CFP: Children's Media
Call for Chapter Proposals for Book Proposal
The editors are seeking chapter proposals for a collection of essays that examine children’s media for non-stereotypical and/or counter-stereotypical portrayals of gender identities and sexualities.
Proposed Title: Challenging Traditional Representations: Breaking gender and sexuality stereotypes in children’s media
Editors: CarrieLynn D. Reinhard (Dominican University) & Christopher J. Olson (Dominican University)
Purpose: Research reveals that children’s programming contains numerous stereotyped representations of gender and sexuality. Furthermore, these stereotyped representations often advance binaristic notions of gender and sexuality that do not necessarily reflect the wide array of sexual and gender identities that exist in the real world. Currently, much of the public discourse surrounding these concepts focuses on their fluidity or lack thereof, and therefore we believe it becomes vital to understand whether children’s media reflect these prevailing sociocultural messages, and if so, how they conform to or resist such notions. Thus, it is important to identify those media and pop culture texts that reflect progressive social and cultural values regarding the fluidity of gender identity and sexuality.
The essays in this volume will identify and analyze children’s media that demonstrate and reflect the wide range of sexualities and gender identities. In particular, these essays will focus on a variety of different characters that demonstrate non-stereotypical sexualities and gender identities. The essays chosen for this collection will work together to examine the presence of these messages in media meant for children, including animated series, comic books, movies, and video games. Each essay will consider how the different texts reflect, reinforce, and/or challenge sociocultural notions regarding sexuality and gender identity. This collection is designed to reveal how these messages become disseminated across the entire media ecology with which children engage.
Proposed Structure: This collection will consist of an introduction, a conclusion, and ten essays exploring this topic across a range of children’s media.
* Each essay should contain original scholarship on this topic.
* Essays should consider any media text meant for children (i.e. animated series, feature film, video game, comic book, etc).
* Essays may consider non-stereotypical and/or counter-stereotypical representations of gender identities and/or sexualities.
* Essays should be 8000-9000 words long.
Essay proposals, to be considered for inclusion as a chapter, should contain a title, your name with your university and title, and 100-150 word abstract explaining the following:
1. What children’s media text you will analyze.
2. What aspect of the media text you will analyze.
3. The importance of this aspect.
4. The potential conclusion drawn from your analysis.
The following presents information as to what will be covered in the introduction and conclusion chapters, as well as an example of an essay examining the media text Adventure Time.
Sample Table of Contents
Introduction: Looking past stereotypes of gender identity and sexuality in children’s media
CarrieLynn D. Reinhard (Associate Professor, Dominican University) and Christopher J. Olson (Adjunct Professor, Dominican University)
In this introduction, CarrieLynn Reinhard and Christopher Olson will describe the prevalence of research into children’s media that demonstrates how the predominant messages about gender identity and sexuality tend to reflect stereotypical notions of gender as a binary that features male on one end and female on the other. Given the rise in public discourse and popular culture of ideas that challenges these stereotypes, the authors argue for the need to examine children’s media with an eye toward uncovering non-stereotypical or counter-stereotypical messages. More recent concepts and theories of gender identity and sexuality that challenge these stereotypes will be introduced here to serve as the foundation for their use throughout the collection.
A Computer Boy or a Computer Girl?: Adventure Time, BMO and gender performance
Christopher J. Olson (Adjunct Professor, Dominican University)
This chapter analyzes the construction and depiction of the Adventure Time character BMO. The authors argue that BMO highlights how gender identity functions as a fluid construct that individuals negotiate and renegotiate via positionings and social interactions. To determine how the series encodes the concept of gender identity, the authors conducted a textual analysis of Adventure Time, focusing specifically on episodes that feature BMO. Through this analysis, they determined that BMO highlights and reinforces the idea that gender exists as a sociocultural construct imposed upon individuals by both themselves and through their interactions with others. Furthermore, BMO illustrates that individuals can negotiate between the two binary oppositions of gender dictated by society. Drawing upon Zizi Papacharissi’s concept of the networked self, the authors believe this construction and depiction of BMO represent a networked gender, which further illustrates the fluidity and performativity of the concept of gender.
Conclusion: New role models for children?
Christopher J. Olson (Adjunct Professor, Dominican University)
In the conclusion chapter, Christopher Olson will synthesize the ideas put forth in the various chapters to discuss the importance of understanding such messages that occur throughout the media ecology due to its prevalence in children’s lives, while also identifying areas of ecology that have not been studied enough and other types of messages not considered within these pages. Thus, the conclusion will consider how people in turn respond to those messages, and propose how other avenues of study can build off the theoretical and analytical foundation laid with this volume.
If interested, please email the authors with your proposal by January 15th, 2016 at:
CarrieLynn D. Reinhard: firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
Christopher J. Olson: firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
CarrieLynn D. Reinhard
Associate Professor, Communication Arts and Sciences
Director, Social Media Minor
Undergraduate Faculty Associate, Borra CTLE
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