CFP – Children in American Television: A Changing Landscape

Call for papers
Children in American Television: A Changing Landscape

Call for submissions to a two-volume collection that interrogates the child image in popular post-WWII American television programming.

These volumes seek to trace the American cultural landscape and its impact on the ways popular television (re)imagined childhood and children during each decade. We invite submissions that examine either children’s programming or programs that prominently feature children. These volumes will explore how US television has been a significant conduit for the public consumption of changing ideas about children and childhood. Submissions will connect relevant events, attitudes, or anxieties in American culture to an analysis of children or childhood in American television programs. Each chapter will focus on an era or series, with volume 1 ranging from the 1950s to the 1980s and volume 2 ranging from the 1990s to 2010s. Submissions may also consider how international TV programs respond to, resist, or negotiate with American television portrayals of children and childhood. We welcome submissions from a range of disciplines and theoretical perspectives, including television studies, cultural studies, childhood studies, feminism, sociology and social history.

Below is a breakdown of each volume and examples of programming:

VOLUME 1:

1950s– Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (as myth of the perfect family/childhood), Howdy Doody, The Rifleman or children in the Western, Adventures of Superman, Mickey Mouse Club, Shirley Temple’s Storybook

1960s—counterculture childhood and youth, the rise of Black Power, civil rights, Sesame Street, Mister Rogers (and passive resistance), child rebellion, The Monkees, The Banana Splits, H.R. Pufnstuf, The Andy Griffith Show and Family Affair (as nostalgia for the 50s)

1970s–the era of Sid and Marty Krofft, The Partridge Family, The Brady Bunch, Fat Albert, The Harlem Globetrotters, The Jackson 5, Happy Days (1974-1984)

1980s–Eight is Enough, Full House, Growing Pains, The Cosby Show, The Wonder Years, Diff’rent Strokes, Punky Brewster, Fame, 21 Jump Street

VOLUME 2:

1990s–Rugrats, Beavis and Butt-Head, Ren and Stimpy, Family Matters, The Simpsons, South Park, Goosebumps, Ghostwriter, Dawson’s Creek

2000s– Hanna Montana, The Proud Family, Kim Possible, Dora the Explorer, anime influence

2010s– Big Bang Theory, Family Guy, Supernatural, SpongeBob SquarePants, My Little Pony (also the Bronies), The Legend of Korra, The Suite Life, Glee, Avengers, Jimmy Neutron

American TV on the International Scene–how international TV programs respond to, resist, or negotiate with American television portrayals of children and childhood.

In addition, there is scope to include movies written, directed and produced specifically for television e.g. Born Innocent (1974), Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway (1976), Something About Amelia (1984), I Know my First Name is Steven (1989), etc.

Please submit a 500 word abstract, current contact information, and a brief biography (or CV) as Word attachments to both Debbie Olson at Debbieo@okstate.edu and Adrian Schober at beatles9@optusnet.com.au by 31 July 2016. Authors will be notified by 31 August 2016. The deadline for finished essays (which should not exceed 10,000 words, inclusive of references, using Chicago notes and bibliography style) is 31 January 2017.

Adrian Schober has a PhD in English from Monash University, Australia, and is the author of Possessed Child Narratives in Literature and Film: Contrary States (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004). He has published widely on the child figure in journals such as Literature/Film Quarterly, The Journal of Popular Film and Television, The Journal of Popular Culture, The Lion and the Unicorn and Senses of Cinema. He recently co-edited (with Debbie Olson) Children in the Films of Steven Spielberg (2016) for Lexington Books’ Children and Youth in Popular Culture Series. He also serves on the editorial board of Red Feather: An International Journal of Children’s Popular Culture.

Debbie Olson has a PhD in English: Screen Studies from Oklahoma State University and is Assistant Professor of English at Missouri Valley College. She has edited or co-edited a number of collections on children and popular culture, including Lost and Othered Children in Contemporary Cinema (2012), Portrayals of Children in Contemporary Culture (2013), Hitchcock’s Children: The Child in the Films of Alfred and Children in the Films of Steven Spielberg. She is the founder/editor-in-chief of Red Feather: An International Journal of Children’s Popular Culture and Series Editor for Lexington’s Children and Youth in Popular Culture Series.