UPDATE: Collection on 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom (Deadline May 15, 2012)
I invite proposals for a collection of critical essays on MTV's 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom, particularly those with interdisciplinary approaches to the programs and (where applicable) their companion online spaces.
Since 2009 MTV, in partnership with the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, has produced and aired 16 and Pregnant and its spin-off Teen Mom, documentary-style series that, according to the network website, "allow young women to share their story in their own voice." Although feminists such as Jessica Valenti already have questioned the absence of the whole story of teen pregnancy in these programs, namely the omission of sustained discussion of abortion as a viable choice for teens facing an unplanned pregnancy, also of significant concern are questions of authentic voice and meaningful intervention in the national discussion surrounding teen pregnancy and teen sexuality, and the place of the programs (and teen moms) within popular culture.
Essays may explore, but are not limited to, the following topics:
• Narratives of sexuality education and abstinence-only initiatives reflected by the programs
• Issues of family and child development
• The programs within the genre of reality television
• The programs as feminist intervention
• The programs' reflection of gender norms and gender inequality
• Intersections of gender, race, and class
• Educational uses of the programs
Please submit proposals of 300-500 words with a brief biographical statement and contact information via email attachment to Letizia Guglielmo, Assistant Professor of English, Kennesaw State University (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than May 15, 2012. Completed essays for accepted proposals will be due by September 1, 2012.