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Theory of Emotions and Gender in Twenty-First Century Popular Culture

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Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad
Convocatoria de ayudas del Programa Estatal de Fomento de la Investigación Científica y Técnica de Excelencia. Subprograma Estatal de Generación de Conocimiento. Modalidad Proyectos de R+D
Research projects
Principal Investigator(s)
Helena González Fernández
(ADHUC–Universitat de Barcelona)
Research Team
Isabel Clúa Ginés
(ADHUC–Universidad de Sevilla)
Ivan Garcia Sala
(Universitat de Barcelona)
Fernando Ángel Moreno Serrano
(Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
Katarzyna Moszczyńska-Dürst
(Uniwersytet Warszawski)
Noemí Novell Monroy
(Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México)
Montserrat Pena Presas
(Universidade de Santiago de Compostela)
Saleta de Salvador Agra
(Universidade de Vigo)
Dolores Vilavedra Fernández
(Universidade de Santiago de Compostela)
Predoctoral research staff in training
Montserrat Pena Presas
(Universidade de Santiago de Compostela)

This project aims to reflect on and analyze the way in which, and under what premises and from what ideological positions, the negotiation between gender and emotions is produced in twenty-first century popular fiction. This historical period is marked by radical changes in socio-economic structures and in the technologies of cultural consumption. Cultural theory of emotions base their premises on the idea that it is impossible to conceive of a social actor as lacking in values and emotions, and it is in popular culture that emotions are most obviously enacted, reinforcing or hiding the achievements of gender politics. Furthermore, the emergence of new technologies and formats for cultural consumption has forged new rules for cultural communication, rupturing the boundaries between public and private spaces. The present research project seeks to generate a complex portrait of how cultural emotions effectively participate in the negotiation of gender stereotypes and prejudices in the production of popular culture. Its extensive and ever-changing character makes it an influential and significant corpus from which to diagram contemporary social and cultural practices. The corpus will be comprised of a selection of significant literary and filmic texts, television series, transmedial narratives and electronic literature.


  1. Create a specific theoretical framework from which to study the cultural theory of emotions and gender theories in the production of popular culture.
  2. Revisit the concept of contemporary popular culture to analyze and overcome prevailing prejudices surrounding these practices with the aim of demonstrating the the necessity of including these manifestations in the analysis of contemporary culture. 
  3. Analyze how emotions are utilized in the negotiation of gender in fictional texts (narrative) and authorial texts (works about the author).
  4. Critically study the interrelationship between gender and sexuality and their association with specific emotions.
  5. Analyze the way in which the consumption of popular culture is socialized so as to measure the extent to which emotions intervene in the definition of gender and sexuality models.