Thursday, Oct. 13

03-03 Jorts (Unbuttered, Unbothered, Unionized) [hybrid]

Thursday, October 13, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm
Promenade A

  session will be recorded and available for later viewing online


Chair: Kerry Kaleba (Folkwise)

2:30 pm
Jean, Jorts, and the Discourse of Animal Personhood [virtual]
Sabina Magliocco (University of British Columbia)

3:00 pm
"Are you helping or are you buttering the cat?” Jorts and Disability Twitter
Andrea Kitta (East Carolina University)

3:30 pm
Jean and Jorts: Feline Champions of Labor
Patricia Sawin (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

In the waning days of 2021, a Reddit user dared to ask: “AITA [Am I the Asshole] for perpetuating ethnic stereotypes about Jorts?” The deceptively humorous query (concerning a squabble over treatment of the workplace cats) set off a digital frenzy as the world was introduced to orange boi Jorts and his intrepid tortie partner, Jean. As posters debated whether Jorts was dumber than the average cat, larger conversations about accessibility in the workplace, the value of cats on the internet, and the importance of labor rights emerged under the guiding paws of the newest online folk hero. Countering social media’s reputation for hostility, posters learned to navigate difficult questions with humility and humor.