Call for papers – Underbelly: A Critical Reader

readers Just reproducing here a call for papers/EOIs for a collection I’m putting together with Melissa Gregg and Sue Turnbull. Love to hear from anyone who’d like to write something for it – whether you’re in academia, industry or elsewhere.

Call for chapters and expressions of interest

Underbelly: A Critical Companion

Edited by Melissa Gregg, Sue Turnbull & Jason Wilson

This book collection offers a critical companion to the Australian television series Underbelly. Drawing on a range of perspectives ­ from academics, journalists and critics to the show?s production team and the wider public ­ it provides a comprehensive account of Underbelly’s development, screening and reception. In doing so, it explores the social, political and economic conditions that mark a successful program in the landscape of Australian television.

A feature of this collection will be to showcase new partnerships developing across media and cultural institutions in Australian screen industries. A cross-section of work in contemporary media, journalism and cultural studies will discuss key concerns for these fields, and leading critics will illustrate the possibilities for contemporary screen studies analysis.

Writers, producers, actors and directors on each of the seasons to date are invited to contribute to the collection and/or participate in interviews. “Below the line” production staff and workers in affiliated areas (eg. publicity for the series and its distributors) are particularly welcome. Potential contributors for these formats should contact the editors before submitting an abstract.

Several of the chapters for the book are already commissioned, so the purpose of this call is to fill gaps in scope. We seek chapters responding to themes in each of the three seasons of Underbelly, such as:

– underworld and criminal networks
– white collar crime, including institutional corruption
– the drug trade
– commodity distribution and logistics
– drug consumption (including comparative class demographics)
– police culture and/or the politics of bureaucracy
– tabloid media and the law
– inter-state rivalry and cultural prejudice
– the night time economy, including the privatization of security
– sex work
– migration and ethnicity (especially in relation to alternative and/or leisure economies)
– cultural tourism and city branding
– the politics of city space and suburbia
– class and aspiration
– ordinariness
– masculinity and homosociality

Industry concerns for the book include:

– screenwriting and adaptation
– franchising in a global television market
– state and corporate funding strategies
– copyright and distribution (including the piracy threat)
– ratings and advertising
– casting and the Australian acting pool
– the pedigree of successful production teams
– prospects for Australian television careers

Potential chapter contributors are advised to read the following article for
further indication of the material of interest to this collection:

Melissa Gregg and Jason Wilson (2010) “Underbelly, true crime and the cultural economy of infamy” Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies

Abstracts for written chapters should be 250 words and should be sent to us

Abstracts are due December 31.

Accepted chapters, of 5000 words maximum.

Please feel free to pass this information on to others.