FlowTV is a critical forum on television and media culture published biweekly by the Department of Radio, Television, and Film at the University of Texas at Austin.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Conference Blogging !!!

This site is intended to catch and collect the thoughts, impressions, and musings of FlowTV’s conference participants and attendees.

Academic Publishing in the Digital Age (Panel #28)

Panel Columnist: Avi Santo (Old Dominion University)
Participants: Kathleen Fitzpatrick (Pomona College), Christopher Lucas (University of Texas at Austin), Erin Hill (University of California-Los Angeles), Alex Juhasz (Pitzer College), Marnie Binfield (University of Texas at Austin), Matt Payne (University of Texas at Austin)
Moderator: Namsu Park (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: Arguably, over the past several years, media studies has begun to assert an on-line publishing presence through e-journals like Jump Cut, Mediascape, Vectors and Flow and through academic bloggers like Kathleen Fitzpatrick and Chuck Tryon. MediaCommons is the latest initiative seeking to develop a digital scholarly network. This roundtable is concerned with the future of digital publishing for media studies. What will digital scholarship look like? What are the possibilities that digital scholarship can generate? What are its limitations and stumbling points? How will the scholarly text's life within the network affect its production, its reception, and its "afterlife"? How will relationships among authors and readers change? How will digital publishing affect and be affected by issues of intellectual property/fair use? How can digital scholarship best serve both the media studies community and help it meet its public service and pedagogical missions of serving larger constituencies of non-academics, activists, creators, legislators, and consumers? How must media studies adapt to a digital environment in order to best meet the needs and expectations of on-line communities? In opening up the academic process and reaching outside the academy, how will the role of the digital scholar evolve? How can media studies scholars work in digital publishing environments and still maintain/alter acceptable standards and expectations for rigor and peer recognition within the academy?

New Technologies (Panel #27)

Panel Columnists: Judd Ruggill (University of Arizona), Ken McAllister (University of Arizona)
Participants: Christopher Hanson (University of Southern California), Lou Rutigliano (University of Texas at Austin), Caitlin Benson-Allott (Cornell University)
Moderator: Carly Kocurek (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: One advantage of studying media during this time of rapid technological expansion is that it permits scholars to see with particular clarity how material artifacts of the past are linked to those of the future. As the household penetration of digital media technologies increases, and as media technologies are consolidated into fewer devices (cell phones that play television episodes; HD/Blu-Ray disks storing entire television show seasons along with a host of extras; video games based on popular television dramas and comedies), what concerns you most about this proliferation and convergence of new media? What do think media scholars should remember about media’s many pasts as they work to explain media’s innumerable presents and futures?

Political Resistance and the Media (Panel #26)

Panel Columnist: Frederick Wasser (Brooklyn College, CUNY)
Participants: Megan Boler (University of Toronto), Ying-Ying Chen (University of Texas at Austin), Sue Collins (New York University), Marion Wrenn (New York University), Jyotsna Kapur (Southern Illinois University)
Moderator: Amy Nathan Wright (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: Are there any signs that filmed entertainment is reacting against the passivity of the political sphere? In other words, we often talk of the active audience responding to mass media, but this activity is purely cultural. Meanwhile the political discourse allows little if any room for resistance to the right wing turn. Is there any sign that resistance is breaking out in mass culture activities? Films are turning political both in the studios and in more grass roots productions, but television is naturally harder to read for any trends.

Programming in an Era of Video Abundance (Panel #25)

Panel Columnist: Sharon Strover (University of Texas at Austin)
Participants: Alisa Perren (Georgia State University), Max Dawson (Northwestern University), Michele White (Tulane University), Melissa Click (University of Missouri), Kristina Busse (University of South Alabama)
Moderator: Jennie Phillips (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: What do the new screens (small screens on cell phones and PDAs, iPods and computer screens) and new modes of consumption - personal mobility but also Tivo - mean for the types of programming content that people prefer and that gets produced? If we are entering an era of video abundance, how do industry structures change and what do individuals expect ?from programming? How do technologies de-center and re-center the screen/viewing experience?

Media Professionals with Media Studies Degrees (Panel #24)

Panel Columnist: Thomas Schatz (University of Texas at Austin)
Participants: Jordan Levin (former CEO, WB network), Justin Wyatt (ABC Television Network), Richard Lewis (University of Texas at Austin), Jonathan Estrin (AFI), Nate Kohn (University of Georgia)
Moderator: Bryan Sebok (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: Of what value is a media studies degree/education to media production industries?

Reality TV, Governmentality, and Citizenship (Panel #23)

Panel Columnists: Laurie Ouellette (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities), James Hay (University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign)
Participants: Janet Davis (University of Texas at Austin), Paul Stekler (University of Texas at Austin), Gareth Palmer (Universit of Salford), Mark Andrejevic (University of Iowa), Jack Bratich (Rutgers University), Leigh Edwards (Florida State University)
Moderator: Caitlin Collins (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: How is TV being reinvented to make it useful within current programs of government--within the reinvention of government (broadly conceived)? This panel will discuss television's relationship to governing, conceptualized in the broadest Foucaultian sense of guiding and shaping conduct. We will situate reality TV within changing rationalities of liberal government, focusing on the way in which television has become integral to reforms such as privatization, "out-reach," and out-sourcing, as well as to advanced liberal strategies of acting upon private authorities, NGOs, "community," and personal regimens (technologies of the self). We'll consider television as an institution of social welfare and a cultural technology, looking at how it facilitates the care of the self through a variety of means, from corporate partnerships with charitable institutions to popular lifestyle tutorials. Finally, we'll discuss TV's relationship to the reinvention of government, the ownership society, homeland security and the work of agencies like the Point of Light Foundation and the USA Freedom Corps.

Television as 'Cultural Center' in an Age of Audience Segmentation (Panel #22)

Panel Columnist: Horace Newcomb (University of Georgia)
Participants: David Marc (Syracuse University), Michael Kackman (University of Texas at Austin), David Thorburn (M.I.T.), Hollis Griffin (Northwestern University), Victoria Johnson (University of California—Irvine), Allen Larson (Pennsylvania State University)
Moderator: Tariq Elseewi (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: Where is the cultural center? With the segmentation of television programming and audiences, is there any form of broadly shared cultural experience such as that very imperfectly offered by 'network TV?'

Taste and Television (Panel #21)

Panel Columnist: Jason Mittell (Middlebury College)
Participants: Roberta Pearson (University of Nottingham), Ronald Becker (Miami University), Greg Smith (Georgia State University), Matt Sienkiewicz (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Louisa Stein (San Diego State University)
Moderator: Julia Baron (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: What is the place of taste within television studies? Is taste something that exists only as a removed object of study (i.e. other people's taste), or can the scholar's taste inform our academic and pedagogic practices? How do technologies impact the practice of taste, like collaborative filtering/recommendation systems, or the collective intelligence of sites like Television without Pity or TV.com? How might scholarly taste feedback into the television industry? And how does the study of television differ from other media and forms concerning the role of scholarly taste?

Globalizing TV Studies (Panel 20**)

**“Globalizing TV Studies,” has been combined with Roundtable 13. The new panel is called “Global Television and Globalizing Television Studies”**

HBO's Legacy and Future (Panel #19)

Panel Columnist: Walter Metz (Montana State University, Bozeman)
Participants: Amanda Lotz (University of Michigan), Steve Carr (Indiana University), Lisa Schmeiser (TV Without Pity), Lynn Zook and Gale Franko (savecarnivale.org), Jeffrey Jones (Old Dominion University), Dana Polan (New York University)
Moderators: Peter Alilunas (University of Texas at Austin) and Kristen Lambert (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: In 1999, when HBO began to win all those Emmy Awards for fictional, series TV shows, it seemed possible that the pay cable outlet would fundamentally alter the nature of American television. The difference between HBO programming and that offered by the networks was often quite striking. For example, short-runs of fiction shows of 13 episodes, sometimes airing in the summer months, offered a direct challenge to the network programming model. On the other hand, many of HBO's signature shows relied more on the ability to swear and show nudity than on some more important difference. Now HBO seems unable to match its initial innovation (The Comeback is not quite Sex and the City, for example). Furthermore, basic cable networks are offering both innovative imitations (Oxygen's women-centered "cringe-com" Campus Ladies as a re-articulation of Curb Your Enthusiasm) and arguably more compelling fare (the first two seasons of Sci-Fi's Battlestar Galactica strike me as just as compelling as even the best seasons of The Sopranos, never mind the gangster show in its latter-day tailspin). This round table will address the historic importance of HBO's shift to series programming and the potential for its future by addressing the following questions: Did HBO at the height of its series television innovations deserve the critical acclaim it received? How important were shows like The Sopranos and Sex and the City? What will HBO's role in the future of the industry likely be? Can HBO continue to churn out successful shows that foreground their difference from the rest of the televisual landscape?

Feminist Television and Feminist Television Studies (Panel #18)

Panel Columnist: Tara McPherson (University of Southern California)
Participants: Marti Noxon (writer/executive producer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Barbara Corday (co-creator/writer/producer, Cagney and Lacey), Wendy West (writer/producer The Closer), Kelly Souders (writer/producer, Smallville), Amelie Hastie (UC Santa Cruz), Susan Douglas (University of Michigan)
Moderator: Alexis Carreiro (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: What is the relationship between feminist television studies and the work women do in the television industry? Or, to approach the topic from another angle, what's feminist about television and TV studies?

Television Studies and Television Policy Regulation (Panel #17)

Panel Columnist: John McMurria (DePaul University)
Participants: Jennifer Proffitt (Florida State University), Cynthia Chris (College of Staten Island/City University of New York), Philip Napoli (Fordham University), Minna Aslama (Fordham University), Jennifer Holt (University of California-Santa Barbara)
Moderator: Allison Perlman (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: Television studies scholarship, and other disciplines steeped in the humanities and soft social sciences, has remained marginal within media policy forums. Often policy officials privilege the perceived certainties of quantitative methods and the universalistic claims of the behavioral sciences while television studies scholarship is less often articulated toward immediate policy goals. This panel will bring people together from policy, industry and academic backgrounds to discuss how the critical cultural studies and ethnographic approaches of television scholars can engage with policy issues during a period when the regulatory regimes of broadcasting, cable, satellite and the internet are converging. We will ask how the policy legacies of broadcast, telephony, cable and the internet get evoked in decision making as they pertain to issues of access and diversity across indices of race, gender and class. How can critical cultural studies engage with the different registers of content regulations across distribution platforms? How might television studies scholars design research agendas that better direct their work toward policy-making goals?

Diversity and Cultural Production Communities (Panel #16)

Panel Columnists: Vicki Mayer (Tulane University), Sharon Ross (Columbia College)
Participants: Belinda Acosta (Austin Chronicle), John Caldwell (University of California, Los Angeles), Michela Ardizzoni (University of Louisville), Miranda Banks (University of Southern California), Spencer Nutting (independent media producer)
Moderator: Jean Lauer (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: How has television production changed in the post-network age and what have been the cultural, political, and economic consequences for production communities? In particular, how have various forms of diversity (gender, race, class, sexuality) been addressed, enacted, or ignored in different production roles and settings, and what have been the consequences?

Participatory Political Cultures (Panel #15)

Panel Columnist: Douglas Kellner (University of California, Los Angeles)
Participants: Mobina Hashmi (Brooklyn College), John Turner (Goucher College), Chuck Tryon (Fayetteville State University), Jonathan Nichols-Pethick (DePaul University), Kelly Kessler (Queens College-CUNY)
Moderator: Katherine Haenschen (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: What are the political implications of a televisual landscape increasingly characterized by niche programming, specialized audiences, dispersed political cultures, and participatory media technologies? As scholars increasingly critique the possibility (or desirability) that network television might speak to and for a unified collective culture, various subcultures are appropriating new representational forms and participatory technologies to develop new ways of being political in and around television. This panel defines politics broadly. It seeks to explore a range of cultures—from the marginal to the dominant—that vary widely in their political orientation, preferred modes of representation and participation, and in their relationships to television as a cultural forum.

Radical Television (Panel #14)

Panel Columnist: Dan Leopard (University of Southern California)
Participants: Eric Paulus (Austin IndyMedia), Karen Beavers (University of Southern California), Ernie Larsen (Media Critic/Fiction Writer), Sherry Millner (College of Staten Island/CUNY), Margo Miller (Northwestern University)
Moderator: David Uskovich (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: What can Television Studies learn from the radical avant-garde? This panel will focus on the relationship between theoretical topics that are current in Television Studies and the kinds of topics that have been the focus of historical avant-gardes in art, literature, and politics. While TV Studies has engaged, through work in British Cultural Studies and Marxist media studies, with the Frankfurt School, Althusser, and Gramsci, much other work that has been central to art theory and visual studies remains distant from core concerns of the field of Television Studies. Theoretical frameworks derived from Anarchists (and their work that informs much of the WTO protests and such), Situationists, Fluxus, the Independent Group, Conceptualism, Underground Film, Yippies, and Arte Povera are possible approaches that could be considered at this roundtable discussion. While the high-low, art-popular cultural divides have generated much discussion from media scholars, many of the ideas of the above movements have been shunted to one side in favor of a seemingly more egalitarian approach to media based on populism. This move from an apparent elitism to an equally apparent populism is also open to debate.

Global Television and Globalizing Television Studies (Panel #13)

Panel Columnists: Shanti Kumar (University of Texas at Austin), Joseph Straubhaar (University of Texas at Austin)
Participants: Serra Tinic (University of Alberta), Vinicius Navarro (Methodist University of Sao Paolo)
Moderator: Sharon Shahaf

Question: Globalization has touched everything except television studies. How do we change this? What role should and could considerations of globalization play in the study of television? How might International Communications theories (from social science roots) and cultural studies (from humanities roots) examine the globalization of television? What are the contributions and limitations of these approaches? Does the globalization of television studies require new approaches to media studies scholarship?

Teaching Television (Panel #12)

Panel Columnist: Derek Kompare (Southern Methodist University)
Participants: Chuck Kleinhans (Northwestern University), Kathleen Tyner (University of Texas at Austin), Bernard Timberg (East Carolina University)
Moderator: Mattie Akers (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: Television Studies, particularly in the United States, has long had a somewhat checkered relationship with television makers. Critical attention has long been focused on audiences, texts, and sociohistorical contexts (in that order), leaving important issues of cultural production under- and un-examined. This gap is especially problematic considering the opportunities long available to television scholars to teach potential television makers. We may pride ourselves on training critical media consumers, but to the neglect of training critical media producers. How can we approach this issue without merely replicating auteurism and its ilk? What are useful methods for researching and theorizing the television production process (past and present)? What are the most pressing institutional opportunities and obstacles towards this goal? Are there any relevant models from other countries or fields that might facilitate this? Most importantly, how can we then adapt this attention towards training the next generations of media makers?

Selling To and Through Racial Identities in Contemporary Television (Panel #11)

Panel Columnist: L.S. Kim (University of California, Santa Cruz)
Participants: Madhavi Mallapragada (University of Texas at Austin), Felicia Henderson (producer/writer for Moesha, Soul Food), Mary Beltran (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Kelly Cole (Middlebury College), Chuck Kleinhans (Northwestern University)
Moderator: Marnie Binfield (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: This roundtable will examine the marketing of race and/or the intersections of race and genre on television. How has the current TV climate opened up new possibilities for marketing and creating programming along racial lines, both for and through minorities?

Televisual Representations of Gender and Genre after Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Panel #10)

Panel Columnists: Heather Hendershot (Queens College, CUNY Graduate Center) and Allison McCracken (DePaul University)
Participants: Joe Wlodarz (University of Western Ontario), Mary Celeste Kearney (University of Texas at Austin), Emilie Zaslow (Pace University), Vered Pnueli (Brunel University), Cindy Conaway (Bowling Green State University), Laurie Ouellette (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
Moderator: Allison Wright Munro (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: Buffy mixed up the relationship of gender and genre so dramatically that it seemed like television would never be the same. But, in these increasingly disappointing post-Buffy days, how disruptive can experiments in gender/genre get? Where does disruptive or progressive potential lie, and which series simply apply a thin veneer of girl power, sexual (if not specifically feminist) liberation, or queer erotics over premises that remain, at base, anti-feminist and anti-queer?

Technologies of Transport and Communication (Panel #9)

Panel Columnist: James Hay (University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign)
Participants: Paul Stekler (University of Texas at Austin), Craig Robertson (Northeastern University), Jeremy Packer (North Carolina State), Sarah Sharma (University of North Carolina), Greg Siegel (University of California-Santa Barbara)
Moderator: Rebecca McInroy (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: How are technologies of transport designed and used as communication media/technology (and vice-versa), and how might this perspective pose a alternative set of questions to the one's posed by research focused strictly on "media"? As communication technologies become increasingly mobile, it is necessary to readdress the relationship between communication and transportation. The conceptual separation of communication and transportation (which James Carey discussed three decades ago) has contributed to a long-standing distinction between cultural studies and political economy prevalent in the field of communications. In contrast recognizing the intersection of communications and transportation offers a rich area for scholarship; an area that forces the field to take seriously issues of mobility and space, and to accept the fact that interdisciplinary work is necessary to make the study of communications relevant to the complexities of the contemporary world. This panel's focus on communication and transportation foregrounds communications as both a temporal and spatial problematic; communications seeks to solve the problems created by a need to facilitate the circulation and exchange of ideas, goods and people. Transportation and mobility are crucial to the overcoming of barriers in an attempt to create some larger spatial "good", be it the nation, a national economy or the "universal bonds of mankind".

Television's Future and the Role of TV Scholarship (Panel #8)

Panel Columnist: John Hartley (Queensland University of Technology)
Participants: Andrew Garrison (University of Texas at Austin), Shawn Shimpach (University of Massachussetts-Amherst), Stephanie Tuszynski (University of Toledo), Avi Santo (Old Dominion University), Espen Ytreberg (University of Oslo)
Moderator: Jennings Doyle (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: The broadcast era may not be over but its successor is taking shape. The tipping point has already been reached in the shift from behaviour to action (consumer), from closed expert system to open innovation network (producer), and from TV as nation-builder (Network-TV) to global archive (TiVo and BBC Creative Archive). Low-cost digital technology means kids can make TV as easily as they can write. The "Pro-Am revolution" means that unwaged independents can make TV that is as compelling as craft-based professionals. "Hyperdistribution" and "the "long tail" mean that TV doesn't have to be popular to find an audience. Broadcast/broadband hybrid access means that you can toggle between "sit back" and "sit up" modes of viewing, turning from consumer to producer in an instant. TV studies - both academic and informal, but mostly academic - are stuck in the broadcast era. But as TV itself tips from "read only" (broadcast) to "read and write" (digital) literacy, one question is becoming more urgent: what is TV scholarship doing about it? Do we understand these changes? What are we doing to raise the level of "media literacy"? What is our ambition for the semiotic/narrative quality of digital creative potential? What happens to society-wide audiencehood in the era of the long tail? What are we doing to combat "digital exclusion" in our own communities and globally? What is our stance on consumer-IP and audience labour? How are we changing the form of scholarship itself to model the new realities?

Mainstream Television and Alternative TV Practices (Panel #7)

Panel Columnist:Mary Beth Haralovich:
Participants: Joy Fuqua (Tulane University), Julia Lesage (University of Oregon), Jackie Cook (University of South Australia), Tangi Steen (University of South Australia), Dana Heller (Old Dominion University), Geoffrey Baym (University of North Carolina-Greensboro)
Moderator: Elizabeth Hansen (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: This roundtable discusses the relationship between "mainstream" television and "alternative" television practices, with a focus on personal and national health, safety and security. Television shows circulate information and misinformation about personal and national health, safety and security (i.e., legal drama, medical drama, weight-loss shows, fashion shows, etc.). Blogs, websites, free speech news and fake news shows are sources of corrective information and personal empowerment as well as perhaps misinformation. This roundtable considers how specific topics of personal and national health, safety and security (such as, for example, public health, nutrition, terror, constitutional protections) are shaped and presented in mainstream and alternative television. In the process, the roundtable explores relationships and dialogue between "mainstream and alternative" television practices and the usefulness of the concept itself.

Watching Television Off-Television (Panel #6)

Participants: Jonathan Gray (Fordham University), Henry Jenkins (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Jason Mittell (Middlebury College), Will Brooker (Kingston University); participants: Joel Greenberg (GSD&M), Kevin Sandler (University of Arizona) Derek Johnson (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Daniel Chamberlain (University of Southern California),
Moderator: Susan Broyles (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: Currently, a variety of new technologies are making it possible to consume large amounts of television off-television: for example, DVD sales of television are thriving; an increasing number of viewers are downloading episodes via BitTorrent; Apple offers episodes for download to iPods; Verizon offers clips for cell phones; Amazon is premiering a new talk show hosted by Bill Maher; Netflix and On Demand models of distribution pose a rival to broadcasting; and multiple official and unofficial fan sites allow the continued proliferation and extension of the television text online. How do these technologies change the nature of scheduling and programming? How do they shape the relationship between the viewer, the screen, and the show? And what does it mean when we watch television away from the television?

De-Westernizing Television Studies (Panel #5)

Participants: Timothy Havens (University of Iowa), Tasha Oren (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Olivier Tchouaffe (University of Texas at Austin), Adam Fish (University of California—Los Angeles), Jaime Nasser (University of Southern California), Stephanie DeBoer (University of Southern California)
Moderator: John Jirik (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: How might we develop a critical global television studies discipline? What types of programming/policies/institutional practices/modes of production and reception/ textual strategies are occurring internationally and why should these matter to a largely Western-based discipline? How can we work to further "de-westernize" media studies, by accounting for programming, policies, institutional practices, circulations, and cultural embeddings that take shape only in the "peripheral vision" of the field. This would include not only different geographic locales, but a variety of marginalized internal others -- indigenous communities, the disabled, and the widespread growth of religious media, particularly those works whose circulation is "under the radar". In particular, how do we escape neo-developmentalist paradigms such as "the digital divide"?

The Uses and Meanings of Television History (Panel #4)

Panel Columnist: Aniko Bodroghkozy (University of Virginia)
Participants: Ruta Abolins (University of Georgia Libraries Media Archives), Charles Ramirez-Berg (University of Texas at Austin), Laura Levitt-Gamis (Columbia College), Doug Battema (Western New England College), Mary Jeanne Wilson (University of Southern California), Elana Levine (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee),
Moderator: Jacqueline Vickery (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: Nick at Nite and TVLand have given the general public a highly selective and particular sense of what counts as "our television heritage." What about television scholars? What counts as television history? What should count? Histories of corporate and institutional decision making? Histories of audience reception? Histories of representations? Comparative histories of national and State approaches to the medium? Histories of regulation? Histories of technological change? Why do television history? How does our field, so often focused on the present state of the medium, its audiences, institutions, and regulatory climate, gain from various kinds of television history? What might television industry practitioners (current ones and the future ones we may be educating right now) gain from the histories we produce?

Public Sphere, Public Media in an Open Source Age (Panel #3)

Panel Columnist: Patricia Aufderheide (American University)
Participants: Martha Fuentes (University of Texas/Austin Freenet), Jelena Karanovic (New York University), Helen DeMichiel (National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture), Patricia Zimmerman (Ithaca College), Misha Kavka (University of Auckland), Leonardo Aristimuno (Rutgers University)
Moderator: Ana Boa-Ventura (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: What can public media be and mean for an open society's public in an open source age? I hope by this question to raise issues relating to: the fate of today's public broadcasting in an emergent digital environment; the possibilities for today's experimental zones in a commercializing era for the Internet; the relationship between a public sphere and the media that encourages it.

Consumers, Recording, and Playback in the Television and Recording Industries (Panel #2)

Panel Columnist: Tim Anderson (Denison University)
Participants: Andy Langer (Austin Chronicle, music critic), Scott Romig (Dexter Freebish, music producer and musician), Kyle Barnett (Bellarmine University), Patrick Burkart (Texas A&M University), Sam O'Connell (Northwestern University), Kevin John Bozelka (University of Texas at Austin)
Moderator: Afsheen Nomai (University of Texas at Austin)

Question:This roundtable will discuss issues of recordings and playback for television and music. I see them as both similar and different. I am particularly interested in the issue of what it means to "own" and control programming. It seems rather common sense for viewers, but for academics we are still dominated by issues of narrative and the text. To me, this seems to be under-discussed and research since the technologies seem to offer both producers and consumers new sets of textual tactics that affect issues of meaning, economics, pedagogy, recontextualization, etc. All of these are issues that the music industry has had to deal with for over 50 years, however we, as media academics, do not know much about them. That said, I would hope that we would be willing to look at the music industry as a place where we could learn about issues of recontextualization, economics, programming, etc.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Television as an Advertising Medium (Panel #1)

Panel Columnist: Chris Anderson (Indiana University)
Participants: Neal Burns (University of Texas at Austin), Harper Cossar (Georgia State University), David Gurney (Northwestern University), Alexander Russo (Catholic University), Spencer Downing (University of Central Florida), Lynn Spigel (Northwestern University),
Panel Moderator: Nick Marx (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: What does television studies have to say about television advertising? Television would not exist in the United States without the economic foundation of advertising and the insistent presence of commercials on TV screens. Increasing numbers of viewers across the globe witness television commercials of one sort or another on a daily basis. Most of us note the general existence of commercials, or the economic and ideological imperatives of a commercial system, but then turn our attention to some other aspect of the medium, while shunting television advertising into the background. There is little scholarship in television studies that brings commercials into the foreground or that locates particular commercials or advertising strategies in the history of television. Why have we paid relatively scant attention to television as an advertising medium? What does television studies have to say about television advertising?