1:35-1:55: “’A Life of Its Own’: Co-constructing multiuse places into spaces of professional wrestling”

Christopher J. Olson is a PhD student in the English department at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, with a media, cinema, and digital studies concentration.

Using ethnographic observations conducted at two different professional wrestling events, this paper considers how wrestlers, promoters, and wrestling fans work together to transform multiuse venues, regardless of their size, into meaningful places of wrestling. As both a genre and a mode performance, professional wrestling hinges on the interaction between promoters, performers, and spectators. Drawing on the work of Roland Barthes, Sharon Mazer, Annette Hill, and CarrieLynn D. Reinhard, the analysis reveals that the practices of and interactions between wrestlers, promoters, and fans transform multiuse spaces into places of wrestling, even more so than the various branding materials inside the venues.


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