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Social Mediated Latinas: Creating and Contouring Digital Latina Looks in the Twenty-First Century

Event Type
Department of Latina/Latino Studies
1207 W. Oregon, Room 103, Urbana
Apr 5, 2023   3:30 pm  
Katlin Marisol Sweeney-Romero, Department of English, The Ohio State University
Originating Calendar
Latina/Latino Studies Event Calendar

The onset of entertainment streaming platforms and image-driven social media sites in the twenty-first century facilitated new forms of celebrity, media viewership, and cultural critique that are by and for Latinas with internet access. To consider the varied impacts of their online activity, this talk explores how Latinas utilize their social media presence to act as both cultural producers of original content and participants in intracultural discourse related to ethnoracial identity. In recognition of the co-creative dynamic that exists between Latina-identified creators and audiences on the internet, Sweeney-Romero takes an interdisciplinary approach to reading digital Latina representations that appear across YouTube, Netflix, Instagram, and TikTok. Through case studies on Latina-identified Internet celebrities, traditional celebrities, and comics creators, this talk surveys the critical-creative labor related to identity that Latina creators post and respond to online. It argues for their recognition as what Sweeney-Romero terms, “Social Mediated Latinas,” or Latina media-makers who foreground their ethnoracial identity as central to their writing, art-making, and self-styling, and whose effective navigation of the user interface on social media platforms retool the digital and cosmetic technologies that have historically constrained the Latina body’s agency and visibility within U.S. popular culture.

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