The Washington Post

‘Jersey Shore’: Yes, it’s now an academic summit

Quick, what’s the first thing you think of when you see this picture? It’s scholarly analysis, isn’t it? (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

Perhaps you thought watching “The Jersey Shore” was a guilty pleasure, an opportunity to giggle at a bunch of trash-talking young people devoted to GTL.

Well, you thought wrong. Because apparently the pursuit of smooshing is now the inspiration for more academic pursuits.

A University of Chicago student named David Showalter has organized the first Conference on “Jersey Shore” Studies. According to a Gawker item and the conference’s Facebook page, the scholarly summit will take place Oct. 28 on the University of Chicago campus.

The conference is open to graduate and undergraduate students, scholars, and cultural critics researching and writing about ‘Jersey Shore,’ ” the Facebook page explains.

According to Gawker, some of the senior-thesis-worthy subjects that may be discussed include:

l “What, exactly, is the Guido?”

l “Parody, self-referentiality, and intertextuality in the later seasons of ‘Jersey Shore’ ” (man, those later seasons are filled with tons of intertextuality).

l “Fetish and metonymy, or, The Situation as man/abdominals.”

l And a subject I sincerely hope Showalter convinces Anderson Cooper to weigh in on: “Textual/characterological analysis of Snooki’s novel, A Shore Thing.’ ”

Hey, university-level classes have been taught about other TV shows. It was only a matter of time, I suppose, until “The Jersey Shore” became the focus of rigorous academic analysis.

So jump on the bandwagon, creepers. You have until Aug. 1 to submit a 500- to 600-word abstract that summarizes the “Jersey Shore” topic you would like to present at the summit.

And if this event prompts the kind of intellectual debate it seems destined to spark, get ready to change your major from women’s studies to Snooki studies.

When she isn’t at a movie theater or writing about movies, Jen Chaney is ... um ... probably at home, watching a movie.


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