HBO’s Girls - Edited Collection

full name / name of organization: 
Peggy Tally & betty.kaklamanidou
contact email: 
Peggy.Tally@esc.edu & betty.kaklamanidou@gmail.com

HBO’s Girls - Edited Collection

We are inviting submissions for an edited collection on the HBO show Girls (2011-present).

Girls has caught the viewers’ and the critics’ attention ever since it first aired on HBO on April 15, 2012. The romantic/sex entanglements and work troubles of its twenty-something female protagonists were portrayed in a relatively unflattering (especially for the standards of conventional television) light, without the glamour and expensive accessories of such shows as Sex and the City or Gossip Girl. While not challenging the essential tenets of good television writing or narration, Lena Dunham, the show’s creator, writer, star and director, has caught the imagination of her increasing viewership, and has managed to honestly address a part of the audience who could relate far better to her low-wage jobs and no-wage internships, as well as her pear shaped body and masochistic relationships with the young men in her life, far better than they ever could to the young women of Sex and the City.

Girls has already made a big splash in contemporary popular culture, and Lena Dunham should be thrilled, as 2013 welcomed her with a series of public honors and accolades. On January 13, she won a Golden Globe in the Best Actress in a Comedy Series category while Girls received the Golden Globe for Best Television Comedy. On February 2, Dunham also won the Directors Guild Award (DGA) for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series for the pilot of Girls. Finally, the young artist is also on the cover of this week’s Entertainment Weekly in a feature that aims to explain just how she “became the voice of a generation.” At the same time, and before it even was put on the air, Girls became the subject of a fierce backlash by the popular press. The show, and by extension, Dunham herself, was accused of offering a solipsistic, anti-feminist track from a privileged set of young women, who nepotistically benefitted from their famous parents as they focused their narrow lens on the experience of a relatively small group of white millenials in Brooklyn.

Whether Girls is either the voice of their generation or alternatively, the smaller voice of a privileged set of a few young women from Brooklyn, remains to be seen. What is true, however, is that Girls has made a big impact already in popular culture, and has generated a large number of discussions (in all forms of press and social media) while attracting both positive and negative spin or “buzz.” Girls is culturally and socially important insofar as it is not only conceived and directed by a surprisingly young female artist, but also because it offers, in a series of poignant narratives, a portrait of young people who are caught in a gloomy sociopolitical context they didn’t create and are, at the same time, asked to navigate their lives successfully without a moral or social compass from earlier generations.

Essays are requested on the following topics although other subjects will also be considered.
• Femininities/Masculinities
• Narrative
• Friendship
• Body
• Love/Sex/Romance
• Millennial generation
• Consumerism
• Work
• Education
• Gender
• Race
• Star Studies
• Intertextuality
• Power
• History
• Cultural products

Contributor guidelines:
1. Abstract (not to exceed 400 words) including theoretical premise, methodology and preliminary bibliography or full papers.
2. Brief one-page CV including affiliation and recent publications for each author(s).
3. Submission deadline for abstracts: March 30 2013. Complete papers are due on December 10 2013.
4. Materials and/or questions should be submitted by e-mail to both Peggy.Tally@esc.edu & betty.kaklamanidou@gmail.com.

cfp categories: 
american
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
ethnicity_and_national_identity
film_and_television
gender_studies_and_sexuality
general_announcements
interdisciplinary
journals_and_collections_of_essays
popular_culture
religion
twentieth_century_and_beyond