Critical Essay Collection on THE GOLDEN GIRLS

deadline for submissions: 
May 31, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Jill E. Anderson, Assist Prof of English

This call is for critical essays for a proposed edited volume centering on the iconic television show The Golden Girls for Routledge’s Advances in Pop Culture series.

The Golden Girls’s seven seasons spanned 1985 to 1992 and produced one spin-off (The Golden Palace). With a cast of established actors and recognizable guest stars, the series won critical acclaim, several awards, and was the anchor of NBC’s Saturday night line-up for years. The series tackled some serious and timely matters—the HIV/AIDS crisis, immigration, teen pregnancy, sexual assault, same-sex marriage, elder care, environmental concerns, miscegenation, nuclear war, and financial and medical worries for the aging—along with regular arcs involving ageism and sexism. Throughout, Blanche, Rose, Dorothy, and Sophia modeled strong, supportive female friendships, typifying the bonds possible amongst four self-possessed women finding their own way in their golden years.

In the decades since the series finale, The Golden Girls has enjoyed a nostalgic status for some viewers while becoming a “comfort watch” for an entirely new generation. Fandom has produced many tributes: one now-defunct themed restaurant in NYC; podcasts; Instagram and other social media accounts and memes; multiple books including coloring books and children’s stories; board games, tarot cards, and playing cards; merchandise like t-shirts, tote bags, Funkos, Chia Pets, and saints’ candles; and drag queens and puppet shows. The show’s continued appeal and now iconic status make it an area ripe for cultural analysis.

We invite scholars to send proposals for critical essays to be included in this collection. While not limited to the following, we are particularly interested in submissions that address:

·           Sexuality and the sex lives of the women in the series

·           Regionalities of the women and discussions of their familial heritage

·           The arc of the “four woman” show and any parallels (i.e. Designing Women, Sex and the City, Girlfriends, Desperate Housewives, Girls, Living Single etc.), both contemporaneous and successive

·           Ageism and its impacts

·           The role of work

·           The role of medical care

·           Discussions of race, class, or other political/social issues

·           Aspects of fandom surrounding the show

·           An examination of any aspect of The Golden Palace

·           The actors’ activism and its ties to the series

·           Fashion and interior design in the show

·           Analysis of the role of comfort watching the series

·           Ties between the actors’ other work/performances and the series

Proposals should be approximately 350 words and copy and pasted (no attachments, please) into an email to by May 31, 2022. Please also include a short author(s) bio, and use this email for any questions. **EDITED TO ADD: we are open to having shorter pieces too if you think you have an interesting topic that might not constitute a "normal" academic length. Just make note of that in your proposal.**

Thank you (for being a scholar),

Jill E. Anderson, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor of English at Tennessee State University) and Susannah R. Young (Owner/Principal at Susannah Young Creative Communications)