Queer and There: Representation of Queerness in American Children’s Television Series

deadline for submissions: 
October 28, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Brittany Eldridge
contact email: 

Call for Chapters

Queer and There: Representation of Queerness in American Children’s Television Series

 

The Owl House, Andi Mack, Bubble Guppies, SpongeBob SquarePants and more! American children’s television shows are starting to provide representation of queer characters in a variety of roles. With this uptick in representation, we then must ask ourselves: what type of representation is being produced?

 

Over the last decade the queer character has slowly been given more attention in terms of representation. From being a hidden background character, to token characters, to recurring characters, and now main characters – there has been a slow development of queer representation in children’s television. The Owl House provided Disney’s first children’s television series that had a queer character at the helm of the show, and it was developed by queer creator Dana Terrace. While this is a huge stride for Disney, other networks such as Nickelodeon. Nickelodeon rebooted their popular Rugrats show in 2021 and has the mother of Phil and Lil DeVille – Betty DeVille – as a gay and single mom. Betty DeVille is also voiced by queer actress Natale Morales. There is also Cartoon Network who has had queer coded characters since the 1990s and has been a place for queer representation in their children’s programming since the 2010s with shows like Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated, Steven Universe, and Adventure Time.

 

With all of these places for representation, it comes to question what type of queer representation is being produced. Disney, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network have all been heavily criticized by creators and viewers when it comes to queer representation – particularly when it comes to queer coding and queer baiting. Disney is infamous for queercoding villains in their films and television shows.

 

The following collection seeks to provide not only a history of the LGBTQ+ community in relation to children’s television series, but a collection of critical thought on the representations found in American children’s television series from the 1990s to the 2020s. The proposed chapters may include, but are not limited to:

 

  • Queer characters as token characters
  • Representation of racially diverse queer characters
  • Gender representation and dichotomy
  • Evolution of Queer on-screen representation in select television show
  • Different conceptualizations of queerness
  • Impact of queer representation in American children’s television shows
  • Representation of life challenges in the queer community

 

The collection intends to be one of the first collections in which the focus falls uniquely on the representation of queerness and the LTGBQ2IAS+ community. In current academia, there exists scholarship which discusses the importance of representation; however, there is a lack of academic study on the analysis of the representations being produced. Many online blogs have caught onto this important trend. The overall objective of this collection is to provide the inclusion of submissions from different academic perspective and disciplines which consists of, but is not limited to: Gender Studies, Queer Studies, Fan Studies, Television Studies, Queer History, Childhood Studies, Fandom Studies, Character Analysis, etc.

 

Abstract Submissions Due: 28th October 2022

Abstract submissions should include the following:

 

  • Abstracts should be 300 words.
  • Name, school affiliation, and email address
  • Brief 150 word author biography
  • A tentative title for the chapter
  • A list of anticipated key references

 

Please send proposals to the editor via email: Brittany Eldridge at queertvshows@gmail.com.

Contributors will be notified regarding acceptance on 14th November 2022.

Full chapters are expected to be 6,000 to 8,000 words.