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Lifestyle, Taste, and Media Publics
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7/15/2011 at 5:23:07 PM GMT
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Lifestyle, Taste, and Media Publics

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Lifestyle, Taste, and Media Publics

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Northwestern University

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The concept of "lifestyle” has emerged in conjunction with mass media throughout the latter half of the twentieth century. Television has been instrumental in the formation of publics with differentiated tastes, identities, and lifestyles through programs that address viewers as classed and gendered subjects, and as consumers. Today, that process is continuing on the web, where new forms of media constitute and disperse audiences across an array of niche lifestyle publications and sites. Though lifestyle media in particular has exploded since the 1990s and has contributed to the intensification of aesthetics and identity-construction in contemporary culture, it remains a relatively under-theorized formation. This panel seeks to explore what is at stake in cultural investments in self-styling practices such as epicureanism, aestheticism, and distinction, as they are constituted and disseminated through media. Possible papers may address: -the politics of taste and/or distaste for lifestyle media -industrial analyses of lifestyle media production -the construction of subjects, communities, publics, or other social groups in relation to lifestyle media -gender, feminism, and/or postfeminism articulated on the terrain of lifestyle -lifestyle media and capitalism -ethnicity, nationality, normativity, and identity -deviant lifestyles a la HOARDERS -histories of lifestyle or of particular taste formations -digital lifestyle media and/or publics Please email 250-word abstracts with 5-item bibliography, and a brief bio to Maureen Ryan ( and Sarah Murray ( by August 1. Panelists will be notified by August 15.

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