Personal Storyworlds

Retrospection, Reinvention, and Transmediality in Pop Music


  • Kai Arne Hansen Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway



Popular Music, Persona , Personal Storyworlds, Transmediality, Narrativity, Justin Bieber


By combining perspectives from transmedial narratology and musicology, this article explores how the notion of a “personal storyworld” can offer new opportunities for understanding the transmedial processes whereby pop artists’ personas are continually (re-)constructed and (re-)negotiated through and across myriad points of contact between artists and audiences. Emphasis is placed on the performative potential of audiovisual aesthetics and public posturing, on the one hand, and on audiences’ interpretive flexibility, on the other. These related themes are addressed through a case study of an artist who aptly exemplifies the continual transfiguration of pop personas, namely Justin Bieber. The main part of the case study concerns how Bieber’s sixth studio album, Justice (2021), and associated material (music videos, live performances, interviews, promotional material, social media posts) related to and formed part of his broader personal storyworld. This sets up an exploration of how the dynamics between retrospection and reinvention shape the reframing of personas, which raises a series of questions concerning the dialectic between continuity and change, artist-audience dynamics, and transmedial processes of interpretation.


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How to Cite

Personal Storyworlds: Retrospection, Reinvention, and Transmediality in Pop Music. (2024). Persona Studies, 10(1), 7-21.