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A Preconstituted Panel for SCMS 2018

Alcohol has been an almost continuous presence in screen media, since before the origin of cinema, through decades of censorship, the evolution of television, to the converging social media environments of today. Beer is the world’s oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drink, so it is unsurprising that it is found in numerous familiar media texts, and its impact felt across the production, distribution, and consumption of visual culture. Yet its representation in scholarship has long been dominated by studies of public policy and media effects (impacts on audience thought and behavior) leaving other approaches yet to be savored.

This panel will reveal the many other productive relationships between beer and screen media. This includes recognizing the prominent place of beer in cinema and television – from Harold Lloyd’s homebrew in High and Dizzy (1920), to Dennis Hopper’s PBR in Blue Velvet (1986), and Homer Simpson’s beer of choice, Duff (1989-). Beer is also central to screen advertising – from Budweiser Super Bowl Clydesdales (1986-) to Heineken’s controversial World’s Apart campaign (2017) on climate change, feminism and transgender rights. Further, the industrial conditions, production, distribution, and consumption of beer offer striking parallels to those of cinema, television, and interactive media: as diverse as the temperance movement and motion picture production code, to the current proliferation of pub cinemas. Now a $23.5 billion market in the United States alone, craft brewing evokes much the same discourses of authenticity, place, race, gender, class, entrepreneurism, and maker culture as contemporary screen media. Beer culture has itself become a recognized area of study, demonstrated by the Smithsonian Institution’s appointment of its own beer scholar in 2016. Still, these recent developments have largely occurred outside of the purview of media studies, an omission this panel aims to address.

We are seeking paper submissions for a pre-constituted panel at the 2018 SCMS conference in Toronto. Proposals are requested for papers that identify and discuss any aspect of beer, its visual culture, producers, and consumers, the communities and identities it serves – and/or its social, cultural, historical, and economic impact – on and around the screen. Suggested topics include (but are not limited to):

- Beer and pre/early cinema
- Intoxication and the phenomena of screen movement
- Prohibition – temperance, Hollywood and the Hays Code
- Beer and genre – e.g. the western; situation comedy
- Beer advertising in cinema and television
- Artisanal practices – beer and screen craft
- Useful cinema – industrial film and the brewing process
- Beer and distribution – pub cinema, e.g. Alamo Draft House
- Problem drinking on screen – representations of addiction and violence
- Bars and bartenders on screen – e.g. Moe’s Tavern; the bar tender as therapist
- Homebrew – beer and experimental cinema
- Fan Consumption – e.g. the Ommegang Game of Thrones beers
- Issues of purism, traditionalism, and snobbery
- Beer rating and social media – e.g. Untappt
- Beer and simulation – e.g. the VR brewery tour; Innis and Gunn Virtual Reality Experience (2016)

Please send an abstract (300 words), a short bibliography, and brief author bio to [log in to unmask] by August 10th, 2017. Authors will be notified by August 14th, 2017.

Cheers,
Timothy Jones

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