[Edited Collection]: Neoliberal Entanglements in The White Lotus

deadline for submissions: 
August 23, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Erin Casey Williams & Christine Haskill & Catrin Weimbs

Edited Collection: Neoliberal Entanglements in The White Lotus



The social satire White Lotus was an instant success upon its release of Season 1 in 2021. Set against the backdrop of high-end resort tourism, the show focuses on a group of affluent Americans vacationing at the White Lotus resort in Maui, Hawai’i (Season 1) and Sicily, Italy (Season 2). It entertains and ambivalently satirizes issues such as political correctness and performative wokeness and what they reveal about associations of wealth and status in American society. The show elucidates how, in the current culture, emotions become work, interpersonal relationships become transactions, and the self becomes a commodity, leading to various forms of consumption. 

We invite submissions to an edited collection analyzing how HBO’s hit show engages with the inequalities of the current world. This collection will examine how White Lotus engages with dominant ideologies such as neoliberalism or postfeminism through a cultural studies lens. The collection has drawn interest from a major academic publisher.

Possible topics could include: 

  • Race and indigeneity, colonialism, neo-colonialism, cultural appropriation 

  • Emotional labor, service work, sex work, capitalism

  • Postfeminism, Neoliberal Feminism, Popular Feminism

  • Tourism studies/all-inclusive resorts/zero-dollar tourism

  • Environmental studies

  • Narrative studies and genre analysis such as whodunit, dark comedy, social satire…etc.

  • Cultural reception, social media consumption of the show

  • Celebrity culture/studies, like Jennifer Coolidge as Queer icon

  • Media representations of family and/or romantic/sexual relationships

  • Social capital and wealth inequality, globalization, international capitalism, post-neoliberalism

  • Affect studies

  • COVID-era media construction

  • Historical approaches, like Mike White as writer/director

  • Ethical approaches/the role of media in social change

  • Identity politics surrounding, race, class, gender, sexuality, age, disability, and/or other identities

Submission Instructions: Please submit 300-500 word abstracts with a CV to whitelotus.entanglements@gmail.com. Final essays should be 6000-8000 words, including bibliographies, notes, etc., and should follow the Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition, Notes and Bibliography System).


Deadline for Essay Proposals: August 23, 2024

Anticipated Deadline for Completed Essays: March 2025


Brief Editor Bios:

Erin Casey-Williams, PhD, teaches about reading, writing, and communication through popular culture texts as an Associate Professor of English at Nichols College, in Dudley MA. She has published on zombies in Get Out and intersectionality in The Dark Knight, and is currently working on a poetry collection. 

Christine Haskill, PhD, is an Associate Professor and the Chair of General Education at Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University in Grand Rapids, MI. Christine teaches courses in cultural studies, gender studies, and literature. In their scholarship, they analyze how identity is represented in pop culture texts, literature, and the Gothic genre, particularly around issues of gender and class.

Catrin Weimbs earned her PhD in Cultural Studies/American Literature from the University of Bonn, Germany. She currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at Nichols College in Dudley, Massachusetts, where she instructs undergraduate courses in writing, reading, and communication. Her academic interests span a range of topics including the influence of Big Tech on society, nostalgia in American culture, portrayals of working women in popular media, the cultural dynamics of suburban America, and foundational courses in gender and diversity studies.