Archive for April 2013

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[ecrea] CFP Anthology on British Historical Costume Drama TV

Tue Apr 09 00:32:27 GMT 2013

Call for Essays -  Upstairs and Downstairs: The British Historical Costume Drama on TV

Dear all,

The recent popular success of Downton Abbey calls for a renewed examination of such earlier serialized period dramas as Upstairs Downstairs, The Pallisers and The Forsyte Saga, among others that have aired (and have been repeated) since the 1970s. We also want to examine how more recent dramas like Downton Abbey engage with these earlier productions in terms of style, thematic content, and  programming.

We are seeking essays for a critical anthology that addresses such topics (but are not limited to) as the following:

• How the small screen period drama interrogates past and present gender/ class/race relations  and notions of historical “authenticity”
• Transatlantic reception /interpretations
• How these TV serials fulfill and/or disrupt notions of “quality television”
• The afterlife of the serialized period drama on video/DVD
• The role of fans in shaping the content/reception of these dramas (message boards, role playing, Facebook and other social media sites that connect fans, etc)
• The relationship between history, heritage, and the costume drama
• Adaptation and the translation from historical novel to the TV miniseries
• How history and culture are commodified for popular audiences
• The feminization of history via the costume drama
• The relationship between these series and wider developments in TV or popular culture more generally
• How these programmes have engaged with, or been received in relation to, ideas of region and regional difference
•How the development of the genre been bound up with technological changes, such as the use of video, widescreen and (more recently) HD

Please submit a 500 word abstract and brief CV by April 15 to the editors, Julie Anne Taddeo, University of Maryland, USA ((taddeo /at/ and James Leggott, Northumbria University, UK ((james.leggott /at/ If accepted, the first draft of essays (approx. 7000 words) will be due September 15th 2013 (guidelines from press will follow).  Please note: Individual authors are responsible for permissions for any images reproduced in their essays.

James Leggott
Senior Lecturer in Film and Television
Northumbria University

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