Reality-TV Love (3/1/10; 11/11-14/10

full name / name of organization: 
Cynthia J. Miller/Film & History
contact email: 

Call for Papers
"Reality-TV Love: Bachelors and Bachelorettes"
2010 Film & History Conference: Representations of Love in Film and Television
November 11-14, 2010
Hyatt Regency Milwaukee
Second Round Deadline: March 1. 2010

AREA: Reality-TV Love: Bachelors and Bachelorettes

We all know the formula: 25 contestants compete for the affection of one eligible (although not always desirable) single. Each week, contestants fight, lie, and claw their way through eliminations, often participating in humiliating challenges. From The Bachelor and The Bachelorette to their many Cable TV offspring, it seems that a Bachelor-style dating show is a recipe for reality-TV success.

In their various forms, Reality-TV Love has helped redefine love and dating. How do we understand these shows in the context of television's treatment of love over time (The Dating Game of the mid-1960s, for example)? What do these shows reveal about 21st century love? In what ways do they subvert or reinforce mainstream norms and values regarding coupling? What does the popularity of "intimacy audiencing" mean for society? What strategies do programmers (as fantasy producers) and audiences (as consumers of culture) employ to overcome the dissonance between the claimed authenticity of the quest for love and the obvious desire to continue successful franchises? How does the surge of celebrity-based dating shows add to contemporary fantasies about the 'realities' of love?

This area, comprising multiple panels, welcomes papers and panel proposals that examine one or a series of reality-TV dating shows, which continue to define and redefine the process of falling in love. Possibilities include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

• The Reality-TV Love Originals (The Bachelor and The Bachelorette)
• Washed out celebrity love (Flavor of Love; Rock of Love; A Shot at Love)
• Love for Money (Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire; Joe Millionaire)
• Love for the Less-Than-Perfect (Average Joe; More to Love)

Please send your 200-word proposal by e-mail to the area chair:

Zivah Perel, Area Chair
Queensborough Community College, CUNY
Humanities 428
222-05 56th Avenue
Bayside, NY 11364
Email: (email submissions preferred)

Panel proposals for up to four presenters are also welcome, but each presenter must submit his or her own paper proposal. For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website (