CFP: Edited Collection – “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Friday Night Lights”
Call for Papers Date:
Proposals are invited for an edited collection on the television series Friday Night Lights. The editor is interested in essays that discuss and analyze the program from multiple critical, cultural, theoretical, and industrial perspectives.
One of the most critically-acclaimed series of recent years, Friday Night Lights has earned a passionate following despite its low ratings. Winner of the Peabody Award and based on a successful nonfiction book and hit movie, Friday Night Lights follows the citizens of a struggling Texas town as they pin their hopes on the high school football team. In addition to the pressures placed on the team and its coach, Friday Night Lights has tackled social issues such as drug abuse, physical disability, racism, infidelity, and mental illness. Shot on location in Austin, the show employs a verité visual style which features multiple-cameras and uses mostly available lighting; this verisimilitude is matched by the naturalistic dialogue and performances.
Friday Night Lights also serves as an effective case study of the promotional and programming challenges of broadcast television in the post-network era. Notwithstanding its print and filmic forerunners and the near-universal critical acclaim of its first season, the show struggled to find a broad audience on NBC. Initially framed as a sports drama, the show pivoted toward a focus on relationships in a bid to appeal to a female audience, downplaying football. After a critically lukewarm and strike-shortened second season, Friday Night Lights was renewed in a unique deal with DirecTV in which the satellite provider received exclusive first-run episodes (to be shown months later on broadcast television). The success of this arrangement may serve as a model of production for low-rated “quality TV” in the future.
The volume seeks essays on individual episodes and characters as well as thematic pieces on themes identified above. The editor encourages work on the following issues as well as others from multiple disciplinary approaches:
• Depiction of religion
• Small-town life
• Issues of masculinity
• Teenage sexuality
• Comparison of book and/or film incarnations
• Visual style and mode of production
• Genres (sports movies / TV shows & teen drama)
• Marketing Strategies – quality TV drama / teen soap
• Role in the re-branding of DirecTV
• Discourses of Quality TV
• Representations of race & ethnicity
• Critical reception
• Multiple fan “save our show” campaigns
Abstracts should be 350-500 words and include a short biography. Final essays will be 5,000-7,000 words. Please send proposal and bio by November 17 via Word attachment to Jonathan Lupo or through post.
Dr. Jonathan Lupo
213B Eddy Building
Department of Communication Studies
1783 Campus Delivery
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1783
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