CFP: Trailer Park Boys (1/30/05; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Jes Battis
contact email: 

"Between the Trailers: Critically Reading Trailer Park Boys"

        This edited collection will offer interdisciplinary readings of the acclaimed Canadian series Trailer Park Boys. Long hailed as a Canadian cult classic, TPB never received 'breakout' American popularity—primarily due to its setting (within rural Nova Scotia) as well as its unique documentary style. Canadian networks like Showcase allowed TPB to air without censoring its frequent (and highly inventive) uses of profanity, as well as its reliance on narratives entangled with alcohol and drug use, extortion, and incarceration. The show's focus on a rural, low-income community is not entirely new—other television offerings, such as Northern Exposure and North of 60 have portrayed similar communities, choosing to focus on a mixture of economic reality and quirky character drama—but TPB remains unique in that it simultaneously parodies and critiques the social underpinnings of its own community. Through the (frequently illegal) misadventures of its central protagonists, Ricky,!
  Julian, and Bubbles, TPB enthusiastically parodies an impoverished Canadian community while offering powerful criticisms of the legal, educational, economic, and political forces that influence daily life within Sunnyvale Trailer Park.
        Submissions should look seriously at the range of social forces that affect these characters' lives—including the strategies they develop for negotiating a world whose political infrastructures are often pitted against them, and whose liberal-humanist rherotics seek to erase them as living subjects. As a comedy about friendship, drugs, alcohol, and breaking the law, TPB is blazingly (pardon the pun) funny; but as a critical look at legislated poverty, legal intervention in poor communities, and strategies of daily survival within low-income neighborhoods often rendered invisible by public policy, it remains an equally important example of cultural analysis.

Topics might include, but are not limited to:

- inventive language use (Ricky's neologisms, Bubbles' songs and

- drug and alcohol use

- firearms and gun-related violence

- healthcare, social programming, welfare

- representations of legal superstructures—the RCMP, the Crown Council
and provincial/federal court system, the prison system

- historical and geographical aspects of the trailer-park and other
low-income communities

- filmic techniques, doxa and cinema vertite, the mockumentary

- the pejorative myths of 'redneck' and 'trailer trash' culture

- female sexuality, pregnancy, and the sex trade

- systems of housing and residency, power structures (Barbara as trailer
park owner vs. Jim Lahey as trailer park supervisor)

- queer theories, Randy and Jim Lahey, attitudes towards queerness and
bdsm practice, nontraditional romantic pairings (Sarah, Cory/Trevor)

- rap and hip-hop cultures, the figure of the white rapper, J-Roc

- critical race theories, racial dynamics within the trailer park

- family studies, motherhood, fatherhood, nontraditional families (Ricky
and Trinity, Jim Lahey/Randy and Trina)

- friendship, male bonding, masculinity studies

        Send abstracts (300-500 words) to In order to expedite the usually long process of developing a collection, I ask that you send your abstracts no later than FEB 1/05. If there is a large volume of submissions, I will extend the deadline. I have preliminary interest from an academic publisher, but keep in mind that edited collections such as these are always notoriously difficult to place with a press. Waiting time can be long, and, once contracted, the book will likely not be released until early 2006 (possibly even 2007). Still, if you can be patient, I promise it will be a fantastic book, devoted to a show that desperately needs more attention.

For more information, visit the collection's website:

---/Jes Battis/Dept of English, SFU/8888 University Dr/Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6/phone: (604)291-5916/email: ========================================================== From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List Full Information at or write Jennifer Higginbotham: ==========================================================Received on Wed Dec 01 2004 - 13:20:05 EST