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Hello list members,

After a paper of mine on The Osbournes and Cribs was listed in the  
program for a recent MLA conference, I was contacted by several  
university presses about putting together a book on reality television.  
  Since I do not have enough material of my own to fill out an entire  
book, I am putting together a collection of essays that will examine  
the social implications of reality television from a number of  
different disciplinary and theoretical approaches.  I am including the  
call for papers as part of this message.

Please contact me directly if you are interested in learning more about  
this project, and I apologize for any cross-postings.
David Escoffery

David S. Escoffery, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Theatre and Dance
Southwest Missouri State University
901 S. National Ave.
Springfield, MO 65804
(417) 836-3212

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Call for Papers

	With the continuing presence of reality TV on our nation’s airwaves,  
it is clearly time for a more thorough, scholarly analysis of the  
effects of reality television upon our society.  This proposed volume  
of essays will bring together work on reality television by scholars  
from numerous fields, providing analyses of this complex phenomenon  
through several different theoretical lenses.  The philosophy  
motivating the selection of materials will be the notion that we must  
analyze the social implications of reality television now that it has  
become a major part of our daily cultural diet.  Millions of people  
watch reality programs every day, yet there are, as yet, very few  
published works examining the social effects of this phenomenon.
	Each essay chosen for inclusion in this volume, then, will address the  
social implications of reality TV through one or more theoretical  
lenses.  Specifically, we are looking for essays that examine this  
issue from the perspectives of cultural studies, film studies,  
psychoanalysis, sociology, and history.  A phenomenon as diverse in  
nature and in implication as reality TV must be examined through a  
variety of different lenses.  A single approach to the study of this  
genre will be limited and will not reveal all of the facets of these  
cultural texts.

	Essay submissions should consider the following types of questions:
For essays in the Cultural Studies section:
•	How does reality television deal with issues of authenticity and  
representation?
•	How are we to read the narrative tropes used in reality television?
•	What forms of signification are used in reality programming, and how  
are they decoded by
	audiences?
•	How do the effects of reality television compare to the effects of  
other cultural texts, from television
	sitcoms and dramas to literary works, films, plays, etc.?
For essays in the Film Studies section:
•	How do reality programs compare (in theory or in practice) to  
documentary films?
•	How does the (male? other?) gaze function in the hyper-voyeuristic  
world of reality TV?
•	How is editing used to create a narrative in reality television as  
opposed to film or other television
	genres?
•	What sorts of framing devices are used in reality programs, and how  
do they compare to the frames
	used in films?
For essays in the Psychoanalysis section:
•	How does reality TV create subject positions?
•	What do these shows do to our already fragmented sense of identity?
•	With their hypersexual stagings of desire, what do reality shows tell  
us about the functioning of the
	sex drive and of desire in our culture?
•	What do these shows tell us about the ways in which we deal with  
loss, otherness, and the search
	for self?
For essays in the Socio-Historical section:
•	What are the links between the development of reality television and  
the workings of late capitalist
	multinationalism?
•	What are the economic forces behind the surge in reality TV, and how  
do those forces effect both
	program creation and reception?
•	What happens when reality shows are taken from one cultural context  
to another, and why have so
	many British programs been transferred successfully to the United  
States?
•	What is the difference in “truthfulness” or “historical accuracy”  
between the show as broadcast and
	its subsequent VHS or DVD release, which generally includes “bonus  
material?”
•	Have these shows altered the way we think about historical or social  
change?  Have they added to
	or detracted from our standards for documentation?

Essay submissions should be 20-25 pp. long, in MLA format.

Submissions are accepted either as hard copies, or electronically (in  
one of the following formats: .doc, .pdf, or .rtf)

Please send submissions by May 2, 2005 to:
	David S. Escoffery
	Department of Theatre and Dance
	Southwest Missouri State University
	901 S. National Ave.
	Springfield, MO 65807
Or electronically to:
	[log in to unmask]

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