CFP--Essays on Tyler Perry; Abstracts 6/15/2012 and Essays 11/1/2012

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Critical Perspectives on Tyler Perry--Book Collection

Call for Papers
Critical Perspectives on Tyler Perry
An Edited Book Collection
Due Dates: 6/15/2012 (abstracts); 11/1/2012 (full essays)

For over a decade now Tyler Perry has entertained popular audiences with live, televised, and filmed performances of signature characters, including his most recognizable character, Madea. While some of his films have sparked public controversies about aesthetics, race, and respectability (or what some have described as the retrogressive and embarrassing nature of his work), Perry's influence in contemporary media culture is undeniable. For instance, prior to his film career, Perry success on stage (ticket sales, video recordings of the plays, and merchandising) provided him with an estimated $150 million dollars a year. Not only has Perry has directed, produced, or starred in at least one film a year, his role in the television industry is increasing at a comparable rate. He is reportedly working to launch his own network, Tyler TV. Perry is at the center of aggressive media empire and production studio that has released over twenty commercially successful films and videos about parenting, marriage, morality, incest, domestic violence, and trauma in black families.

In light of these facts and the limited critical attention attributed to Perry, we are editing an anthology to examine his role in contemporary media culture. The essays in this edited collection will explore his work from a variety of critical and industrial perspectives by examining his self-presentation and public image as well as the films, television shows, theater performances, reception history, and academic and popular critiques and debates about his work.

Suggested essay topics can include (but are not limited to):

Christianity and Perry's films
Perry and trauma
The Madea films and the cinematic history of black men in drag
Oprah Winfrey and Perry
Television networks and Perry
The television shows (Meet the Browns, House of Payne, etc.)
Perry and "Black Aesthetics"
Perry and genre
The Boondocks "Pause" episode
Black Femininity/Masculinity
Perry's stage career
Perry's films and conventions of melodrama
For Colored Girls (2010)

Please submit abstracts (500 words maximum) along with an academic bio and contact details to by June 15, 2012. Final papers will be 6000-7000 words and should be submitted no later than November 1, 2012. Please address any questions to Karen Bowdre, TreaAndrea Russworm, and Samantha Sheppard to the e-mail listed above.