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January 2000, Week 2


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John McMurria <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 10 Jan 2000 21:46:55 -0800
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"Screen Teens: Film, Television and Youth Culture"

For the screen industries 'teenagers' mean business. They are frequent
film-goers and brand-impressionable television viewers with pockets full of
disposable income, and a demographic that has surged in recent years as the
'echo' generation enters their teen years. And for young people, this means
that screen media occupy an ever-larger place in the business of their
everyday lives. At this moment of resurgence, this collection of essays
would like to reassess the cultural and historical implications of film,
television and youth culture from the early post-war years to the present.
This anthology looks at how teens matter to screen industries, and how
screen texts matter to young people. It focuses on how representations of
youth have come to pervade the popular media, and on the implications of
screen media becoming increasingly constitutive of youth culture.

This volume combines the disciplinary strengths of screen studies (genre,
textual, and industry analysis) with critical media and cultural studies
(political economy, everyday uses, identity politics) to interrogate the
interfacing of production and consumption contexts, texts and their uses,
and culture industries and lived publics. Sections and topics of
consideration include but are not limited to the following:

Section I - "Popular Culture and Youth"

Ground clearing essays here consider conceptual questions central to youth
studies and the popular including youth and consumerism, political economy,
citizenship, ethnography, cultural populism, interpretation, empirical
studies, cultural regulation and postmodernism. If youth studies have
focused on music and subcultures, this section investigates methodological
options for considering how screen media (re)constitute youth cultures, and
why teen screen events become sites for channeling social and cultural
anxieties or ideological contradictions.

Section II - "Genre and Teen Cycles"

Genres are cultural forms born at the intersection of culture industries and
lived publics. Essays here investigate the generic constitution of the
'teenpic', teen television series, or teen subgenera through this interplay
of industries and publics including but not limited to:
-- The rise of the teenpic in the 1950s (studio crises, television, audience
-- The sexploitation film (Porky's, Spring Break, American Pie).
-- The hour-long TV drama (from James at 15 to Popular).
-- The politics of the 1980s John Hughes films and "Brat Pack" cycle.
-- The teen slasher film
-- MTV genres (game shows, the Real World, Undressed, music video).
-- The beach-movie cycle (Beach Party, Girls on the Beach, Girl Happy, Shag:
The Movie).
-- Documentary (High School I & II, The Rise and Fall of Western
Civilization, House of Girls).
-- Translation and difference in the literary adaptation (The Outsiders,
Clueless, Cruel Intentions, O).
-- The Saturday morning high school morality tales (Saved by the Bell, Sweet
Valley High, Hang Time).

Section III - "Youth Matters"

From music, fashion and sex to identity, freedom and alienation this section
considers the things of significance, pleasure and struggle for young
people. They are also of concern to institutions, censors, parents, juries
and associations. Essays here follow a topics/themes/issues approach that
elaborate youth matters such as:
-- Sexuality (from the strong heteronormative bias in teenpics to
representations of queer sexualities).
-- Violence and youth in the media.
-- Grrl Culture.
-- The Postmodern (Heathers, Edward Sissorhands, Bill and Ted's Excellent
Adventure, Scream).
-- Space and place (the urban, suburban, internet, the high school, or teen
road film).
-- Race and teen comedy (Cooley High, House Party, Sister Sister, Good
Burger, Wood)
-- Geographies of reception (the multiplex, the drive-in, school, and
-- Fan cultures, stars and teen idols (from Tuesday Weld to Leonardo
-- Media intertexts (fanzines and web chat rooms).
-- Stock characters and stereotypes (geeks, cheerleaders, stoners, jocks and
-- Music in film and video.

Section IV - "Consuming Teens"

This section considers how the culture industries approach youth as market,
audience, and consumer, and how 'youth' becomes a commodified image that
projects vitality, authenticity, beauty, and in-the-know, a particular way
of being in the world that solicits viewers of all ages. Essays here might
-- Media synergies and conglomeration.
-- Advertising, marketing, branding and scheduling.
-- The consumer knowledge industry: market research, audience and concept
-- The public knowledge industry: censorship, violence and sex in the media.
-- The music industries and film and television.
-- Delivery technologies and youth culture (the internet, cable and
-- The Independents: American International Pictures (I Was a Teenage
Werewolf, Beach Blanket Bingo), New World Pictures (Rock 'n' Roll High
School, Hellraiser, Heathers), New Line Cinema (Nightmare on Elm Street,
Drop Dead Gorgeous), Miramax (Scream, Halloween H20, The Faculty), and MTV
Films (Beavis and Butthead, Varsity Blues, Election).

Section V - "Screen Teens and Global Youth Culture"

Cultural production is increasingly global in circulation and design, and
youth culture has often been a driving force in this globalization of
popular media. This section seeks papers that consider diverse local,
national, regional, and international screen industries and contexts
-- International circulation of youth-oriented Hollywood screen media.
-- MTV channel brands around the world.
-- Regional teen genres.
-- The Japanese Seishun Eiga (youth film) and the international circulation
of Japanese animation.
-- The Canadian youth film or television series (Sitting in Limbo, Dangerous
Minds, Degrassi Junior High).
-- Youth-orientations in popular Hindi cinema.
-- The Australian teenpic (The Year My Voice Broke, Flirting, Star Struck,
-- The Brit Beat Cinema of the 1950s and 1960s (Beat Girl, Expresso Bongo,
The Leather Boys).

Please e-mail 300-500 word abstracts and a short bio (or any inquiries) by 1
June 2000 to John McMurria, [log in to unmask] Completed papers for
accepted abstracts will be due by 1 March 2001.

John McMurria
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Cinema Studies
New York University
106 Marcy Ave #1
Brooklyn, NY 11211
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