CFP: [Film] American TV Series

full name / name of organization: 
Sarah Hatchuel
contact email: 

"Entrapment in the new American TV series: narrative and ideological issues"

A conference on narrative and ideological entrapment in the new American TV
series will take place at the "Université du Havre" on September 17th and
18th, 2009.

Since the middle of the 90s, a new wave of American TV series have rivalled
feature films in originality, intelligence and, sometimes, subversion, thus
contributing to the evolution of aesthetic and ideological patterns.
Whether "24", "Ally McBeal", "Big Love", "Carnivale", "Damages", "Desperate
Housewives", "Grey’s Anatomy", "Heroes", "Nip/Tuck", "Prison Break", Queer
as Folk, "Rome", "Sex & the City", "The L Word", "The Tudors", or "The West
Wing"…â€"these series have all rejected the format of independent and
autonomous episodes and abandoned the bland repetition of formulaic
narrative that was typical of the TV series of the 80s. They are now closer
to serials, to be understood fully only if the spectators follow every
single episode. These new series work on entrapment in their storylines,
but also in their narrative and reflexive features. How do characters and
spectators become entrapped respectively inside the story and by the
narrative? How are the spectators tricked into following false leads? Are
their expectations fulfilled or thwarted? What are the narrative processes
used to attract spectators from one episode to the next, and from one
season to the next? What are the ideological consequences of this prolonged
“sequels” and these conclusions forever postponed? What are the
narratological innovations of these new narrative forms? Do they succeed in
maintaining their originality or do they eventually fall into the trap of
predictable storylines and stereotypes? What are the side effects of these
narrative traps?

Selected papers will be published in an issue of the GRAAT (a peer-reviewed
journal in Anglophone studies, Université de Tours.

Advisory board :
Georges-Claude Guilbert, Université de Tours
Sarah Hatchuel, Université du Havre
Monica Michlin, Université de Paris IV â€" Sorbonne

Practical organisation :
Claire Bowen, Université du Havre
Sarah Hatchuel, Université du Havre

Please send a title, a 300-word abstract and a 100-word bio notice to or/and before March 15th, 2009.

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Received on Wed Dec 10 2008 - 12:18:21 EST