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Panel proposal for the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference in New Orleans, March 10-13 2011)
The HBO series Treme breaks new ground in screen representations of New Orleans in several ways. It is the first series to portray the post-Katrina city beyond one season (renewed for 2011). It is also one of the first fictional visual representations of the city to actively seek and enlist locals in all aspects of production. Creators David Simon and Eric Overmyer explain in interviews that their series aims first and foremost to speak to the local audience of New Orleanians. The New Orleans Times-Picayune’s television writer’s blog features explications of the myriad local details in each episode, and the show’s web site offers special features that provide information and context to help viewers better understand the unique cultures of New Orleans. The characters build an ensemble that represents the unique and varied cultural landscape of the city: a chef, a local DJ, a bar owner, a Mardi Gras Indian chief, street musicians, a university professor, an attorney, a trombone player. Cameos by New Orleans celebrities and personalities, as well as characters built around real-life local figures, lend to the air of authenticity in this fictional series.
This paper session will look at the series from a variety of angles, which might include:
• Treme and authenticity
• Treme and cliché
• Treme and trauma
• Treme and representations of African Americans
• Treme and the role of music and performance
• Treme and representation of New Orleans cultures
• Treme and representation of post-Katrina New Orleans
• Treme and the representation of the “inner city”
• Treme in context of David Simon’s and/or HBO’s oeuvre
• Treme’s local and national audiences
Please submit a 300-word abstract with bibliography to email@example.com by August 9, 2010.