CFP: Reading Girls

Printable version Friday 08 May 2015 Last updated at 08:32

Call for Papers – Edited Book

Title: Reading Girls 

Abstract submission deadline: 1 June 2015 

Editors: Meredith Nash and Imelda Whelehan, University of Tasmania 



Premiering on HBO to critical acclaim in 2012, Lena Dunham’s cable television series Girls is a candid and comical look at the lives of four young women living in Brooklyn, New York. Following in the footsteps of the earlier post-feminist, woman-centred television series, Sex and the City (SATC), Girls explores numerous feminist themes centring on an exploration of what it is like to be a white New York woman. However, compared to SATC, the show is a coming-of-age story with the characters awkwardly hovering between adolescence and adulthood.


Although the title Girls perhaps symbolises a post-feminist sensibility, its appearance in the opening credits in bold uppercase lettering subverts the pejorative nature of the word “girl” and demonstrates a knowing irony that permeates the show and perhaps an unwillingness to leave feminism behind so easily. Yet questions remain: Who are the ‘girls’? And what do they stand for? Where does feminism fit into the show?


Whether a fan or a critic, the show has generated an enormous amount of discussion and controversy in the global media. We are interested in chapters that draw on feminist/gender studies perspectives to respond to and discuss:

· any aspect of the show (Seasons 1-4) · comparisons between Girls and other woman-centred TV shows ·public controversies raised by the show · Lena Dunham as the show’s creator/writer/director/producer

Possible chapter topics include: · Female/male friendship · Bodies/embodiment · Feminism/postfeminism ·Sex/Sexuality

· Mental health· Race/Ethnicity/privilege · Self-entitlement · Social class/post-recession · Narrative ·Consumerism · Work/employment/underemployment · Satire · Confessional writing/Memoir/diaries ·Millennial femininities · Digital feminisms · Reproductive ‘choices’ · Sex/romance · Masculinities/femininities· Third wave/girl power/digital activism · Second wave feminism/personal is political · Intertextual postfeminism · Feminist hauntings


We have had interest in this collection from two high-profile global publishers and we anticipate signing a contract shortly after the contributor list is finalised. Interested authors are invited to submit chapter proposals (approx. 300 words) and a short biographical sketch by 1 June 2015. If accepted, final submissions of no more than 6,500 words (including notes and references) must be submitted by 15 December 2015. Please send abstracts or queries directly to:




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