TV shows as masquerades: blurring the lines between reality and fiction (ACLA 2023)

deadline for submissions: 
October 31, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
ACLA 2023
contact email: 

The goal of this seminar is to provide a forum in which to discuss how TV shows (reality shows, true crime, documentary broadcasts, docufictions, and web series) bridge the gap between factual knowledge and myths, and how they facilitate the transfer of ordinary knowledge into the implausible, especially in Iberia and Latin America. Entertainment business and journalism intertwine to engage an audience-oriented to the consumption of serialized narratives. Contemporary TV shows balance and negotiate the space delimited by the quotidian events and the supernatural occurrences forcing the plot and the characters, as well as the narrative and aesthetic to fit into specific tropes and storylines into a new hyperreal and self-conscious version of contemporary society. The Cuban-American lawyer Ana María Polo in Caso Cerrado, adaptations of Jersey Shore (Spain and Mexico), or different versions of Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen (Chile, Argentina, and Spain) are some examples of this explosion of “constructed realities." 


This seminar invites contributions that reflect on the possibilities and limitations of the complex forms and the multiple dimensions of reality television’s influence on society, its resulting cultural shifts, and even some political landscapes (fake news, p. e.). Possible paper topics include comparative and critical studies of specific TV shows, performativity, race, gender and queer approaches, audience reception and patterns of consumption, the post-truth world, and any other television-related topics. 


250-350 word abstracts should be submitted via the ACLA seminar portal from October 1 to 31. Do not submit abstracts to organizers directly. For questions contact or