Deadline: April 1, 2020
Edited Collection by Stephanie Patrick and Mythili Rajiva
Since the explosion of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements in late 2017, gendered and sexual violence have never been more visible, discussed, and debated in Western culture. While a survey of recent television and film texts might demonstrate a related shift in how some stories of sexual violence are told, these texts do not necessarily represent a shift in the power structures of media production, the demographics of those telling such stories, or even a more nuanced understanding of rape and rape culture (Byrne & Toddeo, 2019; Jermyn, 2017; Pinedo, 2019).
As Sarah Projansky so powerfully argued in her classic text /Watching Rape /(2001), the media is a site in which ideas about sexual violence are not only reflected but, also, socially and culturally constructed. The recent growth in feminist scholarship on sexual and gendered violence in the media (Boyle, 2019; Clarke, 2014; Horeck, 2018; Joy, 2019; Magestro, 2015; Oliver, 2016; Phillips, 2016) points to a growing understanding of the relationship between rape culture and culture more broadly. However, such an understanding seems to have little effect on the amount of dead or raped girls showing up on our screens. In fact, the trope of the victimized young woman is more popular than ever, mobilized in a range of contemporary, “post-television” texts spanning a variety of genres, including shows such as /Game of Thrones/,/Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/, /You/, /The Fall/, /Thirteen Reasons Why/, /Unbelievable/,/Outlander/, and /The Handmaid’s Tale/.
Furthermore, while these shows may represent a more diverse view of gendered violence in Western popular culture, they are still centered on the victimization of white, middle class, able-bodied, heteronormative women. Feminist media scholarship has, thus far, reflected this preoccupation, demonstrating few extended engagements with representations of gendered and sexual violence against women who are at the margins of Western society (notable exceptions include Moorti, 2001, Abdurraqib, 2017, Millward, Dodd, and Fubara-Manuel, 2017).
The following edited collection seeks to fill this gap by examining representations of violence against girls or women that are currently missing from the conversation. This collection will work the margins for those subjects whose victimization is forgotten or erased in mainstream representations of and/or scholarship about sexual and gendered violence.
Topics for chapters can include (but are not limited to):
- Representations of sexual and gendered violence against girls or women who are not white, able-bodied, cis-gendered, or heteronormative; for example, LGBTQ+ people, racialized women, disabled women, poor or working class women, immigrant women, Indigenous women
- Analysis of the ways that white femininity operates in texts to sideline racialized women’s experiences. How are such representations mobilized post-#MeToo – a phrase that often invokes the victimization of white (and famous) women, while erasing the victimization of women of colour (and the work of activist Tarana Burke, who coined the phrase in 2006 ) (Garcia, 2017)?
- Depictions of violence against women outside the traditional noir and crime genres (in sketch/comedy, sitcoms, fantasy, historical, reality television, teen drama, etc.)
- The politics of sexual violence on Reality TV shows
- Depictions of violence against sex workers
- Production/economic analyses of representations of violence against women
- Representations of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements (particularly in fictionalized formats)
- Sexual violence against celebrities that are not white, heteronormative, able-bodied women.
- “Post-truth” or “threshold” texts that “radically destabilize incommensurable political stances such as feminism/misogyny” (Rajiva and Patrick, 2019)
- Audience reactions to consuming such imagery (particularly audiences and fandoms beyond white, cis/straight girls and women)
Instructions for Submission:
Please submit an abstract (maximum 300 words) along with a title, author bio(s), and keywords (up to five) via email to Stephanie Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 1 , 2020.
Authors will be notified of their selection by May 1^st , 2020 and, once chapters have been selected, a press will be solicited.