© 2019

The Pedagogy of Queer TV


Part of the Palgrave Entertainment Industries book series (PAEI)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Ava Laure Parsemain
    Pages 1-22
  3. Historical Context

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 23-23
    2. Ava Laure Parsemain
      Pages 25-35
  4. Musical Soap Operas on Broadcast Television

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 37-37
    2. Ava Laure Parsemain
      Pages 39-63
    3. Ava Laure Parsemain
      Pages 65-91
  5. Reality TV on Basic Cable

  6. Quality Drama on Premium Cable and Streaming

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 167-167
    2. Ava Laure Parsemain
      Pages 169-191
    3. Ava Laure Parsemain
      Pages 215-237
    4. Ava Laure Parsemain
      Pages 239-253
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 255-261

About this book


This book examines queer characters in popular American television, demonstrating how entertainment can educate audiences about LGBT identities and social issues like homophobia and transphobia. Through case studies of musical soap operas (Glee and Empire), reality shows (RuPaul’s Drag Race, The Prancing Elites Project and I Am Cait) and “quality” dramas (Looking, Transparent and Sense8), it argues that entertainment elements such as music, humour, storytelling and melodrama function as pedagogical tools, inviting viewers to empathise with and understand queer characters. Each chapter focuses on a particular programme, looking at what it teaches—its representation of queerness—and how it teaches this—its pedagogy. Situating the programmes in their broader historical context, this study also shows how these televisual texts exemplify a specific moment in American television.


television American LGBT identity homophobia transgender drag transphobia reality TV melodrama character USA music

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.The University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

About the authors

Ava Parsemain is an Educational Developer at The University of New South Wales, Australia

Bibliographic information