February 14, 2008
Some Notes on the Upcoming Console-ing Passions Conference

A couple of weeks ago, I posted some information about intriguing panels at a couple of academic conferences I will be speaking at in March: the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (see here and here) and the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference (see here and here).

The preliminary program is now available for a third conference I'm speaking at this spring, called Console-ing Passions. The conference's tagline is "an international conference on television, audio, video, new media & feminism." This year's event is being held at the University of California-Santa Barbara, from Thursday, April 24, to Saturday, April 26.

As usual with these gatherings, there are many more interesting papers and projects being discussed at the conference than I could ever list here (or else my list would start to look like the conference program), but I wanted to highlight a few that especially caught my eye. I'd also love to hear from any other readers who are planning to take part. Feel free to e-mail at samford@mit.edu.

What can be particularly frustrating is the number of great panels that end up on in competition with one another, which I'll write about later. I wanted to include some notes of panels I thought might be of particular interest to Consortium readers, so I'll make note of some of the Thursday and early Friday panels here, and I'll be sure to post more about the workshop I'm participating in and some of the later panels at the conference as well in a subsequent post later today.

In the second session on Thursday, from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., there is a panel on Prime Time and "Quality" TV which will feature a paper from the University of Oregon's Drew Beard called "Living Dangerously: Revisiting the Female Antagonist of the Prime Time Soap Opera." As longtime readers know, I am intrigued by the relationship between daytime and primetime serial dramas in the U.S., and especially in the understanding of what "soap opera" is.

From 5 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Catherine Tosenberger from the University of Florida will make a presentation entitled "The Epic Love Story of Sam and Dean: Supernatural, Queer Readings, and the Romance of Incestuous Fanfiction," as part of the "3 Queer Boys on the Side" panel.

On Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 10 a.m., Louisa Stein from San Diego State University will make a presentation entitled "Sons and Brothers: Sexuality and Race in Supernatural Fan Videos," as part of a panel entitled "Television (In)visibilities." At the same time, a panel called "Feminist Responses to Slash" will feature a presentation entitled "'A Room of Our Own:' How F/F Slash Queers Female Space," from Robin Anne Reid at Texas A&M. Reid participated in Henry Jenkins' Gender and Fan Studies conversation this past summer that I linked to several times from the Consortium's blog. There will also be a panel during this time slot called "How New Media Reconfigures Public and Educational Space," featuring a presentation from the University of California-Santa Cruz's L.S. Kim, called "It Is Good to be Angry: SmartMobs and angryasianman.com."

Finally, a panel during this time slot chaired by Heather Hendershot of Queens College, CUNY, is entitled "Studies of Battlestar Galactica. Hendershot's presentation is called "'You Have Your Pound of Flesh': Religion, Battlestar Galactica, and Television's Sacred Secular Fetuses."

Look for a post again later this morning on some other interesting panels, workshops, and plenary sessions from this year's Console-ing Passions (my first).