Mysterious Bodies: Investigating the Corporeal in Television Drama
Edited by Rayna Denison and Mark Jancovich

Horror has often been seen as incompatible with television given the
supposed conflict between the dangerous, fantastic and trangressive nature
of the genre and the safe, routine and domestic features of television
programming. However, recently horror has become a major feature of
television programming and there has been an expansion of programs
dealing with graphic representations of the body. Increasingly American
program makers, for example, have pushed the limits of acceptability in
terms of violent and sexual material. As a result, the collection will
look at a range of different types of television material in which the
body becomes the focus of graphic visual scrutiny as an object of
investigation and administration. The collection will therefore look at a
range of program from horror and science fiction through medical
dramas and those featuring forensic detection, to program dealing with
sex and/or the sex industry. However, these concerns should not be simply
seen as contemporary developments and indeed horror programming has been
a feature of television since the early days, with key shows such as The
Quatermas Experiment, The Outer Limits, Doomwatch, Dr Who, etc. As a
result, the collection will seek to explore the reasons for contemporary
developments while also investigating the historical processes that
prefigure it, and its various institutional and cultural contexts.

Topics covered might include:

* An analysis of the institutional conditions which relate to these
changing representations of the body, particularly the impact of cable
and satellite networks and regimes of censorship.

* Generic studies of the body on television, such as the examination of
the body in horror, science fiction, medical and crime dramas, etc.

* Identity and the body. Obviously the mysterious bodies raise issues
about sex, gender, sexual orientation and race both in relation to
the subject and object of investigation, but they may also provoke
questions about our relationship to and understanding of bodies.

* The problematic body of the hero. In many dramas, the mysterious body is
not simply other but often that of the main protagonist. Many heroes are
engaged in quest to make sense of their bodies and the destiny that it
determines for them and this can be seen in a range of shows, perhaps most
noticeably in Buffy and Smallville but also in dramas such as Nip/Tuck.

* Consuming the televisual body: fans, critics and other audiences. While
institutional and textual analysis has much to tell us about these bodies,
their representation also provokes powerful responses. While many are the
focus of intensive fan cultures, which merit detailed investigation, they
have also been the object of intense criticism and condemnation. What are
the politics of such objections.

Shows discussed might include: Quatermas; Alfred Hitchcock Presents; Outer
Limits; Twilight Zone; Dr Who; Star Trek; Mission: Impossible; Quincy; Dr
Kildare; St Elsewhere; Twin Peaks; The X-Files; CSI; Without a Trace;
Coldcase; Silent Witness; Waking the Dead; ER; Law and Order; Buffy the
Vampire Slayer; Sex and the City; Smallville; Nip/Tuck; Star Gate; Six Feet
Under; Tru Calling

Proposals or finished articles by 1 December 2004
Acceptance by 1 February 2005
Finished articles by 1 July 2005
Requests for revisions by 1 September 2005
Revised articles due by 1 December 2005
Submission of final manuscript to publisher 1 April 2006

Please send your proposal or article to BOTH Editors

Rayna Denison
Media and Film Studies
School of Humanities
University of Sussex
Falmer Campus
Brighton BN1 9RH
Tel: 01273 876587
Email: [log in to unmask]


Mark Jancovich
2.45 Arts Building
Film and Television Studies
University of East Anglia,
Norwich, NR4 7TJ,
United Kingdom.
Tel: 01603 592787
Email: [log in to unmask]

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