Panel Proposal: PCAC: 5/9/2013 – 5/11/2013: Pop Culture Influences on the Masculinities of Contemporary Television

full name / name of organization: 
Terrance McDonald / Brock University
contact email: 

Call for Papers for Proposed Panel
Popular Culture Association of Canada Annual Conference – May 9-11, 2013 - Niagara Falls, ON

Panel Subject: Pop Culture Influences on the Masculinities of Contemporary Television

With the multitude of technological innovations that have saturated us within a visual culture, access to popular culture has grown exponentially across an array of mediums: television, film, & the Internet. While popular culture can always be viewed as having a self-reflexive characteristic, an increased visualization that results in society's overall saturation in popular culture provides the possibilities for an ever-present metareferential dimension – metapop (Dunne 1992) or popular culture about popular culture. Given metareference can function as praise of or homage to foregrounding works, as authentication of genres or modes, and as appealing to pop culture aficionados (Wolf 2009), the capacities for metareference studies within popular culture are vast. This panel, however, seeks metareference's relationship with the masculinities of contemporary television. Although there is long history of popular culture influencing masculinity, over the past decade the masculinities of contemporary television have become increasing defined by a multitude of popular cultural influences. Contemporary television shows such as The Big Bang Theory or It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia focus on male characters with in depth knowledge of popular culture history and who's actions and beliefs are often predicated by their knowledge. Film genres such as the Bromance or Science Fiction become key references for these characters, which result in moments like: "what would Spock do?" In addition to popular film and television, a wide array of popular culture references become the sources from which contemporary television masculinities are constructed, such as hipsters, metrosexuality, hip-hop, etc. This panel aims to explore various aspects of metareference's relationship with the masculinities of contemporary television in order to consider possible ways popular culture influences current masculinities.

Potential topics for the panel include:

- masculinity as metapop
- youth subculture & masculinities
- genre's influences on masculinities
- emerging "new" masculinities
- subversion of "traditional" masculinities
- fluctuating or ongoing negotiations of masculinities
- icons of masculinity
- popular film's influence on television masculinities
- homosociality & metapop
- homosexual and/or heterosexual relationships & metapop

Please send a 200 word abstract with 3 bibliographic references and a brief biographical note to Terrance McDonald ( by December 10, 2012. Selections for the panel will be made by December 12, 2012. If you have any questions please email me.