Extreme Culture/ Extreme Bodies (Feb 15, 2006)


Call for Abstracts, Chapters, and Proposals ? Deadline Extended to February 15, 2006 Since the 1990s, 'extreme' has become part of the mainstream cultural vocabulary. The American public eagerly consumes extreme cuisine, wears extreme deodorant ('energy-scented'), watches extreme television shows like Fear Factor, drives oversized extreme vehicles, practices extreme sports and signs up for extreme adventure vacations involving bungee jumping, 'high falls,' and 'fire burns.' Extreme body modification, both normative (as exemplified on the television shows Extreme Makeover and The Swan) and non-normative, has been subsumed into the mainstream media, as a form of entertainment and a marketing scheme. These carefully conceived mediated products effectively push boundaries, challenging our conceptions of beauty, deviancy, human pain thresholds, humiliation, entertainment, and leisure. Within this context, it appears that people who want to stand out have been driven to push the extreme to the extreme. Although the roots of extreme culture are counter-cultural, does the extreme body offer a way to resist the standardized, homogeneous, pre-packaged fakeness of consumer society?

The editors of Extreme Culture/Extreme Bodies seek papers on all themes exploring the body, identity, and consumption within the context of extreme culture. Both theoretical and empirical studies are invited from sociological, cultural studies, media studies, and feminist perspectives. Suggested submission topics include, but are not limited to the following themes:

  • The body and consumer culture
  • Recent trends in cosmetic surgery
  • The body within the context of extreme sports
  • Non-normative or subcultural body modification practices
  • The body as an artistic medium
  • Expressions of the extreme body in advertising and popular media
  • Embodiment within cyberspace
  • Theoretical perspectives on postmodernity, identity, and the body

DEADLINE: February 15, 2006. Chapters must be submitted in Microsoft Word format, 12 point font, double spaced. Essays should be in the range of 7500 - 10,000 words with references in ASA style. We will also consider abstracts and shorter proposals. Include a cv with your submission.

Send submissions and inquires to mary.kosut@purchase.edu

Mary Kosut, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Sociology and Media, Society, and the Arts School of Natural and Social Sciences Purchase College - SUNY Purchase, NY 10577

Elizabeth C. Bachner, Ph.D. Instructor of Sociology The New School New York, New York