Networking Knowledge: American Telefantasy

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Television schedules are currently rife with Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror programmes. Whereas the re-launched Doctor Who continues to lead the charge of contemporary British telefantasy (Merlin, Being Human, Misfits et al), US shows attract large audiences, extensive media coverage and – since Peter Dinklage’s Emmy win for Game of Thrones – mainstream awards.

Established programmes such as True Blood, Fringe and Sanctuary offer a continued presence on primetime schedules; while cable shows such as The Walking Dead and Falling Skies have had demonstrable ratings success. However, is the demise of previously dominant franchises such as Star Trek, Stargate and Battlestar Galactica representative of an uncertain future? Or will the genre continue to thrive thanks to high-profile newcomers with celebrity showrunners like JJ Abrams’ Alcatraz, Steven Spielberg’s Terra Nova and Kevin Williamson’s The Secret Circle?

The prevalence of contemporary anxieties centred upon (and within) television Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror appear to indicate an opportune time to consider how US telefantasy might be understood, examined and contextualised.
Papers of between 6,000 and 8,000 words are invited from postgraduate students and early career researchers across the humanities and social sciences for this special edition of Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA-PGN. Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:

Historical case studies
Franchises and/or Authorship
The role of technology in science fiction television
Representing (in)human subjectivities and/or identities
The aesthetics of Fantasy television
Constructions of utopia/dystopia
Genre and/or narrative theory
Marketing television Horror
Performance and/or Stardom
Issues of reception
Telefantasy and realism

Proposals of approx. 250 words should be directed to the issue’s guest editors Rhys Thomas at rothomas@gmail.com or Sophie Halliday at smhalliday@gmail.com by 6th April 2012. If accepted, completed articles need to be submitted by 1st June 2012. For any further information, please contact Rhys, Sophie or NK general editor Tom Phillips at knowledge.networking257@gmail.com.

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