Towards an alternative history of the video essay: Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Cologne

by Volker Pantenburg This dossier on audiovisual essays focuses on a trajectory in the history of the video essay that tends to be ignored in current discussions of the format. According to a well-known genealogical account, the video essay was born from the encounter of platforms like YouTube, social media, cinephilia 2.0, inexpensive DIY editing […]

Statistic intersubjectivity: A phenomenology of television audiences

by Christian Ferencz-Flatz 
In the following I will first sketch out a phenomenological interpretation of Walter Benjamin’s reflections on film-viewership, which he considers to be symptomatic for contemporary perception in general, by focusing especially on the implicit theory of intersubjectivity that underpins them.

The Place of Voiceover in Academic Audiovisual Film and Television Criticism

by Ian Garwood The line between academic and non-scholarly videographic film criticism The production of The Place of Voiceover in Academic Audiovisual Film and Television Criticism (2016) coincided with the release of two books focused on videographic film studies: The Videographic Essay – Criticism in Sound and Image, edited by Christian Keathley and Jason Mittell;[1] […]

A geography of resistance: Locating US underground film and TV cultures

The latest collection from David E. James[1] and Adam Hyman (filmmaker and former executive director of the Los Angeles Filmforum) offers a historical and critical representation of the emergence and organisation of the US West Coast postwar experimental cinema scene. The book, titled Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles, 1945-1980 (New Barnet: John Libbey […]

Complex series and struggling cable guys

Both Jason Mittell’s Complex TV: The Poetics of Contemporary Television Storytelling (New York: New York University Press, 2015) and Amanda Lotz’s Cable Guys: Television and Masculinities in the 21st Century (New York: New York University Press, 2014) significantly contribute to filling the gap in research on recent television series. Over the past two decades a […]

From Saul Bass to participatory culture: Opening title sequences in contemporary television series

by Valentina Re Introductory remarks: How main titles work A cab moves into the frame and stops by the curb. A man approaches it and opens the door. ‘Jesus, what’d you do, come by way of the Panama Canal?’ ‘Alright, alright, I’m in a bad mood, okay?’, answers a woman getting out of the cab. […]

The way we watched: Vintage television programmes, memories, and memorabilia

by Helen Piper ‘People die, sure,’ my mother was saying. ‘But it’s so heart-breaking and unnecessary how we lose things. From pure carelessness. Fires, wars. The Parthenon, used as a munitions storehouse. I guess that anything we manage to save from history is a miracle.’ – Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch[1] Formal histories of television and […]

Dredging, drilling, and mapping television’s swamps: An interview with John Caldwell on the 20th anniversary of ‘Televisuality’

by Markus Stauff It has now been 20 years since John Caldwell’s Televisuality: Style, Crisis and Authority in American Television was published. With its combined attention to television’s aesthetic, economic, and technological aspects, it was a highly innovative book that questioned a great deal of conventional wisdom. The book’s central claim that, during the 1980s, […]

Richard Serra: Sculpture, television, and the status quo

by Francesco Spampinato Introduction Richard Serra emerged in the 1960s in association with minimalism and land art – two conceptual art movements that speculated on the potentialities of sculpture to affect the space (and therefore the context) in which the work of art is installed or for which it is specifically conceived. Similarly to other […]

26th Screen Studies Conference

The 26th Screen Studies Conference will take place at the University of Glasgow, 24-26 June 2016, and will be programmed by Dimitris Eleftheriotis for the journal Screen. There is no specific theme to this year’s conference. Proposals are invited on all topics within film and television studies. The deadline for submissions is midnight (GMT) on Sunday, 10 […]

Television studies reloaded: From history to text

Two recent books constitute essential reference points in television studies, both presenting innovative research directions. The first is a collection of essays edited by Ethan Thompson and Jason Mittell titled How to Watch Television (New York-London: New York University Press, 2013). The second, an important decade-long study by Jérôme Bourdon prepared by the Institut National […]

Oppositional banality: Watching ordinary Muslims in ‘Little Mosque on the Prairie’

by Jenifer Chao Introduction In the premiere episode of the Canadian situation comedy series Little Mosque on the Prairie (2007-2012) the character Joe, a white prairie farmer, wanders into the local Anglican parish hall to witness a group of Muslims praying and prostrating in unison. Alarmed, he stumbles out of the building to call the […]

NECSUS_Autumn 2015_‘Vintage’ — call for submissions

Guest editor: Kim Knowles (Aberystwyth University) Few issues are as pertinent today as the relationship between old and new, past and present, obsolescence and progress. Paradoxically, as the obsession with the new in contemporary society intensifies, so too does our interest in older technologies, styles, and artefacts. Advertising and marketing in particular have tapped into […]

Globalisation and television formats

At the time of writing this review John de Mol’s television production company Talpa has just started airing its latest reality show Utopia. As was the case with Big Brother in 1999 and The Voice of Holland in 2010, Dutch television merely functions as a test market and showroom for international buyers. Only Dutch viewers […]

Representation or misrepresentation?: British media and Japanese popular culture

by Perry Hinton From the late 1980s to the early 21th century Japanese popular cultural rose from a cult interest to mainstream media in many Western countries, including the United Kingdom. Large numbers of Japanese comics (manga) and animated films (anime) were sold in English translations, gaining their own sections in British book and video […]