Gendered Constructions of the Recession

Download this CFP as PDF: FMS14.2_GenderRecession_CFP

Call for Papers


Commentary and Criticism


Issue 14.2 Gendered Constructions of the Recession


While the ongoing economic recession might have signaled a failure of neoliberal cultural and economic policies, governments worldwide are doubling down on austerity and entrepreneurialism as solutions to social and economic problems. Even “progressive” developments, such as gains in legal status for gay and lesbian couples, seem to represent a retrenchment of the middle-class family unit rather than a commitment to public welfare across class and other categories. What should we, as feminist media observers, make of such renewed commitments to individualism amidst widespread job loss and public sector cuts? Do contemporary cultural representations of employment (and unemployment), for example, simply echo time-tested neoliberal narratives of self-reliance, or might they reveal cracks in the façade brought about by recent economic failures? How are issues of gender implicated in the material effects of austerity and/or in media constructions thereof? Are there observable differences in the way the recession is experienced or represented globally across categories of gender, race, class, ability, sexuality, and nationality?


This issue of Commentary and Criticism invites papers that explore the implications of any aspect of the current global financial crisis in relation to media and gender. Contributions from beyond North America and the UK are especially welcome. Possible topics could include, but are not limited to the following:


  • Screen representations of unemployment and job instability, particularly in terms of gender, race, class, and sexuality
  • Gendered coverage of the recession and its impacts across national contexts
  • Constructions of technology and digital labor in light of the recession
  • The impact of the recession on gender/race/class/sexual (in)equality in media industries
  • The impact of the recession on feminist media/gender studies programs within academia
  • The reassertion of traditional discourses of gender, class and labor in broadcast, print, and/or digital media, in relation to constructions of the recession
  • Media genres and varying constructions of the recession


The Commentary and Criticism section of Feminist Media Studies aims to publish brief, timely responses to current issues in media culture. Submissions may pose a provocation, outline work in progress, or propose areas for future study. The editors of Commentary and Criticism are interested in work that goes beyond mere description to provide productive critique. We will also consider book and event reviews, as well as contributions that depart from traditional academic formats.


Questions can be directed to either co-editor, Susan Berridge ( or Laura Portwood-Stacer ( Final essays of between 1500-2000 words including references are due by December 1st, 2013.


Essays should be emailed directly to both Susan Berridge and Laura Portwood-Stacer (submissions for Commentary and Criticism will not be correctly processed if submitted through the main Feminist Media Studies site).


Please be sure to follow the Feminist Media Studies style guide, which can be found at the following link:


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