CFP: At Home with TV Families (8/1/17; 11/1-5/17)

deadline for submissions: 
August 1, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Film & History
contact email: 



CFP: At Home with TV Families

An area of multiple panels for the 2017 Film & History Conference:

Representing “Home”: The Real and Imagined Spaces of Belonging

November 1-November 5, 2017

The Hilton Milwaukee City Center

Milwaukee, WI (USA)


EXTENDED DEADLINE for abstracts: August 1. 2017


Since the inception of television, the family has been the focus of countless programs.   In the 1950s and ‘60s, shows like Ozzie and Harriet, Father Knows Best, and The Donna Reed Show laid the groundwork for the successful family-oriented storyline—where much of the action was centered within the home.   Over time, family shows like Family, Sanford and Son, All in the Family, and The Jeffersons showed us diversity among families, and more recently, comedies like Seinfeld, Everyone Loves Raymond, and others have further explored new understandings of both the family and home.  


From Westerns to urban comedies, television has provided us with the familiar home space—often centering on a living room and kitchen—as a place which identified the family. How do these spaces identify a family?  In what ways do these family spaces represent security, love, and the embodiment of the family, or alternately, lay the groundwork for “tight” space constraint, and confrontation, creating a setting that seems unsettled?


This area seeks to explore and engage representative studies of these and other representation of spaces in the home.


Papers might include topics which explore, but are not limited to:


-       The family home as a protective environment or a safe place to be

-       Stock family characters, and their evolution

-       Families coping with social change

-       Family as a constant source of confrontation—often in the space of the home

-       How the family has been re-negotiated over time in television

-       Outsiders in the home: nannies, butlers, or housekeepers—and their place in family space.

-       The home as an identifiable marker for familial class, status, or wealth

-       How the modern patterns of family life have changed the dynamics of the home

-       Apartment living and the encroachment upon living space by neighbors.


Proposals for complete panels (three related presentations) are also welcome, but they must include an abstract and contact information, including an e-mail address for EACH presenter.  For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film and Hsitory website (


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


Erwin Erhardt

University of Cincinnati