full name / name of organization:
Jim Daems, University of the Fraser Valley
Proposals are sought for an edited collection of critical essays on RuPaul’s Drag Race. McFarland is expressing interest in the project.
RuPaul’s Drag Race began on LogoTV and is about to begin its sixth season. The program has received a great deal of attention—being one of LogoTV’s most popular programs—and has reached far beyond what many may have originally seen as its limited target audience. In doing so, it has become a cultural phenomena, prompting some television critics to assert that RuPaul’s Drag Race is the best reality TV show.
“Reality” TV has dominated television programming for some time now, but RuPaul’s creation has trumped the genre. RuPaul’s Drag Race incorporates almost every element that all the other tired and predictable entries in the genre do. And that is the beauty of RuPaul’s Drag Race—the program’s concept itself “dresses up” in the conventions of reality TV in the spirit of RuPaul’s statement that, “I don't dress like a woman; I dress like a drag queen!” Yet, while doing this, RuPaul’s Drag Race transcends “reality” to become an incredibly perceptive commentary on society, television, pop culture, gender performativity, and celebrity cult status. This is not to say, however, that the program is above critique. A number of issues arise regarding what may be seen as a commodification of drag. Hence, topics may address (but are not limited to),
RuPaul’s Drag Race, DragU, Untucked and the conventions/transgressions of “reality TV”
RuPaul’s career and Drag Race
The commodification of drag: mainstream or subversive?
Drag and gender performativity
Gender reality and “reality TV”
The appeal of RuPaul’s Drag Race beyond the LGBT community
RuPaul’s Drag Race and its contemporary contexts
Camp and Drag Race
Please submit an abstract (maximum 500 words) in MLA Style and a CV as a Word attachment by October 15, 2013. Completed papers are also welcome, but these must be previously unpublished. Notification of acceptance will be sent by October 30, 2013, and the deadline for final papers of 6-7000 words will be February 1, 2014. Abstracts and any questions can be emailed to the editor (Jim Daems, English Department, University of the Fraser Valley) at firstname.lastname@example.org