Date: January 13th 2018


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

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.

We invite proposals for papers for a special dossier on soaps/serial narrative research for the /Journal of Popular Television/. Please send your abstracts and a short bio to Ahmet Atay aatay@wooster.edu and Kristyn Gorton at kristyn.gorton@york.ac.uk by 31^st January, 2018.

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