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September 2021, Week 2


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Erin Giannini <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 8 Sep 2021 09:34:13 -0600
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B-TV: Television Under the Critical Radar
*Erin Giannini and Kristopher Woofter, Co-chairs*
*Exploitation. Lowbrow. Cult. Underground. Trash. Poverty Row. Programmers.
Pulp. Popular. Mass*. … These descriptors of the “B” movie apply just as
well to what we term “B-TV,” as they describe an aesthetics derived from
the industrial realities that produced them. But while “cult” TV has gained
some degree of respectability as a site where the aesthetics of trash and
the avant-garde often blend (Sconce 1995, Hawkins 2000), scholarship has
not sufficiently addressed the importance of television that falls outside
the zone of cult or “prestige” programming.

This special area of the *Southwest PCA <>*
Television Area, “B-TV: Television Under the Critical Radar,” in parallel
with the new book series of the same name from Bloomsbury
<>, looks into
redrawing the boundaries around what can be considered “important” or
“influential” television across the globe. What do we find when we go
“under the critical radar” of prestige television? What lies beneath and
beyond the high-low critical binary that continues to haunt Western media
scholarship? Eliminating the requirement for prestige or even “cult,”
status as a primary reason for study, we hope to examine characteristics
and contradictions of (mass-)cultural trends and the (often elided)
production realities typically seen as falling exclusively under the
purview of prestige programming.

Do you have something to say about the study of popular, or even *reviled*
forms of television that still might help us to understand ourselves and
others within the context of mass art, mass culture, national or global
community, and national or global production?

Join us! Propose a paper, roundtable, or panel of papers.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

   - “lowbrow” TV (and/or as opposed to cult or prestige TV)
   - “Curated” shows, US and Global  (USA Up All Night; TBS’s Dinner and a
   Movie; Svengoolie; The Last Drive-In)
   - Regional shows (US and Global; past and present)
   - global / non-Anglophone series (telenovelas, K-drama, Spanish and
   Egyptian drama). Topics can include (but are not limited to):
      - Elements of production and distribution, past and present.
      - Regional programming, including regional production companies (eg,
      BBC Wales)
      - Transnational censorship, either in country or for global
      distribution (eg, US censoring of Japanese anime series Sailor Moon
      for violence and sexuality)
      - Lost in Translation? Culturally specific shows or formats
      - We are the World: Globally used or distributed shows or formats
      (e.g., Egyptian or Indian series on Netflix)
      - International co-productions
   - mass culture, aesthetics, reception, production in TV genres and modes
   such as:
      - gameshows (Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, Hollywood Squares, Indian
      gameshows, etc.)
      - reality television (Family Karma, The Osbournes, Love Island, Here
      Comes Honey Boo-Boo, Indian Matchmaking, etc.); transnational reality
      TV formats (eg, Survivor/Expedition Robinson; Trump vs Sugar).
      - pseudodocumentary series (In Search of …, Ancient Mysteries, Unsolved
      Mysteries, etc.)
      - talk shows (Regis and Kathie Lee, Rikki Lake, Ellen, Donohue, etc.)
      - daytime and primetime soap operas (Another World, Falcon Crest, La
      Reina del Flow, Señora Acero, etc.)
      - sitcoms, comedies, cringe comedy (The Comeback; Fleabag; Yo soy
      Betty, la fea; Pen15; etc.)
      - True crime (Cold Case Files, Snapped, Unsolved Mysteries, etc.)
      - variety shows (Laugh-In, Carol Burnett, Saturday Night Live)
   - the cultural politics and/or aesthetic identity of cable networks,
   streaming services and brands: Netflix, Shudder, HBOMax, Disney+, Crave,
   TLC, Discovery, A&E, Lifetime, Oxygen, Full Moon Features, etc.
   - other form(at)s, histories, and aesthetics (e.g., anthology,
   semi-anthology, and limited series), both US and global
   - other production and industry realities and mass-culture (e.g.,
   syndication, streaming service original programming, cable-access TV), both
   US and global
   - erotica and softcore pornography, the concept of “late-night TV” in
   the US and as it “translates” to other global markets
   - distribution: streaming as releasing, syndication, non-commercial
   models (BBC, PBS)
   - children’s programming, Afterschool Specials, educational TV,
   cartoons/animated TV, both US and global
   - TV horror (especially syndicated or niche), and other niche genre TV
   (sci-fi, fantasy)
   - TV news services and networks, US and global
   - early US and global television (production history, aesthetics,
   genres, etc.)
   - transmediality and intermediality: YouTube series, blogs, video
   essays, websites, webseries
   - national, regional, and global TV histories
   - national, regional, and global TV fandoms

Paper proposals should be 250 words, including title, clear thesis and
theoretical framework, and description of corpus, plus a 50-word bio.

Panel proposals should be 250 words, including title, name of panel
chair/provocateur, and list of individual paper titles. Panelists should
submit separate paper proposals as described above, indicating that the
essay is meant to be "part of a panel, titled '----'.”

Roundtable proposals should be 500 words, including title, clear theme and
framework, and description of individual presenters, and their bios,
approaches, texts/topics, and theses.

It is important to indicate above the title of the panel, paper, or
roundtable, the term “B-TV” as separate from the general TV area.

We are committed to *equity, diversity, and inclusivity*. We invite
scholarship on global subjects underrepresented in traditional Western
scholarship, and encourage submissions by underrepresented and marginalized
scholars based upon race, gender, sexuality, and employment status (e.g.,
graduate students and non-tenure track or unaffiliated/independent

Send proposals to both Erin Giannini and Kristopher Woofter by 1 October,
2021 to both:
[log in to unmask] (Erin)
[log in to unmask] (Kristopher)

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