Book Chapter Details
Mandatory Fields
O'Neill, Stephen
2017 October
The Shakespeare User Critical and Creative Appropriations in a Networked Culture
"Theorizing User Agency in YouTube Shakespeare"
Palgrave Macmillan
New York
Optional Fields
Shakespeare YouTube user agency posthumanism
This chapter argues that as scholars and critics, we have only begun to explore the uses of the YouTube Shakespeare world. Use here is understood through recent theorizations of individual user agency in participatory digital cultures. The chapter focuses on one YouTuber, The Geeky Blonde, who has been producing Shakespeare-themed videos since 2010, as a case study for a critical discussion of the kinds of agency possible through vernacular Shakespeare productions. It considers Shakespeare and YouTube as catalysts for an individual self-efficacy and expression but also argues that YouTube’s commercial logic and its algorithmic systems must be included as ineluctable factors of user agency. This dialogic approach reveals how individuals ‘become’ through Shakespeare but also through mediating technologies themselves, as these shape and determine the seemingly stable, sovereign individual user. The chapter thus identifies the challenges and potentialities within humanist and posthumanist perspectives on YouTube Shakespeare.
Valerie M. Fazel and Louise Geddes
Grant Details