Call for Papers: TRANS TV

19 April 2017
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Call for Papers: TRANS TV

  • Transformations in Television Industries
  • Transformations of Television Consumption Practices
  • Transformation of Televisual Narratives and Identities
  • 21st Century Transnational and Transmedia Television Practices

Wednesday the 13 September to Friday the 15 September 2017, University of Westminster, 309 Regent St, London

Organised in collaboration with the CREAM and CAMRI research centres and the Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design at the University of Westminster.

Organising Committee: Dr Michael Goddard, Dr Christopher Hogg, Jane Thorburn, Paul Dwyer, Ged Maguire, Robert Benfield, Simon Passmore.

Confirmed Academic Keynotes:

  • Professor Amanda Lotz (University of Michigan) hyperlink
  • Professor Matt Hills (University of Huddersfield) hyperlink
  • Professor Jaap Kooijman (University of Amsterdam) hyperlink

The conference will also feature key television industry guests TBC.

This conference proposes an examination of contemporary television under the impact of new platforms for production, dissemination and consumption such as Netflix and Amazon, coming after earlier technological and cultural dislocations of television such as cable, satellite, and home recording practices. These shifts have already displaced television from a stable technological apparatus, conventional television institutions and networks and schedule-based viewing. The latest turn of this ongoing series of transformations poses questions of whether this is leading to a wider transformation of the very definition of the medium itself, as well as facilitating new forms of transmediality and transnationality in television production and consumption practices.

Are series produced by, disseminated on and/or consumed via these new platforms still television and if so in what senses? Is television now only understood in terms of audiovisual digital content with a serial form, and if so what distinguishes it from other digital content such as web series that may also be serial and audiovisual? Finally, is it useful to refer in this context to ‘post-television’ in line with the recently proposed term of ‘post-cinema’ in order to understand the radical technological and cultural transformations of what is nonetheless still widely recognised and understood in terms of televisual form?

Drawing attention especially to the appearance of more Trans as well as LGBTQ figures within such recent US series as Orange is the New Black, Transparent, Sense8 and others, this conference will propose the idea that television itself is going through its own ‘trans’ period, an unpredictable metamorphosis of its identity, arguably allowing for richer post-network complexity in televisual narratives, characterization, style and aesthetics. At the same time, it is important to look closely at how these aesthetic shifts are related to industrial practices like commissioning, international co-productions and modes of consumption in an era in which television content may be primarily designed to be consumed via these new platforms, even if produced by a more conventional television organisation. In order to address these shifts in both industrial practices and television aesthetics, the conference will consist of both theoretical/analytic and industry/production studies streams, as well as roundtables bringing these streams together.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Transformations of television production practices in the Netflix/Amazon era
  • Transformations of television consumption practices encompassing but not limited to binge viewing
  • New forms of transnational collaboration and television co-production
  • New modes of narrative complexity in comedy and drama series
  • Trans, LGBTQI, queer and other liminal figures in contemporary televisual narratives
  • Contemporary transformations of television aesthetics
  • New forms of commissioning and marketing television series
  • Transmedia approaches to contemporary television and digital narratives
  • Queer critical approaches to contemporary television series (Orange is the New Black, Sense8, Transparent, Orphan Black and others)
  • Transformations of television drama and comedy genres and subgenres
  • Transformations of television authorship
  • Transformations of gender and ethnicity in television production and consumption practices
  • Transformations of gender and ethnic representations in contemporary television series
  • Transformations of online and offline television criticism
  • Transformations of television studies in theory and pedagogy
  • Television and ‘post-television’ in digital forms such as music video and ‘user generated television’, as well as on platforms from YouTube to Netflix
  • Future directions and understandings of television in a digital transmedia context

We envisage several publication outputs from the conference as well as other forms of impact.

Please submit a 250-word abstract for a 20 minute presentation and a maximum 100 word bionote to: and by the 8 May 2017.

Acceptance of proposed papers will be confirmed by the 29 May 2017.

Registration will be £100 for academics with permanent positions and £50 for students and underemployed participants and registration will open later in the year.

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