SCMS 2015 Proposed Panel: "Youth Culture in Contemporary Media" Deadline July 31, 2014

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Society for Cinema and Media Studies annual conference, March 2015, Montreal, Canada

Youth Culture in Contemporary Media

Co-chairs: Karin Beeler and Timothy Shary

Society for Cinema and Media Studies annual conference, March 2015, Montreal, Canada

Youth culture (be it people from age ten into their twenties) continually exerts enormous influence on the media industries to develop new products and promote new content, and those industries are in a constant race to maintain the attention of the youth market. Many of the postwar trends that led to the rise of numerous adolescent stars and the development of corresponding movies and TV shows are still in play today, with a disproportional amount of all screen media (and music) devoted to youth, even when their share of the population has been decreasing. Yet the messages about youth contained in so much of the media are suspect, not only due to their exploitative aims, but because so few people under the age of twenty-five are actually generating them.

This panel seeks to address how youth are represented in contemporary media through a wide appreciation for the stakes of that representation. How do the images of young people in movies and on TV today convey or distort their real lives? Why have these media lately gravitated toward fantasy stories (especially the monstrous and supernatural) and what aspects of current youth experiences are highlighted or subverted by those stories? What explains their displacement of traditional teen concerns about delinquency and sexuality? What do youth stand to gain and lose in their reception of contemporary media about them?

Please submit a proposal that details your idea for a paper on this topic, listing the relevant films/shows you will consider, as well as the research from which you are working. Also include a short biographical statement about yourself. Please send us your proposal by July 31, and we will notify you of our decision by August 12.

If we accept your proposal for our panel, we'll then expect you to remodel your proposal according to SCMS requirements: a summary of no more than 2500 characters, 3 or more keywords, 3-5 sources, and a bio of no more than 500 characters. That proposal must reach us by August 22.

Please send a proposal to each of us: Karin Beeler ( and Timothy Shary (