Representation in Steven Universe

  • John R. Ziegler
  • Leah Richards

About this book


This book assembles ten scholarly examinations of the politics of representation in the groundbreaking animated children’s television series Steven Universe. These analyses address a range of representational sites and subjects, including queerness, race, fandom, colonialism, and the environment, and provide an accessible foundation for further scholarship. The introduction contextualizes Steven Universe in the children’s science-fiction and anime traditions and discusses the series’ crucial mechanic of fusion. Subsequent chapters probe the fandom’s expressions of queer identity, approach the series’ queer force through the political potential of the animated body, consider the unequal privilege of different female characters, and trace the influence of anime director Kunihiko Ikuhara. Further chapters argue that Ronaldo allows satire of multiple media forms, focus on Onion as a surrealist trickster, and contemplate cross-species hybridity and consent. The final chapters concentrate on background art in connection with ecological and geological narratives, adopt a decolonial perspective on the Gems’ legacy, and interrogate how the tension between personal and cultural narratives constantly recreates memory.


Steven Universe Rebecca Sugar Cartoon Network Queer Theory and Popular Culture Representation and Popular Culture

Editors and affiliations

  • John R. Ziegler
    • 1
  • Leah Richards
    • 2
  1. 1.English DepartmentBronx Community College, CUNYBronxUSA
  2. 2.English DepartmentLaGuardia Community College, CUNYLong Island CityUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Literature, Cultural and Media Studies
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-31880-2
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-31881-9
  • Buy this book on publisher's site