From Harlequin to Harley Quinn

My name is Daniel Skentelbery. I’m a postgraduate student in Film Studies here at Keele and recently I published the article ‘From Harlequin to Harley Quinn‘ for The Costume Rag. My article looks at the world of cosplay (costume play), in which I suggest that when cosplayers adopt the persona of DC Universe’s clown princess of crime Harley Quinn, they do so to better understand the world around them, and in doing so interact with traditions of the Harlequin that go back to the commedia dell’ arte of the 16th Century.


This article came out from research during my undergraduate dissertation, ‘Cosplay: Harley Quinn and the Subversion of Gender Norms’, in Media, Communications and Culture in 2016/17.  The dissertation explores the ways in which fan communities and cosplayers interact with ideas of gender performance, with a specific focus upon  gender bending cosplays of Harley Quinn following the success of Suicide Squad (Ayer, 2016). The piece incorporated critical analysis, with ethnographic interviews (where I interviewed various cosplayers) and auto-ethnography (where I attended fan conventions and cosplayed as Harley Quinn). I’m incredibly proud to have written the dissertation, and (if at times stressful) it was an awful lot of fun to write.

You can have a read of my article on The Costume Rag here: ‘From Harlequin to Harley Quinn


Figure Reference: [Screenshot] Ayer, D. 2016. Suicide Squad. USA: Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Comics.  

Handmade ISP!

Final Year student Magda has had lots of fun handmaking her own characters, props and sets for her ISP – final year media project!

Magda creatively used only sock puppets and cardboard scenery in her short film to depict classic fairytales but with a modern twist.

Can’t wait to see the finished film when its ready!