Call for Article: The Simpsons Did It! Postmodernity in Yellow
Edited volume on The Simpsons and Postmodernity
Proposal submission deadline: March 31, 2014
Publisher: Ferstl&Perz (Vienna)
Editors: Martin Tschiggerl, Thomas Walach-Brinek (University of Vienna)
On the 17th of December 2014 the US TV-series „The Simpsons“ celebrates its 25th birthday – a remarkable anniversary. With an airtime of 25 years and more than 550 published episodes the Simpsons are part of the everyday media-reality of more than just one generation of television viewers. A fact which has also led to much critical acclaim, proofed by a total of 107 notable prizes awarded to the series, including no less than 27 Emmys.
Their immense popularity as well the critics' esteem highlight The Simpsons' importance as popculture-phenomenon and demand far-ranging scholarly attention. The Simpsons are a good example to demonstrate that a biased differentiation of so called „high“ and „popular“ culture has no analytical value, as numerous theorists – most prominent perhaps Susan Sontag – have asserted since the 1960s. Building on the basis of this paradigm change, Slavoj ˇi˛ek states that popular culture should not only be the object of theorisation but can itself provide valuable input for theory-focused research. This project aims to use The Simpsons as analytical media-matrix in which aspects of Postmodernity can be discussed.
Based on an idea of Postmodernity which must no be misinterpreted as historical period following and replacing Modernity, but as discursive concept enabling the Cultural Studies to show contradictions and inconsistencies in the meta-narratives of Modernity, the planned volume wants to answer the question: how postmodern are The Simpsons?, or with ˇi˛ek: How simpson is the Postmodernity?
Narrative Structure of Simpons Episodes
The Simpsons as Medium of Cultural Memory
Political Discourse and The Simpsons
Meta-narratives and The Simpons
Intertextuality, Auto-referentiality and Metadrama
The Simpsons as intercultural Medium
The list of possible themes is just a suggestion and open for further ideas contributing to the project's analytical focus.
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