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Latest academic conference is on Jersey Shore

Reality show is "a useful lens on contemporary life"

Jersey Shore is must-see TV for any anthropologist, considering the unique rituals of the Italian-American youth who made  it so successful. That may explain why academics and students from several disciplines (not just anthropologists) will gather for a one day academic conference to discuss the phenomenon at the University of Chicago on Oct. 28, reports The Huffington Post. Third-year U of C student and Jersey Shore fan David Showalter used JoinStart, an online conference-funding site, to raise the necessary cash for the meeting from other students and academics. He told The Huffington Post that he believes Jersey Shore is “a useful lens through which to examine many of the issues that animate contemporary life: problems around gender roles, ethnic identity, celebrity, the influence of mass media, the notion of ‘reality’ itself, and so on.” Alison Hearn,  professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario, will speak at the gathering.

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