Where Only Those Who Don’t Belong, Belong”: The Queerness of Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe.
A Talk and Discussion Event - Part of the OpenCampus 'Reflections on Gender and Sexuality' Tea-Time Talk Series for Pride in Hull week
When Steven Universe first aired on Cartoon Network in November 2013, thousands of animation fans flocked to the show. With the landmark US Supreme Court case that would legalize gay marriage,Obergefell v. Hodges, still two years into the future and the anti-racist movement #BlackLivesMatter getting off the ground the previous summer, queer and POC fans were hungry for the gentler, more inclusive world Steven Universe portrayed. As queer blogger Vrai Kaiser wrote for The Mary Sue, “Steven Universe is the show my twelve-year-old self wanted more than anything in the world.” Kaiser rattles off a long list of reasons why they love the show, including “the Incredibly Important [sic] nature of its inclusive writing and casting”. Compared to other Cartoon Network offerings where LGBTQIA+ characters are virtually non-existent, Steven Universe presents a magnificent riot of queer characters, from lesbian, agender space rocks to non-binary human beings. This paper aims to peel back every layer of queerness in the show, first discussing the overt queer characters and relationships within Steven Universe and continuing on to examine the show through Queer Theory’s lens.
Kodi Maier is a Film Studies PhD student at the University of Hull and is writing their doctoral thesis on the Disney Princess franchise. They have written for a number of online publications, including the Society for Animation Studies' blog, animationsttudies 2.0, andGEEKED Magazine. Their research interests include animation, gender studies, and queer theory and recently organized the SAS-sponsored symposium, Queer/ing Animation.
Kodi is also the organiser for the upcoming symposium 'Queer/ing Animation' which examines the intersection of queerness and queer identities and animation. The Date for the symposium is July 26th and it will be held on Campus at the University of Hull.
Free admission – all welcome but booking is required.
Pride in Hull Tea-Time Talks series
Monday 24 July
4.00pm: "Wedding Jitters" Why is the Church so freaked about same sex marriage? - Rev Dr Chris Dowd
6.00pm: “Over the Rainbow: Pride, Politics and LGBT Liberation” the 2017 Edition - Nicola Field
Thursday 27 Jul
2.15pm: “Where Only Those Who Don’t Belong, Belong”: The Queerness of Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe - Kodi Maier
3.15pm: "How do we know what we think we know? Trans issues and the production of ignorance" - CN Lester
5.15pm: Eurovision: the Biggest Pride Parade in Europe?' - Dr Catherine Baker