SCMS 2022 CFP--Pandemic "TV"

deadline for submissions: 
August 13, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Penelope Ingram
contact email: 

CFP: Pandemic “TV”



In April 2020, when most Americans were bound by their states’ mandatory “Stay-at-Home” orders, Vulture magazine published a list of “The 79 Best Pandemic Movies to Binge in Quarantine.” Classic virus movies like The Andromeda Strain (1971), Outbreak (1995), and Contagion (2011), which involve stories of airborne viruses infecting large swaths of the population were popular, but the majority of films in this genre were zombie movies such as Dawn of the Dead (1978), 28 Days Later (2002), I am Legend (2007), World War Z (2013), Quarantine (2008), and Train to Busan (2016), where “good” people must defend themselves against murderous, rapacious undead “bad” people. The ubiquity and popularity of “Pandemic TV” (not just pandemic/infection movies, but highly popular entertainment content streamed in high volume during the 2020 coronavirus lockdown) is an instructive example of how entertainment media products assume new meanings in changed contexts and how other discourses, including political and cultural ones, shape how texts are engaged and evaluated. At the same time, the pandemic brought about significant changes to exhibition and distribution models as theatres closed and new release movies were streamed via video on demand. Viewer consumption patterns also changed, with Nielsen citing a 60% increase in viewing of video content, including a considerable uptick in the consumption of entertainment and news media.


Starting from the assumption that the representation, consumption, and distribution of programming during Covid-19 constituted a global media event, papers will engage with the myriad ways that the pandemic shaped and influenced the larger mediascape and consider how these changes intersect with greater ideological and political contests exacerbated by Covid-19.


Papers can address representational content or production models

Topics may include:

Mediated representations of global instabilities and contagion narratives

Production and amplification of othering through content curation

Convergence and transmedia elements of pandemic TV

Changes to exhibition and distribution models

Marketing, advertising, and branding in saturated SVOD market

Racial politics of the pandemic and its framing by news media


Proposals should include an abstract of 2500 characters, 3-5 bibliographic sources, and a brief biography (500 characters). Please send your proposal to Penelope Ingram ( by August 13. Panelists will be notified by August 17.