Call for Papers for Proposed Panel
Society for Cinema & Media Studies Conference - March 6-10, 2013 - Chicago, IL
Panel Subject: Bros and BFFs: Homosociality and Friendship in the Media
Over the past several years, popular and academic discourse has identified and articulated the bromance as a new genre in film and television. Bromances such as Superbad, I Love You, Man, and Scrubs focus on straight men’s relationships and commitments to each other. While there is a long history of literary and media texts centering on male friendship, these newer texts are defined by their characters’ more explicit discussions of their emotionally intimate relationships and (often) an ironic appropriation of tropes from heterosexual romantic narratives. Popular and scholarly discussion of these texts thus far has been predominantly centered on the male bonding represented on-screen without contextualizing it in a broader discussion of homosocial bonding that includes women’s homosocial relationships and the connection to heterosocial relationships. As power between women and men continues to become more balanced in many spheres of Western
culture, it is important to examine how women’s and men’s homosocial bonding are changing and how homosocial bonding affects heterosocial, homosexual, and heterosexual relationships. This panel aims to put male homosocial texts and female homosocial texts in conversation with one another and to consider these in relation to various configurations of friendship and romance. While we hope to collectively address the changing similarities and differences between female and male homosocial bonding and the changing social purposes of these forms of bonding in the 21st century, we welcome proposals with any relation to the above issues.
Potential topics for the panel include:
Critical studies of bromance texts
Female “bromances” or BFF texts (Bridesmaids, Girls, etc.)
Heteronormativity within homosocial texts (homophobic speech, lesbians until graduation, etc.)
Frenemies in female homosocial texts
The role of women in bromances
Homosocial auteurs (Judd Apatow, Kevin Smith)
Homosocial actors/acting groups such as Apatow’s troupe (Sandler, Rogen, Segel, Franco, Hill, Baruchel), SNL’s actresses (Fey, Poehler, Rudolph, Wiig), Anna Faris, and Simon Pegg & Nick Frost.
Homosocial game-docs (Bromance, Paris Hilton’s My New BFF, etc.)
Portrayals of homosociality on reality TV
Homosociality in non-Western cultural texts
Homosocial bonding and non-hegemonic masculinities and femininities
Homosocial bonding within interracial or minority groups (Think Like a Man, etc.)
Please send a 250-word abstract with at least 3 references and a brief biographical note to Amy Woodworth ([log in to unmask]) and Michael Rennett ([log in to unmask]) by July 31, 2012. Selections for the panel will be made by August 10, 2012. Please e-mail either one or both of us if you have any questions.
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