Archive for April, 2017

CFP: At home with horror? Terror on the small screen, University of Kent, UK, 27-28 Oct 2017

April 19, 2017

The Melodrama Research Group presents:

At home with horror? Terror on the small screen

27th-28th October 2017

University of Kent

Keynote speaker: Dr Helen Wheatley (University of Warwick)

CALL FOR PAPERS

The recent horror output on TV and the small screen challenges what Matt Hills found to be the overriding assumption ‘that film is the [horror] genre’s ‘natural’ home’ (Hills 2005, 111). Programmes such as American Horror StoryPenny Dreadful and The Walking Dead are aligned to ‘‘quality TV’, yet use horror imagery and ideas to present a form and style of television that is ‘not ordinary’’ (Johnston 2016, 11). Developments in industrial practices and production technology have resulted in a more spectacular horror in the medium, which Hills argues is the ‘making cinematic’ of television drama (Hills 2010, 23). The generic hybridity of television programmes such as Whitechapel, and Ripper Street allow conventions of the horror genre to be employed within the narrative and aesthetics, creating new possibilities for the animation of horror on the small screen. Series such as Bates Motel and Scream adapt cinematic horror to a serial format, positioning the small screen (including terrestrial, satellite and online formats) as the new home for horror.

The history of television and horror has often displayed a problematic relationship. As a medium that operates within a domestic setting, television has previously been viewed as incompatible with ‘authentic’ horror. Television has been approached as incapable of mobilizing the intense audience reactions associated with the genre and seen as a medium ‘restricted’ in its ability to scare and horrify audiences partly due to censorship constraints (Waller 1987) and scheduling arrangements. Such industrial practices have been seen as tempering the genre’s aesthetic agency resulting in inferior cinematic imitations or, ‘degraded made-for-TV sequels’ (Waller 1987, 146). For Waller, the technology of television compounded the medium’s ability to animate horror and directed its initial move towards a more ‘restrained’ form of the genre such as adapting literary ghost stories and screening RKO productions of the 1940s (Ibid 1987). Inferior quality of colour and resolution provided the opportunity to suggest rather than show. Horror, then, has presented a challenge for television: how can the genre be positioned in such a family orientated and domesticated medium? As Hills explains, ‘In such a context, horror is conceptualised as a genre that calls for non- prime-time scheduling… and [thus] automatically excluded from attracting a mass audience despite the popularity of the genre in other media’ (Hills 2005, 118).

Helen Wheatley’s monograph, Gothic Television (2006), challenges the approach of television as a limiting medium for horror, and instead focuses on how the domestic setting of the television set is key to its effectiveness.  Focusing on the female Gothic as a domestic genre, Wheatley draws a lineage from early literary works, to the 1940s cycle of Gothic women films and Gothic television of the 1950s onwards. Wheatley argues for the significance of the domestic setting in experiencing stories of domestic anxiety for, ‘the aims of the Gothic drama made for television [are] to suggest a congruence between the domestic spaces on the screen and the domestic reception context’ (Wheatley 2006, 191).

Developments in small screen horror are not restricted to contemporary output. In his work on the cultural history of horror, Mark Jancovich argues that it was on television in the 1990s where key developments in the genre were taking place (Jancovich 2002). Taking Jancovich’s work as a cue, Hills develops his own approach to the significance of horror television of the 1990s. Hills citesBuffy the Vampire Slayer and The X Files as examples of programmes striving to mobilise the genre’s more graphic elements while existing as a ‘high-end’ cultural product: ‘authored’ TV that targeted a niche fan audience (Hills 2005, 126).

Taking these recent developments into account, the aim of this conference is to engage with such advances. Can we say that it is on the small screen where critical and creative innovations in horror are now being made? How has the expansion of satellite television and online sites impacted the genre? How has the small screen format developed the possibilities of horror? Is the recent alignment with ‘quality TV’ evidence of horror’s new mainstream status? This conference will also reflect on seminal works on television horror and revisit the history of the genre. In addressing these questions the conference will underline the importance of the small screen for horror, within the study of the genre and of the medium, and ask: is the small screen now the home of horror?

Topics can include but are not limited to:

  • The seasons and horror on the small screen
  • Gothic television
  • Gender and horror
  • Historical figures and events in small screen horror
  • Small screen horror as an ‘event’
  • Adaptation from cinema to small screen ‘re-imaginings’
  • Production contexts
  • Censorship and the small screen
  • Serialisation and horror production
  • National television production of horror
  • The impact of Netflix and Amazon Prime
  • TV history and horror
  • Literary adaptations
  • Children’s TV and horror
  • Genre hybridity
  • Fandom
  • Teen horror
  • Stardom and horror

Please submit proposals of 400 words, along with a short biographical note (250 words) to horrorishome@gmail.com by Friday 30th June. We welcome 20 minute conference papers as well as submissions for creative work or practice-as-research including, but not limited to, short films and video essays.

Conference organisers: Katerina Flint-Nicol and Ann-Marie Fleming

https://tvhomeofhorror.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/Homewithhorror

 

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CFP: Fan Studies 2017 Midwest Popular Culture Association Conference, Oct 18-22, 2017 St. Louis, MO, USA

April 19, 2017

FAN STUDIES

2017 Midwest Popular Culture Association Conference

Wednesday-Sunday, October 18-22, 2017

St. Louis, MO, USA

Hayatt Regenct St. Louis at the Arch

Deadline: April 30, 2017

Submissions.mpcaaca.org

Topics can include, but are not limited to fan fiction, multi-media fanproduction, fan communities, fandom of individual media texts, sports fandom, or the future of fandom.  Case studies are also welcome.

Special call for Fan Fiction writers willing to share their work or portions of their work.

Please upload 250 word abstract proposals on any aspect of Fan Studies to theFan Studies area, http://submissions.mpcaaca.org/.

More information about the conference can be found athttp://www.mpcaaca.org/

Please note the availability of graduate student travel grants:http://mpcaaca.org/conference/travel-grants/.

 

Please include name, affiliation, and e-mail address with the 250 word abstract. Also, please indicate in your submission whether your presentation will require an LCD Projector and/or Audio hookup.

Any questions? Please email Katie Wilson at KateMarieWilson@gmail.com

Audiences 2017: A Bournemouth University/ CSJCC Workshop, 3 May 2017, Bournemouth, UK

April 6, 2017

Audiences 2017: A Bournemouth University/ CSJCC Workshop

Wednesday May 3rd 2017, 09:00 – 17:30.

This event is free, but spaces are limited. Interested parties please email Dr. William Proctor to book places (bproctor@bournemouth.ac.uk).

Bournemouth University’s Centre for the Study of Journalism, Culture and Community (CSJCC) cordially invites you to Audiences 2017, a workshop including activities and presentations. I am pleased to announce the following scholars will be speaking at the event and sharing their experience of audience research, addressing key issues such as methodology, ethics and project design.

Professor Martin Barker (Aberystwyth University):

“Not just any old data”: the role of theories and methods in audience research.

 Dr. Ranjana Das (University of Leicester):

The Audiences of “Offensive” TV: Offence, Affect and Publicness in Front of Provocative Screens (drawn from research conducted by Ranjana Das and Ann Graefer, and forthcoming book, Provocative Screens, co-authored with Anne Graefer).

Dr. Jim Pope (Bournemouth University)

Reader response theory and practice, applied to readers of hypertext fiction

Dr. Richard McCulloch (Huddersfield University) & Dr. William Proctor (Bournemouth University):

The Force Re-Awakens: The World Star Wars Project

The morning will be dedicated to presentations, each focusing on individual research projects. Following lunch, we will then proceed to participatory workshop exercises designed to address the ‘whys’ and the ‘hows’ of audience research. The following overview provides a précis of workshop activity (with thanks to Professor Barker and Dr. Das).

Audience research is at least to a small extent the awkward cousin of much else in media and cultural studies: arriving on bad days, asking difficult questions, making life complicated for the ‘family’. Not accepting favoured ‘theories’. Demanding good empirical evidence for ‘obvious’ propositions. But audience research is also now well-established and practised with dedication by an increasing number of people in our field.  It has its dedicated Journals, its academic sections of major organisations, even occasional specialist conferences.  Understanding what we do, why, and how – and of course with what challenges and difficulties – is surely important.

The aim of this Workshop is to give you an opportunity to think through how and why you might design a piece of audience research on something pretty current and surely very important. In the first part of the day, you will have heard four presentations from people who, in different ways, have practised various kinds of audience research.  In the afternoon, we will hope to make this as concrete and exciting as we feel it to be, by taking you through some of the processes that we go through, as we plan and design our research.  The topic we’ve chosen to build this around is the nature and rise of the ‘new populism’.

A lot of important work (both journalistic and academic) has been done on this topic, looking at the rise of specific websites, Fox News and radio jock shows, and social media platforms that have played a part in this. There has also been valuable work on the sociology of the phenomenon: the rust belt in America, the former industrial towns in the UK, and so on.  And – more uncertainly – there has been work on the rise of new forms of racism, which is also part of the same phenomenon.  But a huge amount remains unknown.  So, what might be contributed if we were in a position to explore the media choices and involvements of those attracted to the ‘new populism’?

  • What specifically could ‘audience research’ contribute that other kinds of research could not – however hard we might think it will be to do it in practice?
  • What questions would we be aiming to ask – and how might we in theory go about answering them?
  • What would be the biggest barriers to doing the research – and how might those barriers be circumvented?
  • What might be our own assumptions as we approach the task, and what might we do to stop these blocking us and making us prejudge?

 

 

Call for Submissions: The Popular Culture Studies Journal

April 6, 2017

Call for Submissions: The Popular Culture Studies Journal

The Popular Culture Studies Journal is an academic, peer-reviewed, refereed journal for scholars, academics, and students from the many disciplines that study popular culture. The journal serves the MPCA/ACA membership, as well as scholars globally who recognize and support its mission based on expanding the way we view popular culture as a fundamental component within the contemporary world.

Aims and scope

Popular culture is at the heart of democratic citizenship. It serves as an engine driving technology, innovation, and information, as well as a methodological lens employed by the many fields that examine culture, often from an interdisciplinary perspective. Managed by The Midwest Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association (MPCA/ACA), The Popular Culture Studies Journal is an academic, refereed journal for scholars, academics, and students from the many disciplines that study America and American culture. The journal serves its membership and scholars globally who recognize and support its mission based on expanding the way we view popular culture as a fundamental component within the contemporary world.

Topics covered:

– Film

– Music

– Television

– Sports

– Celebrity Culture

– Technology

– Literature

– Comics/Cartoons/Graphic Novels

However, many scholars approach these topics from an interdisciplinary perspective, which adds significant value over single-issue or more focused/specialized journals.

All contributions to The Popular Culture Studies Journal will be forwarded to members of the Editorial Board or other reviewers for comment. Manuscripts must not be previously published, nor should they be submitted for publication elsewhere while being reviewed by The Popular Culture Studies Journal’s Editorial Board.

Please see http://mpcaaca.org/the-popular-culture-studies-journal/ for more details.

We are also planning special issues centered on topics such as Women of Color and Asian/Americans in popular culture. Bookmark http://mpcaaca.org/the-popular-culture-studies-journal/ for updates!

Call for Papers: Edited Collection on Race in Fandom

April 3, 2017

CALL FOR PAPERS: EDITED COLLECTION ON RACE IN FANDOM

Fan studies has consistently identified media or participatory fandom as an intertextual and selfreflexive communitarian space. Further, scholars have produced extremely important work concerning fan identity in these spaces, theorized mainly around the axes of gender and sexuality (Hellekson and Busse 2006; Stein 2015). However, a sustained examination of the effect of racial identity in these spaces has not yet occurred.

This edited collection takes its impulse from Rebecca Wanzo’s (2015) crucial intervention into the genealogy of fan studies that maintained that this glaring omission is not an oversight. Rather, race continues to be absent from broad-based theorizations about fan culture because it “troubles” foundational assumptions about its subversive and inclusive ethos. This collection therefore aims to investigate the ramifications of such trouble by highlighting the operations of race/racism within fandom spaces. It asks how our current conceptions of shared pleasure and intertextual communities interface with these dynamics. The collection aims to tackle these questions from a diverse array of theoretical standpoints and fan texts, also considering the complexity of the category of racial/cultural/ethnic/religious identity itself within a globalized fan-scape.

The collection will be published by a university press (proposal under negotiation) with the publication date of early 2018. Abstracts are solicited for essays of about 6000-7000 words from scholars working on any area of participatory/media fandom, with a broad approach to that term encouraged to include under-studied aspects of fan participation. Please send in 300 word abstracts and author bios to Rukmini Pande (rukmini.pande@gmail.com) by 30th May 2017.

Suggested topics include but are not limited to:
 Theoretical approaches to the category of race/racism in fandom.
 The differential operations of race/racism in transnational/transcultural fandoms.
 Approaches to racializing gender and sexuality in fanwork. Studies of non-white fanboys are especially encouraged.
 The operations of race/racism in offline spaces such fan conventions.
 The operations of race/racism in material fan practices such as cosplay, cult fan collectors, etc.
 The operations of race/racism in non-traditional participatory fandoms such as sports, music, theatre, video gaming, offline gaming, RPG’s etc.
 The issue of race/racism as both a disturbance to fan spaces and as an impulse to radical transformative work within them.
 Historical approaches to race/racism in fandom in order to expand the “canon” of participatory fandom.
 Pedagogical approaches to teaching race/racism in the fandom studies classroom.

Rukmini Pande has recently completed her PhD from the University of Western Australia. Her dissertation “Squee From The Margins: The Operations of Racial/Cultural/Ethnic Identity in Media Fandom” is currently under contract with the University of Iowa Press. She has also published on the topic of race/racism in fandom in numerous edited collection such as Seeing Fans (eds Paul Booth and Lucy Bennett) and the forthcoming Wiley Companion to Fan Studies (ed Paul Booth). She is also published in journals like Transformative Works and Cultures and The Journal of Feminist Studies.