Unquestionably, Jersey Shore is today’s shining model of refined and educational television. And finally, it’s getting recognized for its many, many academic merits.
Believe it or not, the MTV reality show will be the topic of a one-day conference at the University of Chicago on Oct. 28. That’s right. Papers and presentations from students, academics and other experts will revolve around the people and things we love so much – Snooki, Pauly D, Guidos, GTL, just to name a few.
University of Chicago student David Showalter sought the funding for the conference through social media, calling the show an “original lens through which contemporary problems of gender, ethnicity, celebrity, mass media, and the production of ‘reality’ may be examined.” Now, that’s profound stuff. And, actually, so are some of the potential conference topics Showalter came up with:
- What, exactly, is the Guido?
- Gender roles, gender performance, and normativity, or, “Why do the guys cook and the girls fight?”
- The construction, localization, and performance of ethnicity, or “I’m not white, I’m tan”
- Celebrity and the illusion of “reality”
- GTL as a practice of the self and way of life
- Shore house politics: tribalism, ostracism, and violence
- Fetish and metonymy, or, the Situation as man/abdominals
- Textual/characterological analysis of Snooki’s novel, “A Shore Thing”
Have your own topic in mind? You have until Aug. 1 to submit a 500-600 word abstract that summarizes what you would like to present at the summit.