Zahra Axinn

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Zahra Axinn is currently pursuing a dual-degree MA in Visual and Critical Studies and MFA in Creative Writing at CCA. A multi-genre writer, Zahra’s work includes plays, fiction, creative nonfiction/memoir, poetry, reviews, and critical writing. Her work centers around topics of interaction, identity, and intersectionality—including relationships, race, sexuality, gender, class, queerness, illness, and nationality. Zahra graduated from Stanford University in 2013 with a BA in English and Theater & Performance Studies. In 2016, she was awarded the CCA All College Honors Award for creative writing in prose. Zahra was born in London, England and her hometown is Berkeley, CA.

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About Zahra Axinn Thesis Project


Zahra Axinn

Queer Pop Music Video: Fantasy Aesthetic in Hayley Kiyoko's 'Sleepover'

This thesis looks at Hayley Kiyoko’s “Sleepover” music video from 2017 through the lens of queer theory in order to show how it runs against and conforms to tropes from music videos. Given the way that music videos ascribe to stereotypes and social conventions, Kiyoko’s work is examined with respect to how it challenges and also succumbs to certain music video expectations. Employing theory from José Esteban Muñoz, Sara Ahmed, and Laura Mulvey the reading of Kiyoko’s music video centers around queer representation, aesthetics, and elements of fantasy. 

Watch Symposium Presentation