Revisiting Northern Exposure – CFP

deadline for submissions: 
December 30, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Michael Samuel

Through the perspective of newly-graduated New York physician Dr. Joel Fleischman (Rob Morrow), who is sent to the fictional Alaskan town of Cicely to fulfil the terms of his sponsored medical education, Northern Exposure (1990-5) is a ‘fish out of water’ story created by Joshua Brand and John Falsey, the frontrunners of the critically acclaimed series St. Elsewhere (1982-8) and I’ll Fly Away (1991-3). Over the course of the series, the focus however shifts from Fleischman, giving entire arcs to the personal lives and eccentric characters of the small Alaskan town. 

During its broadcast run on CBS between July 1990 and July 1995 (spanning a total of 110 episodes and six seasons), the series was critically lauded, earning it 57 award nominations and 27 wins, including the 1992 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series, along with 2 other Primetime Emmy Awards, 2 Golden Globes and 4 creative arts Emmys. In the 26 years since its debut, the impact of Northern Exposure on the landscape of television can arguably still be felt, and furthermore, the aspiration of the series – in terms of its socio-political commentary on America, its cutting-edge narratives, diverse cast of characters and cultures, and its inclusion and critical exploration of topics concerned with race, gender and sexuality – can now be regarded ahead of its time.

This collection aims to bring together a range of chapters that, as a volume, consider the significance of Northern Exposure from a contemporary context, and reflect on its thematic, narratological and aesthetic contribution to contemporary television, as well as its approach to a range of issues that are currently under close scrutiny in media and television studies, particularly, and the humanities, generally.

It is therefore anticipated that submissions will conform to one of these three book sections (however they are open to change): ‘Pre-Second Golden Age Television Authorship, representation and reception’; ‘Production, Transmission, Reception: Context, Distribution, consumption and criticism’; and ‘Northern Exposure now: Fandom and Legacy’.


Considering these suggested sections, it is encouraged that authors choose from the following themes:


  • TV auteurship;
  • narrative and character studies;
  • gender, sexuality, racial representations;
  • TV genre studies;
  • critical reception and viewership;
  • the television climate/culture of the 1990s;
  • distribution modes/ reception technologies;
  • television technologies (TV on DVD and On Demand);
  • fandom and legacy;
  • politics and culture;
  • new audiences, new readings.


Please submit the following to editor Michael Samuel at revisitingnorthernexposure@gmail.comby 30 December 2016:


-     an abstract of no more than 300 words, containing a proposed title for chapters of between 6 - 7,000 words in length, as a .doc, .docx or pdf;

-     your name and affiliation;

-     Between 3 - 6 keywords that help to categorise your chapters, or a note to which of the above sections your submission corresponds;

-     a short biographical note


You will be notified on the outcome of your submissions by 30 January 2017.