On April 24, 2016, Julia Leyda and Maria Sulimma will be participating in a panel on “Gender and “Quality” in American Television” at the European Association for American Studies Conference in Constanta, Romania. Their panel will also include papers by Jennifer S. Clark (Fordham University) and Hannah Mueller (Cornell University).
From the panel description:
Responding to the immense popularity of certain US American television series within the categories of “quality” TV (QTV), the discipline of American Studies has increasingly turned to television as an object of research, thereby practicing the field’s characteristic interdisciplinarity as well as exploring implications of what it means to approach American Studies as Media Studies. In our panel we enter these discussions from the perspective of Gender Studies and Feminist Media Studies, to consider which conceptions of quality are ascribed to a variety of female-centered US television series (Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Masters of Sex, Girls, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt).
From a feminist standpoint, we see that QTV series first earned prestige on the backs of male heroes and only then broadened to include women-centered shows such as those mentioned above. This panel’s goal is to elucidate notable features of female-centered QTV and to examine the difficulties inherent in this seemingly simple task; we will discuss the ways in which woman-centered programming often reveals the instabilities inherent in the term and to examine reasons for this breakdown of coherence around this contested concept.
Session 72: Gender and “Quality” in American Television
Chair: Maria Sulimma, Free University of Berlin, Germany
Maria Sulimma, Free University of Berlin, Germany: “Not That Kind of Girl: Television’s Troubled Relationship with Academia and TV Criticism”
Jennifer S. Clark, Fordham University, USA: “‘Mary Tyler Moore Can Sell Pantyhose, but How Can Mary Hartman Sell Anything?’: Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman as a Quality Soap Opera”
Hannah Mueller, Cornell University, USA: “The Inside of a Vagina: The Exploration of Female Sexuality in Masters of Sex”
Julia Leyda, Free University of Berlin, Germany: “Quality Cuteness: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Programm and more information: http://eaas2016.org/