Dr. Michael Johnson Jr. (Washington State University): The Homoerotics and Monstrous Otherness of Teen Wolf

Wednesday, 15.06.2016, 12:15-1:45 p.m., U5/01.18

In this presentation, Dr. Johnson interrogates the complex ways in which certain male characters in the Teen Wolf telenarrative series negotiate hegemonic and counter-hegemonic masculinity and in turn sexual identity. Scott McCall, played by Tyler Posey, is your normal teenaged boy who is bitten by a werewolf and subsequently must adapt the changes that his new identity required while simultaneously learning about a plethora of supernatural threats that endanger his friend, family and community against which he must learn to defend. The 5 season, 64 episode MTV series is punctuated with a number of frequently shirtless, muscular young men whose relationships are often complicated by an undercurrent of (and in at least two cases, explicit) homoeroticism. Scott’s close friend Stiles Stilinski (Dylan O'Brien), werewolf Alpha Derek Hale (Tyler Hoechlin), High School Jock and werewolf Jackson Whittemore (Colton Haynes), twin brothers and werewolf pack members openly gay Ethan and heterosexual Aiden (Max Charlie Carver) and openly gay Danny Mahealani (Keahu Kahuanui) are all involved in a wide variety of highly emotional and occasionally physical relationships complemented with intricate displays of affection and loyalty, love and lust, anger and aggression. This presentation will map the homoerotically dynamic and changing relationships between these characters amidst the larger conceptual background of monstrosity that renders same sex desire visible in ways that invite ostensibly heterosexual characters into counter-hegemonic version of sexual fluidity.

Michael Johnson Jr., Ph.D., is a full-time instructor in the Department of Critical Culture, Gender, and Race Studies (CCGRS) at Washington State University, where he currently teaches both introductory and upper-division undergraduate courses. His book Tickle My Fancy, Fat Man: Emerging Images of Race and Queer Desire on HBO, is currently under contract with Lexington Press, in its Critical Studies in Television Series (2016). His work can be found in theJournal of Men’s Studies; Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture; Journal of Prisoners on Prisons; Journal of New Media & Culture; Race, Ethnicity and Education, and Media and Communication, to name a few. He has published chapters in edited collections by ABC-Clio, Praeger, Lexington Books, Palgrave Macmillan, Information Age Press, and Cambridge Scholars Press, among many others. (University Website)