STATEWIDE -- The wind blowing in the Windy City is going to get hotter this fall, as the University of Chicago plans to host an academic conference entitled "UChicago Conference on Jersey Shore Studies."
Yes, the operative acronym of the day may be GTS (Gym, tan, scholars will be talking about a silly MTV reality show.)
David Showalter writes, "As the conference’s organizer, I have been asked many times why it could possibly be worthwhile to study such a show. It’s a good question, and one that deserves a thorough answer.
"Odds are, you aren’t one of the nearly nine million Americans who watched the third and most recent season of 'Jersey Shore.' But perhaps you’ve been informed of the cast’s re-appropriation of the pejorative term 'Guido' as a stylistic ideal, their bacchanalian revelry and seven-figure paychecks, or that a young woman calling herself ‘Snooki’ was punched in the face by a man in the show’s first season. ... 'Jersey Shore' has much to teach us—or rather contains much to be uncovered—about how we live, laugh, communicate, and think about our world today ... Subjects as diverse as the construction of racial and ethnic identity; the contemporary meaning of gender equality and the proper distribution of gendered forms of love, labor, and loyalty; the psychological effects of celebrity, surveillance, and social exclusion; and the convoluted and often parodic mise-en-scene of the show itself are all explored on camera by the cast, with invariably fascinating results. Leaving aside the richness of the show’s dialogue, 'Jersey Shore' remains a supremely important cultural artifact. MTV has gone to great lengths to market the show as a quasi-documentary."
The conference will accept proposals until Aug 1. Send a 500 to 600-word abstract to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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