Teenagers and Contemporary Visual Culture
25 – 27 September 2012
Mansfield College, Oxford,
This conference looks to examine, explore and discuss the prevalence of representation of teenagers within contemporary visual culture. Whether as a focus for consumption, entertainment or individual and social expression the teenager, as seen in its myriad manifestations within popular culture and the media would seem to express something about the world in the 21st Century and beyond but does it allow for teenagers themselves to address the nature of their own identity and individual agency within an increasingly implicated and convergent world?
Possible Topics for Discussion:
Portrayals of teenage life and teen cultures (mainstream as well as counter-cultures);
Sexualities (hetero-, homo-, bi-, trans-, fluid, queer);
Impact of “big” events (death and mortality, pregnancy, addiction, marriage, mental illness, disability, etc.) on teens.
- Aesthetics and Stories:
Responding to/setting trends in teen fashion, music and pop culture;
Narrative and Storytelling;
Inter-textuality/pop culture allusions;
Adapting stories between media;
Making and breaking generic conventions;
Impact of star persona/celebrity.
Teen patterns of consumption;
Teens as producers (e.g teens in writers’ rooms and creative teams; teens as producers of fan fiction, videos and art; teens as campaigners/correspondents seeking to influence storylines, etc.);
Creator/showrunner as author;
Adapting and remaking teen entertainment in different countries;
Production process case studies;
Technologies of production, distribution and marketing (e.g. the impact of multiplatform experiences and social media);
Uses and Impacts of Teen Entertainment.
- Reception and Impact:
Teens and Tweens as Niche Audience?;
The impact and value of membership in fan communities that develop around visual culture;
Fandom and anti-fandom;
Celebrity and teen actors;
Transnational reception of teen entertainment;
Controversies and moral panics;
Regulation and censorship;
The appeal of teen visual culture for adults, and its implications;
Pedagogical value of teen entertainment;
Clinical studies of the impact of teen programming on teens;
Assessments of the meaning and cultural significance of specific storylines and characters;
Factors in the phenomenon: why some teen programming goes viral and others fail.
(300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 27th April 2012.)