CFP: Feminism & HBO (5/7/04; journal issue)

full name / name of organization: 
Lisa Johnson
contact email: 


Deadline: May 7, 2004
Editor: Lisa Johnson
"This is way more than a tag line to us. This is the philosophy we infuse
with all of the decisions we make, whether programming or marketing or new
product calls. Everything we do is about doing things differently than
somewhere else." -Eric Kessler, AOL Time Warner sales and marketing
president, on the =B3It=B9s Not TV, It=B9s HBO=B2 advertising campaign, 1997-2003.

The field of feminist television criticism is dominated by a single
question: Is this show feminist or not? A constellation of related
questions orbits tightly around this one: is the viewer feminist? Is the
pleasure of the text feminist? And if the show is feminist, is it feminist
enough? From Ien Ang=B9s landmark analysis of Dallas to Bonnie J. Dow=B9s
readings of the Mary Tyler Moore show and Susan Douglas=B9s discussion of
Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie, critics tend to agree that contradiction,
reciprocity, and ambivalence characterize the exchange between feminism and
television. How does this relationship change in the move from network to
cable? Is HBO =B3doing things differently=B2=8Bfrom a feminist standpoint=8Bor hav=
they just gotten slicker at repackaging old cultural scripts? Is it
possible that this mass media outlet is disseminating feminist knowledge by
revising gender roles, problematizing romance, and exploring alternative
lifestyles? =20

This special issue of S&F (to be launched September 2004) seeks articles
that explore the tensions between conventional ideologies of gender, sex,
and desire and progressive interventions on a single HBO series (Six Feet
Under, The Sopranos, Oz, Sex and the City, Mind of the Married Man, or Curb
Your Enthusiasm). Each article should include a close reading of a single
scene as the material through which to demonstrate your argument about the
balance or bias of the show (S&F will help contributors secure permissions
from HBO to show this clip as part of the article in an effort to utilize
the web=B9s multi-media potential). In addition, the article must position
the show in a specific theoretical context and make a substantial
contribution to the field of feminist television criticism. The ideal pape=
will be theoretically informed but free of jargon and accessible to a wide
audience. Length: 2500 words.

S&F also invites poetry, art, and multimedia contributions that reflect on
the relationship between women and television.

Finally, if you are interested in writing a book review essay on existing
academic treatments of HBO series, please submit a list of titles and your
CV by March 15 for consideration.

* Cultural Studies=8Bconnect to work on other series (Dallas, Melrose Place,
Buffy, etc.)=20
* Queer Theory=8Bon representations of homosexuality, dramatizing debates ove=
gay sex, gay marriage, gay adoption; or connect to concept of =B3queering
heterosexuality=B2 (decentering straight culture, revealing dysfunctionality
of hetero nuclear families, highlighting and resisting hetero privilege)
* Feminist Theory=8Brevisit debates over =B3pleasure and danger=B2 (are feminists
allowed to watch TV before the revolution? What do feminists =B3do=B2 with
HBO?); or address =B3images of women=B2 on HBO, the presence of multiple
femininities, masculinities, heterosexualities, and homosexualities
(interventions in monolithic representation of gender, sex, and desire)
* Film Theory=8Bposition feminist viewing practices of HBO in field of theory
on the gaze=8Bpost-Mulvey, postmodern, 3rdwave
* (Post/Neo)Marxism and Aesthetics=8Brevisit the culture industry debate (the
power of the text to indoctrinate vs. the power of the viewer to resist,
remake, read differently)
Please send completed works to Dr. Lisa Johnson ( by
May 7. The Scholar and Feminist Online is a peer-reviewed journal. You
will be notified by mid-June if your piece is to be included, at which time
you will participate in a brief revision process. Accepted articles may als=
appear in a book project based on this issue.


S&F Online, a tri-annual interactive webjournal and academic zine, provides
public access to the Barnard Center for Research on Women=B9s most innovative
programming by posting written transcripts, audio and visual recordings, an=
links to relevant intellectual and social action networks. The journal
builds on these programs by publishing related scholarship and other
applicable resources. A forum for scholars, activists, and artists whose
work articulates the ever-evolving role of feminism in struggles for social
justice, S&F Online brings you the latest in cutting-edge theory and
practice. =20

The Barnard Center for Research on Women was founded in 1971 as one of the
first feminist research institutes and is home to the nationally recognized
The Scholar & the Feminist Conference. In the 1980s, anthologies, includin=
The Future of Difference (1981) and Pleasure and Danger (1982), were based
on this conference. S&F Online continues the transformation of live event
to publication, launching the conference=8Band its progeny=8Binto the 21st

Designed and managed by a crew of third-wave feminists in tune with
technology, S&F Online transforms the eponymous conference as well as the
Center's other popular programs into a living archive. A fusion of art,
criticism, activism, and technology, S&F Online invites its audience to joi=
in the conversation. Issue 3.1=8BSex, Gender, and Desire on HBO=8Bis the secon=
installment of the new Feminist Futures Series.

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Received on Mon Feb 23 2004 - 22:58:26 EST