Zeki Müren, a prince from outer space : reading Turkey's gender-bending pop legend as a transmedia star
Reading Turkey's gender-bending pop legend as a transmedia star
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Comparative Media Studies.
William Uricchio, Vivek Bald and Sasha Costanza-Chock.
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Zeki Müren is Turkey's beloved queer pop star whose career spans a period between his first radio emission in 1951 and his death during a live television program in 1996. He is a pioneer of 'Turkish Art Music', a trailblazer in utilizing novel mass communication tools, a proud nationalist who donated half of his estate to Military Veterans Organization, and an LGBTQ solidarity symbol whose gender-bending image has been an inspiration to queer individuals in Turkey. Müren's artistic production and his star image contain multiplicity of meanings that have rendered him accessible to publics from various backgrounds, subcultures, and generations. This thesis examines Zeki Müren as a media text that is scattered across music (radio and records), cinema, gazino nightclub performances, and television, during his lifetime, and deconstructed and appropriated by fans, artists, musicians, and media makers after his death. Based on their ideological and representational affordances, these media together create a polysemy - multiple meanings that Müren's star image signifies - whose elements are often in tension with each other, while providing different entry points for different audiences. With the guidance of Richard Dyer's work on intertextuality and structured polysemy of star images, and Henry Jenkin's theory of transmedia storytelling, this research follows the traces of Müren's transformation from his radio days, to cinema, gazino, and television performances, while situating these textual analyses within Turkey's political, media, and LGBTQ histories. In addition, two media components in-production - a feature-length film 'A Prince from Outer Space: Zeki Müren' and a participatory and interactive documentary 'Zeki Müren Hotline' are interwoven into this intertextual and cross-generational conversation, emphasizing the generative polysemy of Müren's star image.
Thesis: S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Comparative Media Studies/Writing, 2016.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 94-99).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Comparative Media Studies/Writing
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Comparative Media Studies.