Call For Papers: Science and Popular Television

Co-Editors: Steven Gil and Bill Lott
Proposal Abstract due 30 November 2014
Full Articles due 31 March 2015
Publication 2016

Contributions are now invited for a special issue of the Journal of Popular Television which seeks to analyse the presence, representation, and role of science in television.

As science has become more and more integrated into mainstream society, increasingly varied and sometimes sophisticated representations of science have taken centre stage in popular culture. Science content, both factual and fictional, manifests today in many forms of entertainment and infotainment. Much of this content is produced for, disseminated through, and consumed as popular television.
Recent years have seen an expansion in scientifically themed and related programs. Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey (2014), a revival of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (1980), illustrates the sometimes high-profile nature of science on television. Hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson and produced by Seth MacFarlane, it includes segments on the history of science alongside up-to-date information, and slick special effects that make full use of televisual capabilities for inventive and engaging storytelling. Similarly, Through the Wormhole (2010-ongoing) merges both scientific and popular concerns into an informing and engaging series narrated by celebrity host, Morgan Freeman. It is not only straightforwardly science oriented documentaries that are noteworthy here but also series such as the long-running Mythbusters (2003-ongoing) which explicitly utilises science as an approach to systematic and reliable problem solving. Little academic attention has been given to either Mythbusters or the many shows built on the same model despite its rise to mass popularity.

Beyond factual and educational programmes, science is also present in television fiction. One recently successful and noteworthy series in this regard is The Big Bang Theory (2007-ongoing) which sought to include a high level of real science content, and is marketed on an image of being scientifically literate and accurate. Additionally, the CSI franchise and other crime series, as well as some medical dramas, often centralise the role of scientific expertise and investigation. Science fiction television also has a long and complex relationship with science. Within the Star Trek franchise, Doctor Who (1963-89), The X-Files (1993-2002), and Battlestar Galactica (2004-09) among others, science and scientist characters are highly prominent. Although there has been an increase in academic attention towards science fiction television, little of that literature focuses on the role of science.
This growth of science content on television has opened a large space in the academic landscape for new and original analyses. The increased complexity, diversity, and salience of science in popular television signals the pressing need for critical engagement with the subject.

Articles can examine any part of the theme, including (but not limited to):

  • Representations of science and scientists on television (whether fictional, dramatized, or real)
  • Use of scientific knowledge and practices in television series and documentaries
  • Documentaries about science
  •  The cultural influence of science as shown through television
  • The influence of popular television on science and scientists
  • Scientists as television celebrities
  • What television as a medium enables and restricts with regards to the presentation of science
  • Television and popular science
  • Science communication and education through television, or the use of televisual materials in communicating and teaching science
  • How/where scientific debates are shown on and contributed to by televisionScience on non-Western television
  • Science and scientists in science fiction television
  • Scientific accuracy and method as part of the marketing of shows such as The Big Bang Theory, and Mythbusters
  • Food science in television cooking shows

Send a titled abstract of 300-500 words and a short CV by 30 November 2014 to:

Accepted articles must be 6,000-8,000 words inclusive of all notes etc. and conform to Intellect style guidelines.

Read more Posted by James Campbell at 16:52 (0) comments
Memefest International Festival of Socially Responsive Communication and Art 2014
Friendly Competition Brief
Dialogue is tirelessly presented as ‘the’ solution to the problems of ‘our’ times – in art, design, war, love, democracy and even in the workplace! But what if dialogue is not working?
Memefest invites you to submit your critical interventions on the theme RADICAL INTIMACIES: DIALOGUE IN OUR TIMES.
We’re asking for honest explorations of the complicated failures and the hopeful potentialities that feed our faith in dialogue – politically, creatively, laboriously and intimately.
Friendly competition categories: Visual communication practice, Critical writing and Participatory art.
Our curatorial and editorial board of distinguished critical thinkers, educators, researchers, activists and professionals, will evaluate your works. Authors of selected works will be awarded with the Memefest/Swinburne Award for Imaginative Critical Interventions.
Read the whole brief at:
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On 1 September at Venice Days, presentation of the Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies.
Flavia Laviosa, founder and director of the journal, and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Italian Studies and in the Cinema and Media Studies Program at Wellesley College, USA, will present of Monday 1 September at 15.30, at Villa degli Autori, the Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies, published by Intellect (UK) and in particular two themed issues, on the intersections between Italian and Chinese cinemas, published in 2014.
Will also be present: Giuliano Montaldo, Maurizio Sciarra and Silvia Scola.
Moderator: Antonio Falduto
The objective: to present the aims and scopes of the Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies, an academic publication which intends to broaden the critical horizons of Italian cinema with a translational and transnational perspective. The two special issues on the aesthetic dialogue between Italy and China comprise articles on the historical and artistic exchanges between the two cinematic worlds. These contributions and others published in the journal explore Italian cinema as a geo-cultural bridge and a spatio-temporal springboard for multiple and complex destinations that interconnect Italian cinema with other world cinemas.
Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies, with an editorial board of renowned scholars from the best universities in the world, publishes articles, interviews, book and film reviews, biographies of independent filmmakers, conferences and film festivals reports. The power point presentation will illustrate the journal’s themes, theoretical framework and new critical directions.
The event is sponsored by Wellesley College.


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Havana Street Style Launch

Intellect and The Cuban, Bristol are delighted to invite you to the launch of Havana Street Style.

Thursday, 11th September 7pm-10pm

The Cuban, Unit 2, Building 11, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5SZ

Havana Street Style is the first book that explores the relationship between culture, city and street fashion in Cuba's vibrant capital. The book documents a unique street style that few in the rest of the world have yet experienced and is a visual celebration of an emerging fashion capital in the throes of profound economic and cultural changes.

Join the book's editor Gabriel Solomons and photographer Martin Tompkins at The Cuban, on 11th September from 7-10pm for Cuban food, live music, and a chance to pick up a copy of the book at a special discounted launch price.

RSVP to by Sept 1st. 

Read more Posted by Jessica Pennock at 16:43 (0) comments
Some Wear Leather, Some Wear Lace Launch events
Launch events in New York and September

The authors of forthcoming Intellect title Some Wear Leather, Some Wear Lace: A Worldwide Compendium of Postpunk and Goth have organised two very cool launches in two very unique cities, Berlin and New York.

The attractive coffee table book is chock-full of original photos from the postpunk and goth era. This is a book about the music, the individual, and the creativity of a worldwide community and this will be reflected in the two event which have been orgnised to celebrate its release.

The first event is a panel on Saturday 6th September at Rough Trade in New York. For more information visit their website here.

The event in Berlin is on 19th September and will include DJs and live bands, as well as copies of the book for sale. For more information visit their Facebook page.

Terrific photographs, a wide range of interviews, and an international perspective on the goth phenomenon make this an original contribution to the field of subcultural studies – Valerie Steele, author of Gothic: Dark Glamour

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Imagining the TV Studio: Experimental Histories and Futures. An illustrated lecture by Maeve Connolly
Wednesday 20th August, 3-5pm

Presented by BBC ARTS and LUX SCOTLAND

Viewing Theatre, BBC Scotland

40 Pacific Quay, Glasgow, G51 1DA

In recent years, the TV studio has figured prominently in contemporary art, whether used as a shooting location, repurposed as an exhibition space or restaged within the gallery, in works by Gerard Byrne, Celine Condorelli, Michelle Deignan and Olivia Plender, among others. Maeve Connolly’s talk examines why and how the meaning of the TV studio has changed since the 1970s, addressing its initial importance as a space of imagined experimentation, in the work of artists such as Peter Donebauer, John Hoppy Hopkins, Otto Piene, Aldo Tambellini and Stan VanDerBeek, and also exploring its future as a potential context and setting for collaboration.

Click here for booking information.

Read more Posted by Alice Gillam at 10:46 (0) comments