Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Media, Art, and Text

First Advisor

Dr. Richard Fine

Second Advisor

Dr. Archana Pathak

Third Advisor

Jeffrey South

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Marcus Messner


Book reviewing has a fraught history in the United States. Reviewers have long been accused of not being analytical enough. It should be no wonder then with the emergence of social media that online book reviewing has become increasingly popular. Online reviewers, especially book bloggers, are no literary gatekeepers in their own right, shaping the tastes of readers across the world. Book blogs in particular pay special attention to titles which have long been derided by institutions such as libraries, academia, publishers, and bookstores. These literary gatekeepers typically ignore romance, fantasy, mystery, science fiction, young adult fiction, comic books, and certain kinds of children’s literature, calling it lowbrow. Book bloggers, though, demonstrate that such genre fiction is much more than escapist, mixing enjoyment with the literary. In addition, book blogs create space for women who have been systematically excluded from reviewing. The primary way that they do this is by subverting the male gendered language and structure of reviews.


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Date of Submission