“The Part about Being Able to Say What You Want to Say, That Was Smart”: Relationship and Connection in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (SAMLA, Atlanta, Nov 9-11, 2023)

deadline for submissions: 
July 28, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Angela Ridinger-Dotterman / Queensborough Community College--CUNY

This is a call for papers for a panel focusing on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, to be held at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association Annual Conference in Atlanta, November 9-11, 2023.

The final season of Amazon Prime’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel opens with two departures from the structure built over the first four seasons:  After four seasons of engaging viewers in the uncertainty and drama of whether or not Midge will get her big break in comedy, we learn that, in fact, Midge has become wildly successful, shifting our anticipation of the series’ climax from not whether, but how, Midge achieves her dream.  In doing so, the series also departs from its setting in the late 50s and early 60s, the narrative jumping back and forth between 1960 and various points in the future:  1981, 1985, 1965, 2005, etc.   Far more than allowing us to learn that Midge has succeeded, this departure allows us to understand the ways that her success impacts the show’s characters, including Midge herself.  The departures from the structure of the first four seasons allow a different perspective on relationship and connection, not only between the characters themselves, but between the characters and the audience.  

This panel invites papers focusing on relationship and connection in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, including–but not limited to–papers that consider the following questions:  How does the ability to see the effects of Midge’s success allow audiences to consider the family unit, including marriage and motherhood?  How does the longer view of history allow the series to explore new connections with regard to race, gender, and/or sexuality? How does the movement across distinct social eras invite connection with viewers, who have themselves experienced a movement into a new social era–the post-pandemic–since the time that the series began?

By July 28, please submit an abstract (250-500 words), a brief bio, and any A/V or scheduling requests to Angela Ridinger-Dotterman, Queensborough Community College–CUNY, at aridingerdotterman@qcc.cuny.edu.