Postfeminist (Im)perfections: The Aesthetics of Postefeminist Failure in Popular Media [SCMS 2015, Montreal]

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Society for Cinema and Media Studies
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CFP: Society for Cinema and Media Studies 2015
Montreal, CA | March 25-29, 2015

Panel Title: Postfeminist (Im)perfections: The Aesthetics of Postefeminist Failure in Popular Media

From reality TV makeover shows, lifestyle blogs, Pinterest boards, and Instagram feeds, postfeminist media culture is saturated with representations of feminine perfection. These normative aesthetics are shored up through a constant barrage of images displaying a careful mix of well-manicured slender, white young women (styled with high-end garments, beautifully manicured nails, and flawless makeup), who manage to balance careers with romance, friends, and travel with grace and style. While these aesthetics communicate the effortlessness of femininity "done right," postfeminist ideologies mask the labor that goes into producing this type of femininity. Yet, there are spaces where postfeminist perfection is disrupted through agential decision to share personal of images of feminine "failure"—from messy homes to messy hair.

This panel seeks papers that use media texts from a variety of genres to explore how an aesthetic of postfeminist failure visually operates. Authors may turn to traditional media texts like film and television or examine new media like lifestyle blogs, Instagram images, Facebook newsfeeds, and Pinterest boards, which are just some of the sites women use to visually craft and/or disrupt feminine fantasy worlds.

Papers should consider one or more of the following theoretical questions: How is "failure" defined in and through postfeminist terms? What does an aesthetic of postfeminist failure look like—across lines of race, class, gender, and sexuality—and what do these aesthetic practices have to say about the construction of contemporary femininity within the logic of postfeminism? What role does failure play in a postfeminist media aesthetic? How is failure visualized/made visible within a spectrum of contemporary media culture? What purpose do these ruptures play in the larger understandings about the production of femininity and who is doing the rupturing?

Please submit the following information to panel chair Amanda Rossie ( 250-word abstract with paper title; a works cited list of up to 5 sources; and a brief author bio (3-4 sentences).

Deadline for submission: August 3, 2014. Panelists will be notified by August 10.