PhD seminar: Genre and the Media
The aim of this PhD seminar/workshop held by Anne Jerslev and Annette Hill is to discuss the concept of genre and the broader transformations of genres in a digital era in which the blurring of boundaries challenge our conceptual understandings of media culture on many levels. How should we understand genre today?
The aim of this PhD seminar is to discuss the concept of genre and the broader transformations of genres in a digital era in which the blurring of boundaries challenge our conceptual understandings of media culture on many levels. In a time of cross media production, audience participation and the appearance of new ways of communicating on social media, the question arises: How should we understand genre today?
Annette Hill (2014) uses the term inter-generic space in order to make sense of reality television as genre hybrid, and she suggests that, “[a]s an inter-generic space, reality television codes and conventions, ethics and practices, resist containment”. Julie Andem talked about Skam as a hybrid of soap, melodrama and sitcom (cf. for example Sundet 2017), but does this make sense when understanding Skam as a cross-media web drama which invites audience comments and uses audience comments for further elaboration of the series. Moreover, a few years ago Stine Lomborg, in her article “Social Media as Communicative Genres” (2011) tried to unravel differences between media, platforms, genres and subgenres – and also discussed in which ways we could understand genre as technologies and communicative forms. Finally, Jason Mittell (2004) argues that genre should be understood as cultural practices, provided with particular affordances but also “how specific articulations of genre emerge out of power relations”.
Consequently, genre is still a contested term, no less in a digital, cross-media era. So, it seems that genre is still a crucial term to come to grips with in film, media and communication studies. Hence, the overall questions this PhD seminar wishes to address are: In which ways can we conceptualize genre today? Is it still a fruitful organizing principle, and if so, how can it encompass media texts as always also embedded in communicative, participatory practices and other forms of contextualizations? How can – can? – genre be productive for understanding contemporary hybrid forms and social media practices? In which ways might genre be a useful term for conceptualizing and comprehending the new digital media landscape? However, other interesting questions could be asked and addressed as well.
In charge of the seminar is Professor Anne Jerslev, Department of Film, Media and Communication, University of Copenhagen, who is also a Professor II at the Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo. Professor Annette Hill, Media and Communication Studies, Lund University and Visiting Professor at the University of Westminster, UK will participate in the course, giving a lecture and also commenting on presentations.
Presentation of a short paper is mandatory. Deadline for when this will be due will be communicated at a later stage. We welcome papers covering all aspects of genre and all media related to PhD students’ dissertations. As indicated by the above frame, papers may be about questions of cross media and genre; questions of audience participation and genre; discussions of genre innovation and blurring of boundaries between genre and other concepts trying to differentiate levels and forms of communication. However, other angles could be important as well. It is required that all participants read all short papers and there will be a reading list as well. Finally, the PhD course includes a session about the writing of a PhD dissertation.
The workshop gives 2 ECTs.