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CLIC day 2020: Call for contributions

  • July 27, 2020

#CLIC2020 - Friday 11 December 2020

(Academic) keynote: Jason Mittell (Middlebury College) 

(Artistic) keynote: tba 

Call for papers

Our call for contributions begins with an example of seriality: the cliché. Like any call for papers, this one also claims that the theme of the #CLIC2020 study day on December 11, 2020 is “ubiquitous in our everyday reality”. Seriality is predominant in literature, theatre, TV series, feature film, narrative games, podcasts, YouTube channels, Instagram and other forms of social media "storytelling", and obviously in viruses, be it real, metaphorical, or imagined ...

Traditionally seriality is often associated with repetition and variation. Today however, our interest seems to have shifted to the dynamic qualities of seriality. What strikes us and interests us is not so much repetition but evolution, the development of (story) lines. As a result, the narrative character appears to grow in importance, something that goes hand in hand with the popularity of what is covered by the broad umbrella term 'storytelling'. At the CLIC seminar, this year a collaboration with the research group “New dramaturgy in audiovisual fiction” of RITCS, School of Arts and with Cultural Studies and The Doctoral school for the Humanities and Social Sciences (KULeuven), we also want to initiate exchanges between academic and artistic researchers about seriality in different media, in different traditions and especially about the ways in which this seriality manifests itself in different aspects of film, theater, literature, television, dance, games, comics, performance, etc. Is it an autonomous but interdisciplinary research field (Denson 2011)? How does this seriality shift things from one medium to another? Or does it simply rely on another medium to tell the whole story? (Kustritz 2014). What role does time play, for example in the increased complexity of narrative / dramaturgical construction in series? Advancing time can also be seen as a move to the past in e.g. prequels or spin-offs. The traditional concepts narrating time vs story time vs real time, are put to the test in serial narratives. How does this increased complexity manifest itself in the development of space, characters, etc.? Although seriality is often explicitly linked to popular culture (Kelleter 2017), an increased interest in “seriality as a strategy” can be observed in all kinds of art forms.

Possible inspiration for themes (but not exclusively) can be:

- Seriality as an inter-, trans-, cross-media research field, ...

- Seriality and story worlds, ...

- Seriality in anthology series (Black Mirror, True Detective, other, literature e.g. Karl Ove Knausgard?), ...

- Seriality in literature: from crime literature to novel cycles (eg Proust, Knausgard, Elena Ferrante), ...

-Seriality as research process (theater, dance, performance, writing, eg Luk Perceval, Milo Rau, Michiel Vandevelde, Radouan Mriziga, Kenneth Goldsmith), ...

- Seriality and time (eg Richard Linklater (Boyhood, Before trilogy), François Truffaut (the "Antoine Doinel" films), Michael Apted (Up series), ...

- Seriality and how it influenced the conception of the term "character" (see previous point, but also multiple protagonists, influences on the narrative construction of the character, ...

- Seriality as neverending story: 1001 nights (also in its many Covid-19 apparitions?), ...

- Seriality as episodicity and seriality-as-franchise: expanding series by developing relatively independent elements. Historical examples (literature, comics, theater, film). How far can one go (cf. the lack of success from recent Star Wars "episodes")? (Franchising also as a way to ‘occupy the market’, as the producers of the successful series CSI themselves created franchises very quickly, for fear that the story formula would be copied by others.), ...

- Seriality as a tension-building strategy (e.g. in podcasts, in docu (fiction) where narrative strategies from fiction are used in documentary series of the type Wild Wild Country, Making a Murderer, De verdwijning van Britta Cloetens). How is its factual character influenced by the fictional narrative strategies?

- Seriality as a commercial strategy: how an audience's familiarity with characters, theme, arena and genre generates a customer-binding effect. To what extent is there a tension between the provision of fixed story elements vs variation, surprise, innovation?, ...

- Seriality as fragmentation, e.g. p.o.v. storytelling of the same events from different successive narrators, creating repetitions and creating cognitive dissonance, Rashomon, The Leftovers, Westworld, De dag, in film and TV, in literature much older (Faulkner obviously, but also later), ...

- Seriality like 'adaptation', 'translation', 'recycling', 'remix', ... (The Bridge; The Office; Flikken (resp. Ghent, Maastricht, Rotterdam) but also e.g. “Serial Shakespeare” as a ‘dramaturg’ of contemporary series, Bronfen 2020), ...

- Seriality in / as social media (podcasts, YouTube vloggers, Instagram storytellers, Twitter poetry), ...

- Seriality and repetition and the tension between offering trusted elements vs necessary variation and progression (see seriality as a commercial strategy), ...

- Seriality in comics ("see album XXX"), ...

- Seriality in games, ...

- Seriality and poetry, ...

- Seriality and genre, ...

- To be continued ...

Abstracts (200-300 words) are welcome by September 15, 2020 at the latest at Ronald.Geerts@vub.be (Please also add a short bio). The organizers expressly wish to stimulate discussion at the intersections between theory and practice, but also between the various media. Literature, theatre, film studies and artistic researchers who wish to participate in a joint cross-border exchange of views on seriality are invited to express their interest to the organizers.

Covid-19 conditions: considering the situation on mid July, the CLIC day will more than likely happen entirely online. The #CLIC2020 study day is organized by ronald.geerts@vub.be (CLIC-VUB), rik.dhiet@ehb.be (RITCS, School of Arts), anneleen.masschelein@kuleuven.be (Cultural Studies, KULeuven)

* Thomas Bayrle, “Anarchy in construction” (source: https://www.a-private-collection.com/anarchy-in-construction-2)

 
To view this call for contributions in English and Dutch, click here: pdf fileCfP CLIC 2020 seriality (499 KB)