Inside/Out the University: (Academic) Feminist Lifestyle Media and Its Minor Forms

New Formations - ISSN 0950-2378
Volume 2023 Number 110 & 111

Inside/Out the University: (Academic) Feminist Lifestyle Media and Its Minor Forms
Maureen Ryan, Leigh Goldstein pages 147-163
DOI: 10.3898/NewF:110-111.09.2024


This article identifies a form of cultural production we are calling (academic) feminist lifestyle media, a subset of media produced by and for a public that is inside/out the university – that is, those who are literate in academic habits of mind and/or relational norms, thanks to some affiliation with an institution of higher education. We first chart the transformations in academia in relation to broader changes in cultural labour and the news and entertainment industries. From there we track the attendant emergence of critical university studies, quit lit and para-academic cultural production as a way of homing in on the field of inside/out authors, public figures and texts, ultimately turning to Anne Helen Petersen’s Can’t Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation as an exemplar of (academic) feminist lifestyle media. This genre, we argue, offers feelings of intimacy and belonging to its public, often by effacing privilege and producing homogeneity between and among this inside/out public. The final sections of the essay offer a shift in focus, as we turn our attention to minor approaches to (academic) feminist lifestyle media, with Sara Ahmed’s Living a Feminist Life serving as our principal case study. Minor iterations of this genre, we argue, model the possibility of identification without homogenisation – of doing feminist work on a smaller scale, to a more specific public and, most importantly, without resolving the conflicts and tensions of positionality, access and difference.

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To cite this article
Maureen Ryan, Leigh Goldstein (2023) Inside/Out the University: (Academic) Feminist Lifestyle Media and Its Minor Forms, New Formations, 2023(110 & 111 ), 147-163.

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