CFP: Essays on Housework and Popular Culture

Home Sweat Home: Perspectives on Housework and Modern Domestic Relationships.
Under contract with Scarecrow Press (imprint of Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group)

Editors: Elizabeth Patton, Doctoral Candidate — Media, Culture and Communication, New York University; Mimi Choi, MA — Literatures of Modernity, Ryerson University
Contact e-mail:

We are looking for original proposals for chapters exploring representations of housework as they reflect and/or critique modern relationships from the nineteenth century to the present time. Since World War II, there have been a proliferation of films, TV shows and commercials, magazines and advertising that reflect and critique numerous issues of domestic life, but we also encourage chapter papers on earlier periods as areas of concentration or comparison.

We conceptualize housework as a key aspect of domestic life, an economic system that has produced domestic commodities and shaped interior spaces. By identifying household labor as “(house)work,” we emphasize the parallels (and differences) between work within and outside the home.

Possible contributions may include but are not limited to discussions of the following:

– etiquette guides, parenting and household manuals from the Victorian and early 20th-century periods
– 19th-century newspapers, magazines, advertising, and post bills representations and/or reporting on domestic issues (e.g. household management, household labor, childcare, household products, 1st wave feminism and the domestic sphere).
– the evolution and continuity of gendered portrayals of household management in TV sitcoms of different periods
– representations of queer domesticity in cinema and television
– representations of rural, urban or suburban domestic architecture in relation to housework and household management since the late 19th century
– growth of advertising in relation to women, housework and the domestic sphere
– history and influence of advice columns in newspapers, magazines and online media
– perspectives on feminine and masculine domestic spaces
– considerations of how specific films and directors (e.g., Woody Allen, Nora Ephron, Nancy Meyers, Judd Apatow) depict modern relationships and household management
– the function and popularity of “domestic” reality television shows (e.g., The Week the Women Went, Wife Swap, Jon and Kate Plus Eight).
– impact of cable-TV programming and the commodification and glamorization of household labor (e.g., Bravo, HGTV, Food Network)
– phenomena of hoarding and its depiction on TV

We invite 500-word chapter abstracts of critical and scholarly essays with works cited. Deadline is October 15, 2012. Successful authors will be notified by November 4, 2012. Completed chapter essays will be due February 1, 2013. Accepted papers are conditional upon final submission and approval by Readers of the press.

Please include a brief bio/cv (must include affiliation, educational background, research interests and current position) and contact info with submission.

CFP categories:
– popular culture
– media studies
– feminist theory
– sociology
– gender studies
– cultural studies