CFP: GENDER CULTURES AND REALITY TV
University of Auckland, New Zealand. December 2-3, 2011. Reality TV has gained a global foothold in popular culture, offering to explicate, regulate, and manipulate the social scripts we live by. Of these, no social framework is more central to reality TV than gender, yet sustained scrutiny of reality TV’s relation to gender norms, performances and practices has barely begun. In the last decade, formats such as Wife Swap, Temptation Island, Extreme Makeover, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, There’s Something About Miriam, Supernanny and Bridezillas have placed a spotlight on contemporary gender identities and social relations. These formats, like many others, destabilise gender categories even as they insist upon and often consolidate gender as a structuring logic of real-world social relations. At the same time, reality TV reminds us that gender is neither a singular nor a universal category, as demonstrated by the way in which international reality TV formats adopt local features at each culturally specific site of production. Please submit a 300-word abstract short biographical note to firstname.lastname@example.org by 29 July, 2011. Successful applicants will be notified by 19 August, 2011.