SCMS 2018 – CFP: “Regional Resentment in Film and Television” Panel

deadline for submissions: 
August 18, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Adam Ochonicky
contact email: 

SCMS 2018 – Call for Papers: “Regional Resentment in Film and Television” Panel


In the months preceding and succeeding the 2016 presidential election, a renewed fascination with regional spaces – particularly the Midwest – manifested across American news outlets and popular media. An expanding body of multidisciplinary scholarship also interrogates the complex factors shaping the lived experiences of Midwesterners, as well as the region’s contested meanings in the broader American consciousness. Among the many elements affecting American regional spaces in the twenty-first century is what political scientist Katherine J. Cramer describes as a “rural-versus-urban divide” that contributes to the production of “resentment toward our fellow citizens.” In her study of shifting political sentiments in rural Wisconsin communities, Cramer explains, “A politics of resentment arises from the way social identities, the emotion of resentment, and economic insecurity interact. In a politics of resentment, resentment toward fellow citizens is front and center. People understand their circumstances as the fault of guilty and less deserving social groups, not as the product of broad social, economic, and political forces.”


This panel seeks papers that examine treatments of Midwestern culture and political attitudes in film, television, and/or other media texts. Papers that consider iterations of resentment within or between regional spaces are especially welcome. Although contemporary political developments inform some aspects of the panel’s subject matter, proposed papers need not explicitly address recent events; instead, papers might analyze forms of regional resentment in texts from across film and television history. Overall, the purpose of this panel is to move towards a greater understanding of how media texts help to illuminate the often-obscured dynamics impacting Midwestern identity and the region’s symbolic role in American culture.


Potential paper topics include (but are not limited to):


-       the interplay of Midwestern identity and the politics of resentment in film, television, and/or other media texts.

-       how regional spaces such as the Midwest have been covered by news outlets (especially news stories that feature “discovery” narratives of regional communities and/or demographics).

-       interdisciplinary approaches that bring film texts and/or theory into contact with theories of region, spatiality, politics, economics, or other pertinent fields.

-       film and television narratives that revolve around the contestation and construction of regional identity, particularly those depicting tensions between the inhabitants of rural and urban spaces.

-       texts that intertwine genre conventions and Midwestern culture/iconography (such as It Follows, Stranger Things, and so on).

-       close analyses of individual films and television series of any genre or period that engage with any of the concerns outlined above.



Please submit 250-300 word paper proposals (with at least three potential sources listed) along with your affiliation and brief biographical information to Adam Ochonicky [] by August 18th, 2017.