CFP: Sense of an Ending in Contemporary Television (9/15/06; NEMLA, 3/1/07-3/4/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Lisa Perdigao
contact email: 

The Sense of an Ending in Contemporary Television

The Northeast Modern Language Association Annual Convention (NEMLA)
Baltimore, Maryland
March 1-4, 2007

This panel is invested in a narratological approach to understanding the
ways in which contemporary television resolves itself—how the serial
structure of television arrives at its teleological end. While television
shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Six Feet Under, and Sex and the City
have, in the last few years, offered a type of master narrative in their
weaving and unraveling of years of narrative arcs, shows that are
cancelled (even a show as well conceived and crafted as Firefly and
Arrested Development) are, in essence, incessant as their final episodes
are often never aired. Adding another layer to the complexities of
endings in contemporary television is syndication, a forever-presentation
and remembrance of prior storylines.

Serial television, as a distinct form that is dependent upon continuity
and cohesion (where ruptures and splits become demonstrative and even
problematic), demonstrates particular concerns about narrative structure
and form. As contemporary television is a product of postmodernity,
poststructuralist and postmodernist theories enable us to understand what
is at stake in constructing, sustaining, and ultimately ceasing narrative
structure. Papers will examine the ways in which the endings of
contemporary television series reflect literary postmodernisms in
narrative structure and design, what they have to say about resolution,
closure, a larger structure of meaning. Is cohesion ever a possibility in
this form, in this time? Approaches may include (but are not limited to)
studies of specific television series, analyses of trends in contemporary
series, explorations of corollaries between television and novelistic
representations. Ultimately, this panel is invested in exploring how
endings make meaning by resolving the tensions beneath the surface of
narrative or perhaps by failing to end at all.

Deadline for 1-2 page abstracts is September 15, 2006. Please send them
via email along with your vitae to Dr. Lisa Perdigao at
or in hard copy to

Dr. Lisa K. Perdigao
Department of Humanities and Communication
Florida Institute of Technology
150 West University Blvd.
Melbourne, FL 32901-6975

All accepted panelists must be NEMLA members. For more information about
the convention see

--Lisa K. Perdigao, Ph.D.Assistant Professor of EnglishDepartment of Humanities and CommunicationFlorida Institute of Technology150 W. University Blvd.Melbourne, FL 32901-6975321.674.8370 ========================================================== From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List Full Information at or write Jennifer Higginbotham: ==========================================================Received on Wed Aug 23 2006 - 17:13:50 EDT