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Audiovisual Alterity

Representing Ourselves and Others in Music Videos

Oxford University Press - Currently IN PRESS

Expected publication date: 2024

About Audiovisual Alterity

Drawing on a wide range of examples and case studies from many genres, this book explores the representation of subaltern communities in contemporary music videos. This book continues the academic discussion regarding the depiction of race, ethnicity, and gender in music videos, but also extends the conversation to include representations of Asians and Pacific Islanders, the LGBTQ community, Indigenous cultures, the incarcerated, religious minorities, and other “others.” It also accounts for the expanding definition of “music video,” and examines depictions of alterity in both traditional music videos and those created for emerging media, such as online video-sharing sites, mobile applications, and social media.

Editorial Reviews

"Audiovisual Alterity addresses the underrepresentation, misrepresentation and nonrepresentation of many marginalised groups within commercial music videos in two significant ways. First, it reveals how the power structures implicit in the mainstream music industry’s audiovisual practices are not afforded to everyone. And second, it proposes an analytical lens through which we can confront our privileged positions to call-in minority and subaltern communities in meaningful, ethically responsible and empowering ways. This is an essential and long overdue intervention into the study of the music industry."

- Holly Rogers, Professor of Music, Goldsmiths - University of London
Author of S
ounding the Gallery, Oxford University Press (2013)

"Simultaneously provocative, thought-provoking, and entertaining, Michael Austin’s new book examines how 'otherness' is represented and misrepresented in music videos and asks how those marked as 'others' by the forces in the dominant music industry use the same medium as a tool for self-representation by both creating their own images and re-articulating harmful tropes through counter-appropriation of the images. Covering a wide ground from early 80s to contemporary music videos, Austin leaves few stones unturned in this engaging work that will have us rethinking the ways that music videos have influenced the way we think about race, sexuality, and other forms of subaltern existence. This is a book is a must read."

- C. Winter Han, Professor of Sociology, Middlebury College

Author of Racial Erotics: Gay Men of Color, Sexual Racism, and the Politics of Desire, University of Washington Press (2021) 



Table of Contents




Chapter 1 - "Dead Giveaway": Blaxploitation Aesthetics and Viral Music Videos


Chapter 2 - China Dolls and Polynesian Beefcakes: Asians and Pacific Islanders in Music Videos


Chapter 3 - Digital Natives and Cultural Tourists: Indigenous Peoples in Music Videos


Chapter 4 - Camp, Kitsch, and Cowboys: Queerin' Country Music Videos


Chapter 5 - Iconic and Iconoclastic Representations of New Religious Movements in Music Videos


Chapter 6 - How to Make a Prison Video if You've Never Been to Prison



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