The Intrusion of Love (11/1/09; 11/11-14/10)

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

Call for Papers

"The Intrusion of Love"

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:   The Intrusion of Love

 Love blossoms in unexpected places, bringing not only passion, but awkwardness, warmth, intrigue, and comedy to the most unlikely stories and settings in televised programming.  This area seeks to examine the spontaneous, unforeseen side of love on television, where romance is not central, but an intrusion into the narrative.  Here, romance functions to humanize and endear, to lighten or intensify tension in the plot, and to provide unanticipated laughs that alter modes of reception.  Romance emerges as a plot device across genres:  comedic, forensic, and crime dramas, stories of terror and suspense, etc.. This area seeks papers that do not concentrate on explicitly romantic comedy – those shows in which romance is the main thematic focus – but on shows in which love and romance insinuate themselves into workplaces and ball fields, bar rooms and emergency rooms, heists and investigations, creating bracketed moments of laughter, wistfulness, tension, and irony within the ongoing narrative.


This area, comprising multiple panels, encourages a wide range of interpretive perspectives, including close textual readings, semiotic analyses, and critical/historical points of view. Papers grounded on different theoretical and methodological backgrounds will also be appreciated, in order to foster a more complete understanding of the increasingly frequent phenomenon of the intrusion of love.


Possible topics and approaches include:


– ongoing or unresolved romantic tension between leading characters  (Bones, NCIS)

– romance between or involving secondary characters as "mood lightener" in serious drama (CSI)

– the emergence of denied love (Ugly Betty, Lost)

– recurring romance-based inside jokes

– intertextual models of behavior (such as "the Ross and Rachel 


– love and romance as a fallback theme


Please send 200-word paper proposals to the area chair:


Antonio Savorelli, Ph.D.

Semiotics & Media Design

Via Appia 26

40026 Imola (BO)


Email:   (email submissions preferred)

 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 (