Download Full Text (746 KB)


The four books and five movies in the extremely popular Twilight series give readers and viewers a lot to unpack, in both good ways and bad, and have led to fierce debates over the place the series should have in our culture, especially in regard to gender politics. However, most of the discussions of these texts and their cultural impact have tended to lack a robust, intersectional feminist perspective, one that attends to issues not only of gender, but also race, class, and sexuality. This research draws on both fan studies and feminist media studies to examine the various ways that Twilight fans, non-fans, and anti-fans engage with gender, sexuality, race, and other cultural issues in the Twilight series. Utilizing group interviews with participants who are diverse both in terms of marginalized identities and fan/non-fan/anti-fan status, my research draws upon multiple qualitative methods to examine the various ways in which audiences interpret and make sense of these texts and the larger debates surrounding them. I argue that in order to better understand how popular culture and media texts operate, feminist researchers must take into account not only the differing ways in which audiences negotiate meanings, but the limits of their own perspectives and methodologies, and make a conscious effort to diversify and expand their approaches when studying popular media.

Publication Date

Spring 2021




Twilight; Fan studies; Feminist research; Popular culture


Literature in English, North America | Women's Studies

File Format


File Size

664 KB


Faculty Mentor: Lynn Comella, Ph.D.

'Wait, Twilight is a Thing Again?': Examining the Ways in Which Different Social Groups Navigate the Complex Cultural Issues in Twilight