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June 2013, Week 4


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Lorrie Palmer <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 23 Jun 2013 22:52:37 -0400
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Call for Papers for Proposed Panel: Society for Cinema & Media
Studies Conference - March 19-23, 2014

Panel Title: Action TV: Representation, Aesthetics, and Technologies of/in
Domestic Space

                Even as the cinematic
action genre dominates both domestic and international movie screens,
television is increasingly the site for complex narratives, alternative action
characters, and shifting technological contexts within the framework of
action-adventure on the small screen. What do changes in the cultural,
economic, and industrial modes of genre production and reception mean for the
rapidly fragmented television market where a small (but loyal) fan base contrasts
with the broader demographic strategies that characterized the network era? How
does this medium re-write the action text—powerfully identified with traditional
masculinity, violence, and blockbuster special effects in its cinema
incarnation—to accommodate the scale of television, a format transmitted to a private screenspace framed by domestic(ated)

panel welcomes a diversity of perspectives that expands upon earlier action
genre scholarship focused on cinema to now account for the specificity of the
television medium. It is the goal of this panel to contribute to an
understanding of the way we watch television now (live tweeting, digital streaming, or TV on DVD, for example) and
how this is shaped by or reflective of the hybridity and serialization of
action-oriented TV content and programming. Mobile, personal, and domestic
technologies are the twenty-first century conduits for televisual action texts
and we should ask how this might enable alternatives to traditional (cinematic)
representations of action heroism, to gendered technologies, and to onscreen
aesthetics. It is also the goal of this panel to constitute the foundation of
an anthology on Action Television, a project for which a university press has
already expressed interest. 



Individual papers on this panel might explore (but are certainly not
limited to) the following inter-related categories:

-Crime procedurals, spy-fi, and
mysteries fronted by female action protagonists (Law & Order: SVU, Covert
Affairs, Alias, Dark Angel, Body of Proof, Veronica Mars,
Fringe, Homeland, Rizzoli & Isles,
The Killing, Haven)

-The aesthetics & narrative
POV of surveillance (24, Person of Interest)

-Hybrid action texts (sci-fi action
such as Battlestar Galactica, Continuum, Falling Skies, Defiance, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,
and the upcoming Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.;
action horror dramas like The Walking
Dead, Dexter, Hannibal; action history/fantasy: Game of Thrones, Spartacus: War of the Damned,
Rome, Copper)

-Reality in Action: The Greatest Catch, The Amazing Race, The Hero

-The Urban and/or The Rural: Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Supernatural, Breaking Bad, Jericho, Longmire  /  Burn Notice, Southland, The Shield, The Wire, Arrow, Alphas, Vegas, Hawaii Five-O, NCIS: Los

-Comparative analyses between
classic and contemporary action series

-Reception trends (social media
fandom of particular series, marathon viewing/timeshifting via DVR or TV on DVD
as an alternative to live broadcast): do the long-form narratives and
mythologies of series like Lost, Heroes, Fringe, Galactica, The X-Files, Buffy/Angel, etc. alter
how action is conceptualized by producers and consumers, distinguishing the
small screen from feature film texts?

-The role of digital technologies
in the production (budget-friendly FX) and consumption (live streaming to home
and personal devices or transmedia TV/videogame crossover, as in the Defiance series) of action TV


submit a 250-300 word abstract, proposed bibliography and brief bio to Lorrie
Palmer ([log in to unmask]) by August 6, 2013. Panel selection will be made by
August 15.

Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama: