Deadline Extended -- April 15 -- MMLA 2018 Film I: Film and Television in the Binge Era

deadline for submissions: 
April 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Midwest Modern Language Association
contact email: 

With the rise of peak TV two decades into the 21st century, television has disrupted the film industry, and it has produced – and been affected by – dramatic changes in the popular consumption of visual media. While movie attendance continued its steep decline in 2017 (reaching a 25-year low), network, cable, and internet-streaming platforms combined to air nearly 500 scripted television shows in 2017, an increase from around 200 shows in 2002. Meanwhile, Netflix will likely spend around $8 billion for content production in 2018.

Television has also blurred the distinction between movies and TV shows as cultural and artistic objects, and it has opened new opportunities for creative artists and directors. In recent years, directors typically associated with film have made impactful, acclaimed, and widely viewed drama TV shows, including the Wachowskis (Sense8), Spike Lee (She’s Gotta Have It), and David Lynch (Twin Peaks: The Return). Commenting on the creative freedom of contemporary television, Jane Campion (Top of the Lake) has observed: “The really clever people used to do film. Now, the really clever people do television.”

This panel will examine any aspect of film and television in order to analyze and inquire about the past, present, and futures of film and TV in contemporary U.S and world cultures. Panelists are encouraged to examine particular contemporary television shows or any facet of television and film consumption, distribution, and production. Suggested topics may include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Internet-distributed television and film (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc.)
  • Representations of film/TV consumption in visual media
  • Binge-watching and consumption of visual media
  • TV’s new “golden age” and disruption of the film industry
  • The futures of independent filmmaking, studio filmmaking, and television
  • Adaptations of literature in contemporary film and television (Margaret Atwood, Philip K. Dick, etc.)
  • Documentaries about food production/consumption (Netflix’s Rotten, Food, Inc., etc.)
  • Film and TV and politics and/or social justice movements (Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, Time’s Up, etc.)
  • Studies of filmmaking and the 1950s advent of television
  • Representations of history in film and on serial television
  • Auteur theory, television programming, and television studies
  • Narrative studies and serial television
  • Television and cultural studies
  • Film theory and television studies

Please send abstracts of 250-300 words and a brief bio to Dr. Jonathan Hayes at jhayes@semo.edu by Sunday, April 15.

For more information about the 2018 MMLA conference, which will be held in Kansas City, MO from November 15-18, 2018, please visit https://www.luc.edu/mmla/convention/.