Extended Call for Papers: Select chapters needed / Representations of African American Professionals on TV Series Since the 1990s

deadline for submissions: 
August 21, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
LaToya Brackett

Please send an email with interest to latoyatbrackett@gmail.com. The volume is almost complete but I am looking for several chapters as shared at the end of this call. Please see if there are any you may be interested in and we can discuss more about the requirements. I am looking for a QUICK turnaround, but I am flexible. I can send a full CFP when you inquire.

Thank you.

Call for Papers:

Working Title: Representations of African American Professionals on TV Series Since the 1990s

Publication by McFarland Press

Edited by LaToya T. Brackett


Extended Call for Papers:

Working Title: Representations of African American Professionals on TV Series Since the 1990s

Publication by McFarland Press

Edited by LaToya T. Brackett


Television is and has been a space of entertainment, knowledge producing, and representation. While television creates a space in which stories can be heard by those we may not hear from in our day to day lives, the potential effects of issues of representation in television hold serious implications for the ways in which fictional spaces in television get translated into the real world. Of those who are most affected by representations in television are those who are members of marginalized groups. This collection of essays specifically focuses on African Americans within television and their representations as professionals across various shows. The fairly narrow representation of African Americans on television is primarily comprised of short-storied characters who act in ways that enforcing stereotypes surrounding African American communities and cultures. As a break from these constant messages, this book aims to give space for analyses and understanding of depictions of African American professionals within television as a way for acknowledging, interrogating and potentially embracing regressive and progressive representations in television.The term “professional” defines someone whose type of occupation revolves around the general American standard that a job which requires a bachelor’s degree or higher is a professional job. A professional job requires special education, training or skill. This definition is a baseline understanding and qualifier for the shows, and their corresponding characters, that are selected to be analyzed within this volume. While the editor would like for your essays to use this definition in choosing and analyzing characters within television shows, the concept of professionality and the problems this definition may present may also be discussed within your submission. Listed below are some themes to consider discussing in your writing.

            Tackling stubborn stereotypes in representation

            Understanding the historical connections to contemporary representations

            Connecting and contextualizing characters across shows

            Need for representation of African Americans in more professional roles

            Deconstructing the new narratives of African American characters

The definition of professional

            The lack of representation in professional roles

The more immediate strides being made behind the camera, and thus reflecting in front of the camera

            What’s next?


Submission Guidelines



After you will submit the following to LaToya T. Brackett via email at: latoyatbrackett@gmail.com

  1. An abstract (no more than 300 words)
  2. A detailed outline of your proposed chapter, including television shows to be discussed and what theme your chapter would align with, beginning with the main theme/thesis/framework to be utilized throughout. Also a statement referencing how it will focus on the professional careers/aspects of the characters. This is essential to ensure the focus on African Americans as professionals, in this edited volume. Continue with outlining major sections of your chapter to allow for an overall vision of what you will accomplish.
    1. LaToya will communicate with you after receiving your outline about the alignment of your vision with the vision of the overall volume
  3. A short biography (max. 200 words)


Deadline for abstract, outline, and biography submission is August 21, 2019

First Draft of Chapter is due within a month after abstract and outline are okayed. See details below on Chapter guidelines.

Chapter Submission Guidelines

Your final submission must be double-spaced in 12 point Times New Roman font and must include a Works Cited Page. In your writing, please use language that is accessible for both academic and general audience. To minimize future editorial work, use the active voice, third person, and parenthetical in-text citations with author and page information. For documentation and style, please refer to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association  (6th edition). More detailed style guide will be provided as well.

Authors will be responsible for acquiring permissions for any images or other elements that may present copyright issues. A signed copyright release must also accompany the final manuscript to ensure that the copyright of all essays remain with the project.


Please send questions to latoyatbrackett@gmail.com

Chapters Needed

The volume has acquired various chapters already, but the volume is missing some key components and the following are the areas in need of having chapters submitted

  1. Chapter on Black detective/agent/officer/captain/lieutenant/commissioner in the margins. Often they are put in the show but are not central to the show.  (under Law, Order and Politics section). Shows that could be incorporated are CSIs, Without a Trace, Cold Case and The Closer.

  2. Person of Interest, CSI: Cyber, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders and Wisdom of the Crowd (under Law, Order and Politics section) This chapter would focus on the representation of Black characters in the area of policing and technology. It can focus on several characters across the shows, not all are required. Being sure to discuss their professionalisms in storylines where the technology is central.
  3. Empire (under the Publicly Figured section). A chapter looking at the series Empire and the music industry and definitions/roles of professionalism. Perhaps looking at the difference/comparison on Andre’s role versus others. How does the family collaborate to make the dynasty work? How does the offscreen professionalism reflect on the show’s success, such as the original music? How do the different lifestyles get accepted or rejected based on the fame of the family in the show? Or based on the financial status. How can you connect the issues of professionalism and representation on the show?
  1. Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder  (joint chapter under law, order and politics section.)
  2. Fresh Prince of Bel Air (under the Black Love section)
  3. Girlfriends and Living Single (under the Black Love section)
  4. Moesha, Sister Sister and Family Matters (under the Black Love section) The goal for this chapter would be to showcase the non-traditional familial structures. Along the lines of “Not the Cosbys.” While also focusing on the ways in which professionalisms are expressed by parents, and the experiences of education of the children.