Love in the Golden Age of Television (11/1/09; 11/11-14/10)

full name / name of organization: 
Cynthia Miller/Film & History
contact email: 

Call for Papers
"Love in the Golden Age of Television"
2010 Film & History Conference: Representations of Love in Film and Television
November 11-14, 2010
Hyatt Regency Milwaukee
Second Round Deadline: November 1, 2009

AREA: Love in the Golden Age of Television

The Golden Age of television – that iconic period that stretched from the 1950s through the '60s – was a time of emerging anthology serials, variety shows, and sitcoms that formed the foundation for today's programming. Television shows of the Golden Age showcased traditional American values and norms, along with the talents of young actors, writers, and directors, like Barbara Billingsley, Lucille Ball, Danny Thomas, Rod Serling and Alfred Hitchcock, who would bring them to life. Characterized by the wonders, and limitations, of the new medium's technology, these shows placed significant demands on actors, directors, camera technicians and producers, as they brought their fictive worlds into being.

In the midst of all this novelty, fascination, and challenge, the Golden Age brought love into living rooms across America each evening, in formats ranging from the various "Playhouse" productions, to weekly television dramas, in forms ranging from the idealized domesticity of "Father Knows Best," and "The Donna Reed Show," to the black comedy of "The Addams Family," and the jazz-and-smoke flavored urban romances of "Peter Gunn. "Love in the Golden Age of Television" seeks proposals for papers that explore the nature, pursuit, acquisition, and loss of love during this era. From "I Love Lucy" to "Burke's Law," and from "Peyton Place" to "The Big Valley," you'll find expression of love at its best, and at its worst!

This area, comprising multiple panels, welcomes papers that address love in a single series or program ("Finding Love in the Twilight Zone"), as well as comparative work on televised love in a given genre of the period ("Love and Suspense in the Golden Age of Television"). Examinations of the ways in which love in the Golden Age played a role in mass media's reproduction of social norms and values, in terms of gender, sexuality, marriage, economics, religion, etc. would also lend themselves to engaging discussion and reflection, as would the ways programming echoed the radical changes in those ideas, as the 1950s gave way to the 1960s.

Please send your 200-word proposal by e-mail to the area chair:

Erwin F. Erhardt, III
Thomas More College (email submissions only)

Panel proposals for up to four presenters are also welcome, but each presenter must submit his or her own paper proposal. For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website (