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Sara Austin is a PhD candidate at the University of Connecticut. Her research focuses on intersections of identity in children’s literature and culture. Today, Sarah talks about a recent article she wrote for Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC) titled Valuing queer identity in Monster High doll fandom
What first brought your attention to the Monster High doll fandom?
My daughter did, actually. She came home from preschool a few years ago talking about these dolls and how we had to get them. Thirty dolls, five movies, and countless webisodes later, it is safe to say that we are both fans. I was surprised that the show embraced the sexuality of its characters and treated it seriously and in discreet ways, such as acknowledging crushes or incorporating nods to the Twilight series. When my daughter wanted to be a Monster High character for Halloween, we looked up cosplay and makeup tips and just stumbled onto the fan sites. From there I started reading fanfiction and message boards to understand how active and diverse the fandom is.