CFP: It’s HBO! Life After Legacy – Reading HBO’s New and Original Voices (Race, Class, Gender, Sexuality and Power)


It’s HBO! Life After Legacy (2018) will examine, not HBO’s legacy shows, but its current programming, bringing together an international group of media and cultural studies scholars to offer an in-depth look at issues of race, class, gender, sexuality and power behind HBO’s new and original voices.

Current shows, such as Game of Thrones; Girls; The Leftovers; Silicon Valley; True Detective; The Looking; Ballers; and Vinyl, will be discussed through the lens of sociocultural and political context and the transformation of American television and global society in the 21st century. There exists a range of issues here, driven by HBO’s current content, which are important not only to the shows, but to our understanding of society today.

What is it about Game of Thrones, a series of power, violence and fear, that resonates so deeply with audiences? How is it that True Detective (2014-present), a Nietzsche-influenced crime drama, broke viewing figure records? Why has HBO’s comedy-drama Looking (2014-2015) been celebrated as the most original and progressive depiction of queer characters in the 21st century? What is it about the post-Katrina New Orleans-set mini-series Treme (2010-2013) that has provoked discussion about cultural appropriation, race and class? How did indie comedy series Girls (2012-present) re-define the representation of Baby Boomer predecessors and their millennial successors? Why has post-apocalyptic drama The Leftovers (2014-present) been deemed the most brutal and essential, ‘new kind of religious’ viewing experience on television?

Editors: Victoria McCollum and Giuliana Monteverde

Deadline for Abstracts: March 31, 2016

Publisher: Routledge

It is anticipated that submissions will conform to one of the three book parts:

Part I: Authorship, Gender and Reception
Chapters in this section will focus on authorship, and explore the role of creator from a variety of perspectives. Essays should draw upon current HBO programming to analyse the role of the creator, and their perspective and method, in shaping the terrain of American popular culture and speaking to selected audiences.

PART II: Race, Place, Power and Risk
Chapters in this section will focus on HBO’s current programming’s treatment of gender, race, sexual orientation and class, and on the subsequent power relations employed in representing such important identity positions.

PART III: Consumption, Criticism and Fandom
Chapters in this section will focus on questions of political economy, the new culture industry and the changing critical landscape (YouTube reviews, podcasts, Reddit threads, wikis and Tumblr gifs).

Topics may include (but are not limited to):

Lena Dunham, Girls, and the Artistic Narcissism of Creative Millennials
Pizzolatto’s Flying Solo, Philosophical Meanderings and Existential Nihilism in True Detective
Age, Adaption and Traumedy in Olive Kitteridge
Toxic Masculinity, Golden Eras and Collapsing Economies in Vinyl
Game of Thrones: Medieval Laddism, Rape Culture, and Feminist Fandom
(White Girl) Feminism, Privilege and White-Washing in Girls
Postfeminism, Scathing Satire and Political Humor in Veep
Age, Disability, Class and Corporatization in Getting On
The Rapture, Religion and Complicated Worldviews in The Leftovers
Race, Class and Political Truth in Storm-Damaged Treme
Geeks, Freaks, Feminism and Capitalism: Satirizing the Tech World in Silicon Valley
‘The Rock’, American Dreams and Racial Nightmares in Ballers
Queer Naturalism and Petitions For Change in Looking

Submission Guidelines: Abstracts/Proposals (250 words) with a 50-word biography due: March 31, 2016. Notifications made by: April 10, 2016. Accepted and completed papers (5000-6000 words with references in Harvard format) due: April 1, 2017.

Please send inquiries and abstracts to editors:
Victoria McCollum and Giuliana Monteverde at:


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