TV Series Redux: Recycling, Remaking, Resuming.
An International Conference
12-13-14 September 2012 at the University of Rouen (France)
This interdisciplinary conference will examine the question of recycling, remaking and resuming in TV series. Bearing in mind that this television genre can be regarded as an aesthetic, ideological, narrative and sociocultural object, we welcome paper proposals focusing on the connections between the following aspects:
Sociocultural approaches and ideological issues
- the recycling of stereotypes and clichés, potentially with a view to subverting them (contributors may address the circulation of a type of character or a type of location through several series); the recycling of external discourses (such as media discourse, academic discourse) within the context and narrative of a series;
- more generally, the ways series reflect the societies which both create and watch them by echoing, reviving and revisiting contemporary or past events (through background allusions, explicit references or the insertion of archival images, for instance). Which worldview is thus conveyed by the conjuring up of this or that collective memory?
Intertextuality and interpictoriality
- adaptation, transposition, appropriation, remake: re-mediations (such as the adaptation of a novel, a comic strip or a film into a series, and vice versa); new versions of older or successful series (cult series, foreign series); reshuffling, reworking and “re-imagining”; narrative blossoming and dissemination (sometimes resorting to other media), spin-offs, webisodes, continuations of specific sub-plots; parodies and echoes of certain TV, filmic and artistic genres;
- more pointedly, the reprocessing and integration of external cultural elements (for instance in opening and end credits): verbal and visual quotations from the literary, cinematic or television heritage; references to a shared musical culture (in the sound track, or the diegesis, through cover versions, etc.); crossovers (when one or several diegetic elements “cross over” from one series to another); re-casting of the lead actor or actress of another series or film; playful interactions with the audience (so that one may wonder whether these more or less explicit hints give birth to a form of bonding with a particular category of viewers, somehow reproducing “distinction” strategies within mass culture).
Special attention will be paid to what differentiates the series from other visual or narrative forms, i.e. the seriality of series. The following dimensions may be explored:
- strategies meant to resume the main narrative thread after the series has been interrupted for a few minutes or a few months (by a commercial break, by the time span separating two episodes or two seasons); playing with the viewer’s memory (through intratextuality and intrapictoriality, through the use of different timelines, the manipulations of the “previously on” and motifs cropping up in the credits);
- proposals may study how TV series, whether they follow an endlessly repeated pattern (as in formulaic shows or case-of-the-week series) or belong to the more recent trend of serialised dramas, combine the reiteration of similar narrative plots, characters and locations with the necessity to insert new elements, unexpected events and revelations;
- recurrent consumption rituals: how is the seriality of TV series redefined by new modes of viewing (DVD, Video On Demand, streaming, downloading) or by the grafting and thriving of the diegetic universe in other media (and on the Internet in particular)?
- reflexive echoes: mise en abyme (TV screen within the TV screen and series within the series as self-reflexivity); the way the series pulls itself together and starts again after momentarily wandering off track to picture the hypothetical development of a given character or situation; repetition or allusion supporting a self-definition.
Papers may be given either in English or in French. Selected and peer-reviewed proceedings will be published in the journal TV/Series.
Sylvaine Bataille and Florence Cabaret
University of Rouen
76821 Mont Saint-Aignan Cedex
33 2 35 14 61 57 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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