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Utrecht Centre for Television in Transition


Next session (March 5th): Technological advances, fandom and the television canon

In the March session of TviT, Abby Waysdorf will present her paper on technological advances and the establishment of a television canon. See below for a description and bio.

The time and location:
5 March 2o12,  Janskerkhof 13, room 0.06, 3.30 pm – 5.30 pm.

Presentation by Abby Waysdorf.
Ivory TV Towers: Comment Threads, DVDs, Streams, and the Television Canon’

The age of media convergence has not only had an impact on conceptions of television’s future, but on the understanding of its past as well. Abby’s presentation that focuses on one of the ways in which television is moving towards being a less ephemeral medium –namely, the establishment of a television canon. The abstract can be found below.

Technological advances in television storage and access, such as DVD box sets and Internet streaming, make television’s past available at will to interested viewers in a way that it has not been in the past. At the same time, the growing visibility of and participation in online discussion of television mean that critique and debate are increasingly an integral part of television fandom. The convergence of these developments provides a space and environment where a television canon can be created, explored, and defined. Abby’s paper explores these developments. The “TV Club Classic” section of popular general pop-culture website. The AV Club is used as a case study. It functions as a space in which both professional critics and passionate amateurs participate in the construction of this canon, in a format that has become increasingly the way in which television is discussed. By exploring the environment of The AV Club, this presentation examines the way in which fans interact with themselves, professional critics, and the general culture, as well as the ways in which the emerging television canon is formed and codified. I consider the importance of fan participation, technology, and expert culture and present a way in which these elements negotiate with television’s past as well as its present.

About Abby:
Abby Waysdorf is a student in the Research Master in Media and Performance Studies at Utrecht University and attached to the Centre of Television in Transition. She has a BA in Comparative History of Ideas from the University of Washington. Her research focuses on sports and media, online fandoms, and transnational media formats.

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