Oops... they did it again : pop music nostalgia, collective (re)memory, and post-teeny queer music scenes

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Haven, Paxton Christopher

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This thesis reckons with contemporary trends for early aughts nostalgia to examine the power of collective memory in musical genres and the role of temporality in preserving and deconstructing queer identity. Through intersections of music scene theory, queer temporalities, and cultural memory studies, I argue the collective power and translocal permeation of this scene creates, sustains, and circulates a virtual network of independent music and performance artists. Using textual and discourse analysis, this project explores how this networked music community revises dominant cultural memories of a largely heteronormative moment in popular music history to produce a shared performance language of past sonic, aesthetic, and sartorial references. In merging appropriations and reimaginations of mainstream pop music within queer practices of camp and satire, DIY practices of community-building, and virtual practices of co-production and networked connectivity, this Post-Teeny scene uses (re)memory of pop music’s past to structure their contemporary queer and trans positionalities as imaginative embodiments of more inclusive and utopic futures. The case studies of Rina Sawayama, Dorian Electra, and p1nkstar illustrates this Post-Teeny scene’s unique performative negotiations within frameworks of mainstream pop music and networks of physical and virtual queer subcultures. I contend that these artists’ dynamic temporal and spatial intersections challenge attendant academic binaries of mainstream and subcultural, as well as displaces the heterocentric cannon of music scene literature, to further queer contributions to popular music scholarship. With the increasing global hybridity and digital connectivity of contemporary music cultures, this thesis asserts the power of queer temporality, queer community-building, and queer performance practice to reformat previous music industry exclusions, suggest interventions in contemporary scholarship, and imagine future potentialities of mainstream popular music culture.


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