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Call for Papers - Black Men in Reality TV

Contributions are being sought for a proposed edited collection that explores the portrayals of Black men in reality television. This collection aims to address representations of masculinity, comparisons to Black women in reality TV, class issues, queer theory, masculine psychology, patriarchal constructions, sexuality, invisibility, respectability, and social activism or lack of activism. This collection, tentatively titled There’s No Blachelor: Portrayals of Black Men in Reality TV, is a follow-up to the book Real Sister: Stereotypes, Respectability, and Black Women in Reality TV (Rutgers University Press, October 2015). In opposition to the white mainstream show, The Bachelor, Flavor Flav labeled himself “the Blachelor” on his reality dating show, The Flavor of Love. A recent season of the network television show The Bachelor introduced a Hispanic male lead, yet in the show’s 19 seasons there has never been a Black male lead. The lack of mainstream Black male representation has led to a surfeit of roles on less privileged shows.

Reality Television is a genre that is growing exponentially. Black women have been more prominent, yet Black men consistently are gaining exposure. Preachers of L.A. and its upcoming spin-off Preachers of Detroit, Love & Hip Hop and all its many spin-offs, T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle, plus a plethora of other reality shows have provided Black men with an opportunity to become reality TV stars. However, the discussion of Black men in reality TV has existed on the periphery of scholarship. Their portrayal garners national attention as evidenced by petitions to prevent the airing of All My Babies’ Mamas, which featured Shawty Low and the 10 mothers of his 11 children. This show, like many others, made scholars glaringly aware of the need to expand the conversation on the representation of Black men in the genre. The central aim of the book is not to argue for or against Black reality television; rather, the goal is to inspire a more nuanced and scholarly discussion of the effects of reality television on the image of Black men in society.

The volume will be academic in approach, but essays should be written in accessible, jargon-free language in order to attract the serious general reader and members of literary discussion groups and book clubs. Essays from all disciplines and fields are welcomed.

***This invitation to submit does not guarantee your submission will be published.

Submission Requirements: 500-word Abstract of essay and CV Final essays will be between 5000-7000 words and in MLA format

Timeframe/Deadline: Abstract submissions are due: November 30 Final Essay submissions will be due Spring 2016

Editor Jervette R. Ward, Ph.D.

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