2020 SEMINAR CALL FOR PAPERS:
SCREEN CYCLES: BIRTH, DEATH AND REBIRTH
As conceptual notions, birth, death and rebirth have been metaphorically applied to media forms and their contents: the arrival of new technologies is often labelled as a ‘birth’, while the diminishing relevance of older forms is sometimes described as a ‘death’. Likewise, a ‘rebirth’ or revitalisation of these so-called ‘dead’ mediums may come about through conscious artistic expression or through a capitalistic exploitation of nostalgia.
These screen cycles also manifest at the level of content, where the discourse around genres and texts themselves often involves identifying its current location within a cycle (‘the death of the Western’, ‘the rebirth of the Slasher’, for example).
Within the various screen mediums, the literal representation of birth, death and rebirth has also been fertile ground for thematic exploration, and these representations have manifested in innumerable ways. Death on screen has been, and will remain, an ongoing fascination for artists and viewers alike.
The cultural logic of the modern media landscape also places an emphasis on regeneration as many texts come to life from ‘dead’ antecedents. The prevalence of remakes, hybridisations/remixes and prequelisation/sequelisation can be labelled as a type of rebirth, and in doing so, the question is raised of what is carried over into the new lives of these works.
For this year’s program, Sydney Screen Studies Network seeks papers that may explore the following themes:
- The birth, death or rebirth of various screen media forms (e.g. the ‘death’ of VHS; the ‘birth’ of 3D; the ‘rebirth’ of film stock usage).
- Representations of birth, death or rebirth in film, television or other screen media.
- Rebirth through genre crossover, adaptations, hybridisations or reinterpretation.
- Birth, death and rebirth in popular screen culture and science fiction: for example, immortals, vampires, zombies, and paranormal phenomena.
- The rebirth/regeneration of texts through remix, reboot or remediation.
- Philosophical approaches to the cyclical nature of screen media.
- The location of new media forms within screen media cycles.
- Screen cycles as screen history.
SSSN is a research-led academic community based in Sydney and surrounds, for scholars working in all aspects of film, television, and screen-based media. The network aims to provide a casual networking and collegial relationship-building space for screen studies in Sydney. Seminars can take the following formats: A presentation of up to 40 minutes followed by a Q&A session with a respondent; a 20 minute presentation accompanying a max 1-hour screening; or a pre-constituted panel. SSSN is based at University of New South Wales but we also hold seminars at other universities, including University of Sydney, Macquarie University, University of Technology Sydney, and Western Sydney University.
Call for Papers
Edited Collection – Ryan Murphy: Genre, Gender and Authorship
Editors: Dr. Melanie Robson (UNSW Sydney), Dr. Jessica Ford (University of Newcastle, Australia) and Dr. Phoebe Macrossan (Queensland University of Technology)
In his 20 years in the US television industry Ryan Murphy has amassed a large and diverse body of television work. Murphy exemplifies the modern TV mogul, operating as an executive producer, creator, showrunner, writer and director on a wide range of series. Murphy is well-known for creating or co-creating Nip/Tuck (FX 2003-2010), Glee(FOX 2009-2015), American Horror Story (FX 2011-), Scream Queens (FOX 2015-2016), American Crime Story (FX 2016-), Feud (FX 2017), Pose (FX 2018-), 9-1-1 (FOX 2018-) and The Politician (Netflix 2019-), among others.
In 2018, Murphy signed an unprecedented $300 million deal with streaming giant Netflix to create content for the platform for the next five years. Murphy’s television series and made-for-TV movies have been distributed across broadcast, cable and streaming, and they have a distinct recognizable style and aesthetic. Murphy has re-popularised the television anthology format and is known for his camp aesthetics and experiments with genre, form and style. Murphy’s television series often champion underdogs and non-traditional lead characters, such as people of colour, minoritized women, trans* and non-binary characters and people who are diverse in their sexuality, gender, and/or sex characteristics. While these characters may be marginalized in other television series, in Murphy’s series they are rendered in complex and dynamic ways, challenging and subverting gender and genre expectations.
This edited collection seeks to investigate the key concerns, forms, and central abiding questions of Murphy’s television oeuvre, paying particular attention to the question of how and why his particular creative and business decisions have made him so powerful in the current television and streamed content environment.
We are particularly interested in papers that address how Murphy and his work sits at the intersection of many contemporary debates in television studies around genre, gender and authorship, including but not limited to:
- Genre studies of Murphy’s work
- Genre hybridity and fluidity
- Questions of television aesthetics and style
- “Quality” television, “cinematic” television and “peak” TV
- Movie stars on television and television celebrity
- Expansion of television distribution networks
- Shifting genre boundaries and expectations
- Diversity of voices and perspectives on television
- Non-traditional television protagonists, including queer characters, older women, trans* characters and people of colour
- Questions of gender and sexuality in visual culture
- Changing models of television authorship
- Questions of television authorship, paratexts and branding
- And more
Please send 400-word abstracts and a short bio to Melanie Robson (firstname.lastname@example.org) by April 1, 2020.
Notification of acceptance: May 1, 2020.
Full papers due: 16 September, 2020.
All papers will be double-blind peer reviewed.