feminist media; media literacy; animated cartoons and video games; gender identity, sexual orientation, race, class, size and ability in popular culture.
Alessa Valentin is a recent Brooklyn College graduate who majored in Women’s and Gender Studies and double minored in Political Science and LGBTQ Studies. Their senior project focused on the popular Cartoon Network show, Adventure Time, and how its non-normative depictions of various gender expressions and identities can help to socialize children into healthier, less oppressive concepts of gender that move past the model of binary biological sex and towards a more inclusive model of socialized gender identity. Their research interests include how pop culture helps simultaneously reflect and shape the way that we talk about and experience gender identity, sexual orientation, race, class, size and ability with a specific emphasis on animated cartoons and video games. As an independent scholar, Alessa has given talks at various institutions on feminism and media. Alessa hopes to become a professor and possibly start their own media literacy non-profit that will engage with people outside of academia with the hopes of affecting larger change.