November 2002- Press Release from CFP- Dr. Michele Byers from St. Mary's University

CFP: The World of Degrassi

CFP: THE WORLD OF DEGRASSI: TELEVISION AND IDENTITY

Do you remember Degrassi is any of its incarnations? Then submit a paper for this anthology.

Degrassi began as The Kids of Degrassi Street in the late 70’s. Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High followed in the eighties, along with the on-the-street style interview/information show Degrassi Talks. In 2001, the newest installment, Degrassi: The Next Generation began airing.

Over the years, Degrassi achieved cult status. It has and continues to be shown in over a hundred countries. Among the reasons given for its continued popularity is the way it differed from other “teen shows.” It had “real” looking young stars who were often not model thin and who had decidedly imperfect skin, clothes and hair. Degrassi also differed from other “teen texts” in its treatment of controversial issues and, especially, in the diversity of its core cast.

I am seeking articles dealing with any aspect of Degrassi. This is intended to be an anthology accessible to a wide readership. Possible topics might include, but are certainly not limited to:

• Public television and cultural diversity
Degrassi Music (The Zit Remedy, CanCon)
Degrassi on the WWW
• Examining themes taken up by Degrassi
• Studies of characters and relationship
• Discussions of the televisual apparatus
• The political ideologies of Degrassi
• Personal reflections of viewers
Degrassi and identity politics
Degrassi as Canadian popular culture
• Fiction, poetry, photos and art about Degrassi
• Comparisons btw Degrassi and other TV
• Discussions with, by or about the creators of Degrassi

I am hoping that this anthology will link all aspects of Degrassi, from making it, to watching and talking about it, to discussions of the issues it raises, the technology it uses and the ideologies it disseminates, to the way it has provided a creative base for writers, poets, and web-designers. Degrassi offers a vast number of possible themes to address, more than have been suggested here.

Anyone with any interest in or inquiries about this project should direct them to byersmichele@hotmail.com. Final papers should not exceed 30 – 35 pages and should be received by July 1st 2003. Knowing how slowly CFP’s can sometimes be distributed, I encourage interested contributors to contact me even if they are unsure that they can meet the deadline.

Submissions can be sent by email and/or by regular mail to:

Michele Byers, Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology and Criminology, Saint Mary’s University
923 Robie Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 3C3
(902) 420 – 5869 (Phone) (902) 420 – 5121 (Fax)
byersmichele@hotmail.com

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