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Monday, June 05, 2006

Lost in Transition: From Post-Network to Post-Television

A Lecture by Professor Roberta Pearson
7th June, 6.30pm, Elisabeth Murdoch Building, Theatre A, University of Melbourne

The mega-global hit Lost emerged from the relatively stable industrial conditions of the post-network era of the last part of the 20th century, when television, even if no longer broadcasting to mass audiences, still retained its centrality as a domestic medium. But Lost also reflects the increasingly unstable industrial conditions of the post-television era of the early 21st century, when the continual convergence of platforms and fragmenting of audiences morphs the medium into something rich and strange. In exploring this new territory, Roberta Pearson likens the plight of media industry executives to that of Lost’s castaways, both faced with the uncertainties of unknown environments. Television studies scholars face similar uncertainties, as the post-television era transforms the well-known industrial landscapes of the network and post-network ages out of all recognition.

Roberta Pearson is Professor of Film and Television Studies & Director of the Institute of Film and Television Studies (School of American and Canadian Studies) at the University of Nottingham. Professor Pearson's research interests range from Batman to the American television drama, to cult or genre television, and her publications include Eloquent Gestures: The Transformation of Performance Style in the Griffith Biograph Films (University of California Press, 1992) and Reframing Culture: The Case of the Vitagraph Quality Films (co written with William Uricchio, Princeton University Press, 1993). She is also co-editor of Cult Television (University of Minnesota Press, 2004), The Many Lives of the Batman: Critical Approaches to a Superhero and His Media (Routledge, 1991), American Cultural Studies: A Reader (Oxford UP, 2000) and the forthcoming book Small Screen, Big Universe: Star Trek as Television (California UP).

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