The University of Westminster will host a symposium on September 6, 2019 on the topic of television drama.
Television drama plays a seminal role in the cultural life of nations, and the way in which it depicts national identities merits scholarly exploration. In this regard national identity’s relationship with law as its crystallisation is particularly worthy of academic attention and lends itself to interdisciplinary and comparative perspectives. Police, crime, justice and dystopian dramas frequently place law and social attitudes to law centre-stage in the delineation of national identity.
Television drama may be perceived as a communicative event in which history is transformed into myth through a stylised set of codes. The transmission of coded messages about national identity, and their interpretation (both hegemonic and oppositional) become particularly worthy of analysis as the nation comes under strain through patterns of globalised and regional integration coupled with acts of national resistance. Multiple genres of television drama provide scope for the expression of national identity, including the use by period dramas of creative nostalgia to represent the contemporary nation or the warnings to the nation posed by science fiction television. In all contexts the interplay between projections of national identity and television’s treatment of race, class and gender warrants critical scrutiny.
Proposals for 20-minute papers are being accepted until February 1, 2019. Possible topics include:
- is national identity empirical or normative in television drama?
- internet/social media amplification of debates on TV drama, law and identity
- national identity on television as ideology
- depictions of trials and national identity
- national security dramas: ‘war against terrorism’, identity and law(lessness)
- political dramas: uniform global elite or national diversity?
- fan responses to the portrayal of the nation
- globalisation/globalised law – depicted as threat to national identity?
- feminist crime drama and national identity
- science fiction or dystopian fiction, law and national identity
- ‘heritage’ drama: commodification of (rose-tinted) ideas of national identity for global consumption?
Abstracts should be 250 words in length, accompanied by a 100-word biography of the author, and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by the deadline of 1 February 2019.
More information is available on the website.