Call for Book Chapters: Glee and “New Directions” for Social Change
Editors: Brian C. Johnson and Daniel K. Faill
Fox’s hit show, Glee, has brought a new tone of inclusion to modern television and direct parallels can be seen between the experiences of the McKinley High “New Directions” show choir members and what is happening in contemporary society. Glee has shown the importance of examining the intersections of pop culture and social issues; this text will encourage thinking on how effective the show has been beyond the screen.
Written to be accessible and useful for college students and popular culture scholars alike, this multi-authored text will feature 10-15 total chapters written by scholars in the humanities and social sciences. Authors are asked to provide critical analyses of the show, its characters, and/or its overall usefulness as a commentary on social issues. Authors could also address the young adult novel series, the concert tours, and The Glee Project, the show’s amateur audition spinoff.
Invited authors are encouraged to shape essays around an appropriate application of social change theories and models. These models often address consciousness of self; congruence; commitment; collaboration, common purpose; controversy with civility; and, citizenship. The show’s content often deals with subject matter that would lend easily to critique around such social issues as sexuality, bullying, interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, and family relationships. The editors of this manuscript take seriously the idea that popular entertainment is a cultural phenomenon and a way to understand social issues in America and, as such, this text invites readers to examine the intersections between media, society, and the individual.
The editors encourage authors to consider titles of episodes and recurrent show-specific themes for titles of proposed chapters. For instance, fans of the show will recognize the term “mash-ups” to connote blending two or more songs from different genres, but really serving as a metaphor for conflict resolution. “Slushies” became synonymous with bullying and “diva” references conceitedness or dreams of stardom. Certainly, a show centered on music could also give rise to discussions or titles about specific songs. We are interested in creative, fun titles to stimulate student reader engagement and interest. The following list is designed to inspire your creativity, but authors should not feel locked in or required to address these topics:
• Born this way: becoming an advocate for others
• The Big Question: who am I here for?
• The Bigger Question: who am I really? (hidden identities, finding oneself)
• The Road to Nationals: group dynamics / how to inspire
• Sue or Schue? mattering vs. marginality
• Handling Mash-ups: dealing with personality conflicts
• Finding the Right Song
• Back-Up Singers (followership)
• Glory Days, not school daze: making the most of your experience in school
• Honoring loved ones and those lost
This is the current timeline:
• Abstracts/Proposals (350-500 words) and a brief biography (50-100 words): December 1, 2013
• Notification of essay selection status: January 15, 2014
• Rough Papers in APA format: March 1, 2014
• Final Papers in APA format (6,000-8,000 words) and all forms: April 15, 2014
Abstracts should be emailed simultaneously to both firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Brian C. Johnson
400 E. Second Street
Bloomsburg PA 17815
570-389-4006 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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