08/04/2021 (Thursday) 13:00-14:00 E21B-G002

Desire for Sale: Live-streaming and Sexual Self-representation among Chinese Gay Micro-celebrities

This paper examines a nascent network of commercialized sexual self-representation by micro-celebrities in China against the background of platformization, commodification, and illiberal cultural landscapes. Informed by queer Marxist theories, the paper looks at how the career trajectories of live-streamer-turned actors/producers in erotic cultural products are shaped by the intertwining forces of platform capitalism, technological affordances, and internet governance. Reflecting on the critical potential of these production practices, it suggests that they paradoxically showcase both a willing submission to the ever-expanding logic of capitalism and means of creative negotiation with commodification and internet regulations.

Lin Song is a scholar of cultural and communication studies. He researches on media and digital cultures in contemporary China, especially in relation to gender, sexuality, and nationalism.