Television Studies: Textual Analysis

Television Studies: Textual Analysis

Television Studies: Textual Analysis

Television Studies: Textual Analysis

Synopsis

Burns and Thompson help to remedy the lack of a forum for current research on television by bringing together some of the best recent research in television studies. In compiling these 13 papers, the editors maintain a balance of timely interest and lasting relevance. After an introductory debate primarily seeking a definition of Television Studies, ' the contributors study texts of current TV dramatic and comic series, such as Dallas and Cheers, as well as current trends in nonfiction TV, such as network and local news coverage. In a final essay, conventional wisdom about the audience' is refuted.

Excerpt

Gary Burns and Robert J. Thompson

The impetus for this volume was our realization that there was no regular forum for current research on television. Many film journals have broadened their scope to include television and video, and more and more anthologies of TV research are being published. Still, the development of television studies as a discipline, or even as an interdisciplinary area, has been inhibited by the lack of a specialized journal or annual. Our plan is for the present volume to be the first in a series of anthologies (annual, we hope) that will provide an outlet for some of the best recent research in television studies.

Each volume will have a theme chosen to reflect some current trend we perceive or wish to encourage in television studies. We assume that trends in scholarship will, in turn, be influenced to some extent by developments in television itself, so that in many cases our volumes will be as timely as the most recent TV season. That does not mean, however, that we are unconcerned with TV's history, or that we plan to publish essays that will hold no interest a decade from now. Although TV series come and go, often with dizzying rapidity, there are, nonetheless, enduring issues of many sorts--theoretical, methodological, political--that enliven the best work in television studies, even work whose main concern is to document or interpret an esoteric, unavailable, forgotten, or disparaged televisual text. We intend to publish studies that have the sort of lasting value associated with the best scholarly work in other fields, but at the same time we hope to avoid stodginess, methodological fetishism, and pedantry.

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