Monday, August 24, 2015

Trish from Texarkana with Some Conference Misery.

I miss hearing interesting views on literature, or considerations of literatures I don't yet know. So, I thought I would send in an abstract to a conference held by field. After trolling through the offerings, I realized that this is why I no longer wish to attend the large conferences in my area. I am not even going into why the use of auteur here is so incorrectly applied. Let us just say I think I am better off staying home reading the The New York Times Book Review.

Some flava from the call for papers:
"These “showrunners” are developing intellectually complex worlds and landscapes that engage audiences. More and more scholars are dedicating their work to studying series by particular showrunners; a famous example would be Joss Whedon, whose work has become so popular that there are journals and conferences dedicated to his work alone. 
With the advent of social media, fans are able to hear directly from the source on the fandoms that they hold so dear. This amount of access and primary resources can be a great source of information to utilize in the classroom. That’s why I propose a panel that looks to investigate lesson plans and courses that are based on using the work of television auteurs."


  1. I guess I'm just having a bad start of the semester because everything I read angers me so. I've been seeing this sort of "scholarship" seeping into the conferences I attend, and it just seems so facile and awful. Yes, it's possible to study Buffy the Vampire Slayer like it's Beowulf. As Chris Rock says, of course you can drive a car with your feet, but it doesn't make a good fucking idea.

  2. Renaissance artists, who we studied obsessively for centuries, often worked as 'studio-runners' with assistants and apprentices who handled much of the background and technical work, models who provided visual references, etc.

    Shakespeare stole plots, characters, and even lines from Italian authors, and wrote vulgarities into his most profound plays to keep the groundlings entertained.

    I'm not saying that all this pop culture scholarship is worthwhile, but it's not prima facie stupid, either.

    Whose work tells us more about our current predicament: Tom Clancy or Jonathan Franzen?

    1. True enough about artists, and of course, all theater is an immediate response to the ways of the world. However, the auteur theory doesn't apply to television. At All. Truffaut would be laughing. The auteur is a direct repose to the commercialization of film ; television is 100% a commercial product, dependent on ratings, audience, and advertising. The notion of the auteur who makes films for his immediate 'circle of friends' just doesn't apply. Television is more akin to theater, with its immediacy.

      I really never understand how English faculty appropriate classes in television, film and theater and even architecture without any training in these visual and performing arts....a film is not a text anymore than a painting is.

      Oh crap, I just went where I said I wouldn't.