THIS WEEK: Current work in from researchers in the Screen Cultures cluster

In this session, speakers will share research initially presented at the Society for Film and Media Studies conference held in March 2018, in Toronto. Speakers will also report back on roundtables attended during the event itself.

Dr Hazel Collie (BCU) – “My Time”: Ageing television audiences, generation and memory

Hazel will present research from across two oral history interview projects (A History of Television for Women in Britain, 1947-1989 and Migration and Identity Narratives Told Through Television) which ask generationally dispersed television audiences to discuss their life narratives. In these discussions, the role of ageing texts in the construction of older television viewers’ life narrative and identity emerged strongly. In both research projects participants drew pleasure from discussing television texts which are still remembered post-production. Their discussions indicated that generation as a social category cuts across gender and ethnicity in individual memory work with television. They demonstrate the importance of aged and ageing television texts as a mechanism by which ageing audiences could discuss “my time” to locate themselves within their generational cohort and to express their individual identity as part of a broader generational identity and the values which they associate with this identity.

Dr Inger-Lise Bore (BCU) – Bringing Brent Back: Affective continuities, transmedia audiences, and the unfolding celebrity text 

Scholarship on transmedia storytelling often stresses the importance of continuity, consistency and seriality to producers and audiences of fictional worldbuilding. But how might such notions apply to non-fictional transmedia texts such as brands and celebrities? We explore this question through a case study of British comedian Ricky Gervais and his 2016 film Life on the Road, which revives his most famous comic character – David Brent from mockumentary sitcom The Office (BBC 2001-03). We identify a recurring narrative of a declining celebrity-comedian returning to a character that had previously been associated with critical acclaim and great cultural significance. Here, Life on the Road became a litmus test for Gervais as comic author/performer, and participants used their affective encounters with the film to trace the direction of his celebrity narrative.

Connor Winterton (BCU) – Reporting on ‘Queer Sex and Contemporary Cinema’ Roundtable

Connor will be reporting on the round-table that he organised and chaired at the 2018 SCMS Annual Conference. The round-table discussion is centred on ‘Queer Sex and Contemporary Cinema’ and will offer a critical and unique evaluation of how modern cinema is representing ‘queer sex’ in films such as Stud Life (dir. Campbell Ex, UK, 2012), Stranger by the Lake (dir. Alain Guiraudie, France, 2014) and Carol (dir. Todd Haynes, USA, 2015). The table of experts, made up from a variety of institutes and countries, will unpick what the term ‘queer sex’, how queer sex is stylistically presented in modern cinema, how the sex acts fit in with genre and narrative more broadly, as well as issues to do with visibility and authenticity.

About the speakers:

Dr Hazel Collie is a lecturer in media theory at Birmingham City University. She researches television audiences and is interested in gendered and generational identity, memory and feminine cultures.

Dr Inger-Lise Kalviknes Bore is Senior Lecturer in the School of Media at Birmingham City University and member of the Screen Cultures research cluster in BCMCR. She has published work on comedy audiences and media fandom, and she is the author of Screen Comedy and Online Audiences (Routledge, 2017).

Connor Winterton is a PhD Researcher in the Birmingham School of Media, where he also tutors and lectures part time. Connor holds degrees from the University of Leicester and University of Birmingham, where he was educated and trained primarily in Film Studies. Connor’s current PhD research is centred on representations of sex in contemporary gay, lesbian and queer film. Connor is also an editorial board member for Mai: Journal of Feminism and Visual Culture.

SEMINAR SERIES| Sid Peacock on ‘Surge in Spring’

As a way of exploring cultural translation in jazz, Sid Peacock presented Surge in Spring as an example of the way a jazz festival might lend itself to a melting pot of cultural influences.

This video will give you both a flavour of the festival and a window into the way it is saturated with examples of cultural translation. It’s a marvellous example of the way in which a cultural form such as jazz serves as the medium for creativity and cultural transformation.

Thanks, Sid, for allow us to share the video.