Exploring affect, identity, and populism in and around Todd Phillips’ Joker

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Nihar Sreepada
Gabriel Domínguez Partida


Cultural identity has become a fluid concept in which several positionalities converge; most of them are influenced greatly by popular culture, causing a constant individual negotiation between their real lives and the image on the screen. In 2019, Todd Phillips’s Joker achieved worldwide success not only at the box ofce but also in critical appraisal. Unlike previous representations of this villain as a disruptive social persona, Joker showed the main character as a political fgure that gives agency and voice to the people who are socially repressed. The impact of this representation transcended Anglo cultures to the extent of symbolizing a populist uprising and a growing antigovernment sentiment. Nevertheless, this fgure’s appropriation brings twoproblematic ideological standpoints to the goal these groups aim: violence as the only alternative to restoring equality in society and color blindness that silences the struggles that cultures face depending on their context.

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Cómo citar
Sreepada, N. ., & Domínguez Partida, G. . (2022). Exploring affect, identity, and populism in and around Todd Phillips’ Joker. Revista Panamericana De Comunicación, 4(2), 177–193. https://doi.org/10.21555/revistapanamericanadecomunicacin.v4i2.2713
Biografía del autor/a

Nihar Sreepada, Misssouri State University, USA

Is an Assistant Professor at Missouri State University. As a scholar, Sreepada studies manifestations of nationalism and populism across various contexts, such as terrorist attacks, political unrest, flm, and political speech, through theories and perspectives of nationalism, religion, and identity. He currently teaches Public Relations courses in the Communication department at the Judith Enyeart Reynolds College of Arts and Letters, Missouri State University

Gabriel Domínguez Partida , Universidad Panamericana, Campus Guadalajara, Escuela de Comunicación

is a Professor and Assistant Dean of Audiovisual Production and Communication at Universidad Panamericana, Guadalajara. His area of study focuses on how media representations available by the media impact the formation of cultural identity. He has presented his research projects at different National and International Conferences, in addition to publishing articles and book chapters about Mexican TV series and movies. In addition, he is a certifed screenwriter by UCLA.


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