[csaa-forum] MIA call for papers

Susan Bye S.Bye at latrobe.edu.au
Tue Mar 31 12:12:07 CST 2009

MIA Call For Papers

Television Comedy and Light Entertainment

Theme Editors: Felicity Collins, Sue Turnbull and Susan Bye

Abstracts (300 words) with biographical note by: 20 April 2009

Full Papers (4,000 - 5,000) words due: 1 July 2009


When writing his 1973 monograph on 'light entertainment', Richard Dyer
quoted from an ITV communication in which an unnamed writer decried the
tendency for comedy and light entertainment 'to be lumped together as
though they belonged in some rather disreputable bargain-basement of
broadcasting'. Although it continues to be cited as the poor cousin of
other more serious TV forms (Mills, 2001, 61), comedy (with the support
of its more upmarket cousin, satire) has begun to emerge from the
bargain basement. Indeed, John Corner sees television as the creator of
'a culture of public comedy' that engages with and transforms collective
systems of value: 'the way in which certain themes move into, and out
of, the realm of the comic...is very much a television-guided process,
even if it also involves television reflecting broader shifts and trends
in the culture of humour' (1999, 97). 


Light entertainment, however, is still stuck in the bargain basement,
largely because it refers to both a type of 'undemanding' television
show that people enjoy watching, and to a style of TV not sufficiently
serious to merit a generic description of its own. Here, we retain the
category because of its capacity to link together a diverse range of
television styles, and also because of its longstanding investment in


This themed issue will provide an opportunity for the serious
consideration of the various ways in which light entertainment and
comedy intersect with the social and broadcast contexts in which they
are produced. Comedy and light entertainment are also part of a
longstanding TV tradition inflected by the inclusiveness of their
address as well as a particular promise of 'time out' in which the
light-hearted quip, silly mistake or funny anecdote form a continuum
with more sustained comedy performances. 


Abstracts are invited that deal with

*	Television comedy 
*	Light Entertainment in the context of television
*	The connection of television comedy and/or light entertainment
to older entertainment traditions
*	Potential transformations of this TV-specific regime of pleasure
within the changing context of television delivery
*	Television comedy and light entertainment produced outside the
Anglo-American tradition.
*	Transnational television comedy


Please send abstracts to s.bye at latrobe.edu.au by 20 April 2009


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