Date: May 4th 2017

CFP Histories and New Directions: Soap Opera/Serial Narrative Research

Department of Theatre, Film and Television, University of York, 10 July 2017

(In association with the Northern Television Research Group)

Keynote Speaker: Helen Wheatley (University of Warwick)

Roundtable Chair: Christine Geraghty (University of Glasgow)

The main goal of this conference is to reflect on the historical issues,
current status, and future directions of the serial narratives and soap
opera as a genre and a global product.

With the invention of radio, the stories that we heard came to us
through the airwaves. In the past, audiences tuned in to listen to their
favorite shows, including soap operas/serialized narratives. With the
advertisers’ support (mainly soap and detergent companies in the US
context), radio channels produced and aired serial dramas regularly.
When the last radio serial exited the media landscape in 1960, daytime
serials, widely known as soap operas, were already established as part
of popular television programming. Despite the prediction that
television soap operas would fail, over the years, television serials
proved to be among the most successful and profitable programs in the
US, the UK, and Australia as well as in non-English speaking countries.

Television as a popular media form is now competing with other media,
such as web, social network sites, video games, comics and manga and
mobile communication forms. These cultural changes are influencing
different television genres, including soap operas and other serial
narratives. There is a strong relationship between the nature of
storylines and how they are told and the success of a serial narratives
or soap operas or how they are received by the audience. Understanding
the reasons behind the genre’s popularity or decline in some cases is
important to determine its future directions.

The many intriguing intersections and overlappings of past, present, and
future of serial narratives and soap operas lack the scholarly attention
they deserve. We invite papers that would reflect on the past, present,
future of seriality, television serial narrative, and soap opera.

Please send your 300 word abstract and 100 word biographical note to
Ahmet Atay at and Kristyn Gorton at by April 20, 2017.

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