteness plays in the recalibration of contemporary subjectivities.

Confirmed contributors include:

  • César Albarrán-Torres, Swinburne University of Technology
  • Megan Arkenberg, University of California, Davis
  • Joshua Paul Dale, Tokyo Gakugei University
  • Michael DeAngelis, DePaul University
  • Joel Gn, National University of Singapore
  • Joyce Goggin, Universiteit van Amsterdam
  • Elizabeth Legge, University of Toronto
  • Julia Leyda, Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet, Trondheim
  • Anthony P. McIntyre, University College Dublin
  • Allison Page, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • Katy Peplin, University of Michigan
  • Maria Pramaggiore, Maynooth University
  • Nadia de Vries, Universiteit van Amsterdam

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