Come October, University of Chicago is organizing a proper conference on – hold your breath – ‘Jersey Shore’. The speakers include academics on popular media and people from gawker.com.
The call for papers include some interesting topics such as
· Guido lifestyle, culture, and identity
· The construction and performance of ethnicity
· Gender norms, gender roles, and gendered forms of behavior and emotion
· Reality television as documentary, laboratory, and ethnography
· Confinement, surveillance, and small group dynamics
· Celebrity and the illusion of “reality”
· Temporal and narrative structures within and between seasons
· Rhetorics of “Jersey Shore”: authenticity and “fake”-ness, nicknames and metonyms, being “done” and being “over,” etc.
· Parody, self-referentiality, and intertextuality in the later seasons of ‘Jersey Shore’
· Familial metaphors, relations, and imagery
· Fetish objects, ritual practices, and sacred spaces
· Violence, vulgarity, and the morality of “Jersey Shore”
· Textual and characterological analysis of Snooki’s novel, ‘A Shore Thing’
· The impact of “Jersey Shore” on the reality television industry
· The “Jersey Shore” ecosystem: spin-offs, endorsements, and multimedia marketing
At times like this, I wonder if shunning the academic world was a bad decision. Who would not want to be an academic when you get to watch trash tv and pontificating on Snooki’s fake tan and Kim Kardashian’s ample behind can pass as work. As Pakistanis, most of us are better at violence, vulgarity and morality than most other folks. Academic research on fetish should also be popular among our academia.
If anyone thinks they can write something that can pass as an academic piece on the Shore, feel free to contact the peeps at UoC at @JerseyShoreConf. Yeah, they are so hip; they are on twitter as well.