[RE-POST] Exploring Suburban Narratives in Literature, Film and Television

full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association
contact email: 
leviaj@gmail.com

From Revolutionary Road to American Beauty and Desperate Housewives, some of the most popular works of fiction, television and film are those that focus in on the ‘ordinariness’ of suburban living. In drawing on this framework, these works expose the nature of human desperation, the values attached to American patriotism and the anxieties faced in adjusting to modern living. This panel will seek to question why suburban-based narratives have proven to be so successful within mainstream popular culture. Is it perhaps because we as readers/ viewers find a certain liberating accessibility in experiencing a social reality which reflects so closely on our own? Or do these narratives, in fact, present a more idealized and fantastical version of what we desire suburban reality to be? Attached to both these questions is the question of genre representation. The most popular genres which have been used to represent suburban narratives are those of the soap-opera/ melodrama and/ or comedy. To what extent do these genres contribute to the popularity of these narratives?
This panel will welcome papers that explore the popularity of suburban narratives in either literature, film or television from multiple perspectives such as, for instance, these narratives interactions with gender politics and/ or national politics. The overall aim of this panel will be to begin to consider and define the place of literary/ filmic suburban narratives both within these mediums and within academic studies.
Please send abstracts of between 250-300 words to Adam Levin at leviaj@gmail.com by no later than 30 September 2012. Please include the following information:
Name and Affiliation
Email address
Postal address
Telephone number
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)

cfp categories: 
american
film_and_television
popular_culture
twentieth_century_and_beyond