Panel, “The Aesthetics and Ideologies of Cuteness”

firsteventpicSociety for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference, Seattle
March 19-23, 2014

Anthony P. McIntyre organized and chaired this panel which took place on the second day of the SCMS annual conference. The panel was extremely well-attended and there was a lot of lively discussion at the first SCMS panel specifically devoted to cuteness. Unfortunately Kathryn Thompson was unable to attend the panel, but all of the other papers were well-received by the audience.  In particular, the panel addressed the wide range of ways in which cuteness functions in the star text of a number of female performers. Elizabeth Affuso’s consideration of Zooey Deschanel and Mindy Kaling generated insights into the Fox network’s specific targeting of young women and provided an interesting contrast to the more subversive usage of cuteness McIntyre identified in Sarah Silverman’s work. Dorothy Hendricks’ analysis of how cuteness is deployed in depictions of ethnic groups on The Disney Channel contributed to a panel in which cuteness’s role in the complex depictions of youth, race and gender were fruitfully interrogated.