Affect, narrative, and medium in Television: A critical examination of representations of queerness and colonialism in The 100

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2019-08

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Abstract

In the following essays, I offer two rhetorical criticisms of The CW’s sci-fi teen television drama, The 100, specifically interrogating the show’s representations of queerness and colonialism. In The Affective Nature of Narrative: The 100 as Equipment for Queer Be(long)ing (chapter II), I argue that the romantic narrative arc between Clarke and Lexa on the show works both affectively and symbolically to equip queer viewers for living by situating its narrative of queer experience in an apocalyptic setting and by engaging viewers in an embodied process of habitus toward the creation of queer kinship and be(long)ing. In Colonizing the Apocalypse: The 100’s Televisual Imagination of Survival (chapter III), I argue that the show functions rhetorically to assuage guilt about America’s colonial past by presenting a disguised colonial narrative, projecting an imaginary of survival, fostering identification with colonizers, and exploiting the segmented and episodic nature of television.

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Keywords

Rhetoric, Affect, Narrative, Colonialism, Queerness, Television, Medium

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