Debuting in 2019 Disney+ has quickly become the second most popular streaming service worldwide with approximately 116 million users. In fact, it is estimated the service will have more subscribers than Netflix by 2026. With hubs for Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic, Disney+ not only provides “vault” content from these brands, but also original films and television programming. Original content from Marvel (WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, What If…?), Star Wars (The Mandalorian, The Bad Batch), and Disney (The Imagineering Story, Behind the Attraction) have become particularly popular, with more shows for these hubs in development. It is the original programming on Disney+ which will be focus of Disney Plus or Minus (tentative book title).
Disney entertainment has long been a focal point for cultural critics. More than a decade ago, Giroux and Pollock (2010) pointed out that Disney “reconstructs” identities through entertainment. Disney has, and continues, to shape ideas about “gender, race, education, the family, community, education, place, and globalization” (Inman & Sellers, 2016, p. 39). Having endured longstanding criticisms for the use of historical revisionism, tired tropes, and reductionistic archetypes, Disney+ provides the “House of Mouse” with the opportunity to challenge conventional narratives through their new streaming platform. However, have these programs been successful in doing so? Has the new content on Disney+ been a plus or minus? Which side will you defend?
Possible topic areas include:
- Disney Plus
- Nostalgia: Celebrating what’s been said and done through Disney.
- Revisionism: Constructing new versions/visions of the past in order to craft new archetypes and characters.
- Reappropriation: Reclaiming old stories in order to tell new tales.
- Representation: New opportunities for telling stories related to…
- Disney Minus
- Ideology: Examining the reification of disempowerment.
- Revisionism: Erasing or diminishing stories about our past.
- Hegemony: Identifying stories that facilitate hegemonic influence.
- Representation: Ignoring opportunities for telling stories of empowerment in the areas of…
Other possible topics areas: A Whole New World, Re-imagining, Revolution, Reboot, Gender Fluidity, Alternate Stories, New Identities, Mythic Intertext, Multiverse.
This edited volume, to be published by McFarland & Company, seeks author contributions from a variety of disciplines (e.g., Communication Studies, History, English, Political Science, Philosophy, Art, Popular Culture, etc.)
Interested individuals should submit a proposal (maximum 5 pages) and a brief author biography to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by February 1, 2022.
Please direct any questions about this project to:
Dr. John Perlich, Bemidji State University O: 218-755-2807 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Dave Whitt, Nebraska Wesleyan University O: 402.465.2387 email: email@example.com
Giroux, H. A., and Pollock, G. (2010). The mouse that roared: Disney and the end of innocence. Lanham, MD: Rowman Littlefield.
Inman, J. O. and Sellers, K. M. (2016). The Disney Princess Dilemma: Constructing, Composing, and Combatting Gendered Narratives. Counterpoints, 477, p. 39-50.
Dr. Dave Whitt, Professor of Communication Studies
Nebraska Wesleyan University