The Princess Problem by Rebecca Hains

Cultural Studies of LEGO

Cultural Studies of LEGO lo res

This collection examines LEGO from an array of critical and cultural studies approaches, foregrounding the world-renowned brand’s ideological power and influence. Given LEGO’s status as the world’s largest toy manufacturer and a transnational multimedia conglomerate, Cultural Studies of Lego: More Than Just Bricks considers LEGO media’s cultural messages; creativity with and within LEGO artifacts; and diversity within the franchise, including gender and race representation. The chapters’ in-depth analyses of topics including LEGO films, marketing tactics, play sets, novelizations, and fans offer compelling insights relevant to those interested in the LEGO brand and broader trends in the children’s popular culture market alike.

Advance Praise for Cultural Studies of LEGO   “More Than Just Bricks indeed! This volume builds and disassembles LEGO through cultural studies’ collaborative and creative prism. These fourteen fascinating, energetic, and highly accessible chapters carefully examine the intricacies of LEGO’s many overlapping structures . . . . a highly productive and creative synergy between LEGO and critical and cultural studies.”

–Casie Hermansson, Professor of English at Pittsburgh State University

“The first serious, scholarly study of the cultural impact of LEGO. Few ‘toys’ can match LEGO for sustained impact on the cultural lives of generations of children, and adults, globally. I applaud the editors for their originality and for the clarity of their vision.”

-Robert Shail, Director of Research for Film, Music and Performing Arts at Leeds Beckett University

Table of Contents: Cultural Studies of LEGO
A preview of each chapter is available on Palgrave’s web site

Chapter 1       
“Let There Be LEGO!”: An Introduction to Cultural Studies of LEGO
Sharon R. Mazzarella & Rebecca C. Hains


Chapter 2       
In a “Justice” League of their Own: Transmedia Storytelling and Paratextual  Reinvention in LEGO’s DC Super Heroes
Lincoln Geraghty

Chapter 3       
“Hey, Kids. Who Wants a Shot from the Merch Gun?!”: LEGO Batman as a Gateway Commodity Intertext
Matthew P. McAllister & Jared LaGroue

Chapter 4       
Everything is Awesome When You’re Part of a List: The Flattening of Distinction  in Post-Ironic LEGO Media
Ari Mattes

Chapter 5       
Made Up Prophecies: Metamodern Play with Religion, Spirituality and Monomyth in the LEGO Universe
Sissel Undheim 

Chapter 6       
The Accursed Second Part: Small-Scale Discourses of Gender and Race in The LEGO Movie 2
Matthias Zick Varul


Chapter 7       
Master Building and Creative Vision in The LEGO Movie
Jonathan Rey Lee 

Chapter 8       
Toyetics and Novelizations: Bringing The LEGO Movie to the Page
Joyce Goggin

Chapter 9       
LEGO Porn: Phallic Pleasure and Knowledge
Shannon Brownlee

Chapter  10    
“It’s All about the Brick”: Mobilizing Adult Fans of LEGO
Nancy A. Jennings


Chapter 11     
“I Just Don’t Really, Like, Connect To It”: How Girls Negotiate LEGO’s Gender-Marketed Toys
Rebecca C. Hains & Jennifer W. Shewmaker

Chapter 12     
Mia Had a Little Lamb: Gender and Species Stereotypes in LEGO Sets
Debra Merskin

Chapter 13     
The Man Behind the Mask: Camp and Queer Masculinity in LEGO Batman
Kyra Hunting

Chapter 14     
A License to Diversify: Media Franchising and the Transformation of the                                   “Universal” LEGO Minifigure
Derek Johnson






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