CFP: Children's Media

Printable version Thursday 07 January 2016 Last updated at 13:38

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:<>
Christopher J. Olson:<>
CarrieLynn D. Reinhard
Associate Professor, Communication Arts and Sciences
Director, Social Media Minor
Undergraduate Faculty Associate, Borra CTLE
Dominican University<



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