Acting on Television – Analytical Methods and Approaches: An International One-Day Symposium organized as part of the tenth anniversary celebrations for Critical Studies in Television

Symposium- Friday 8 April 2016, University of Reading

Call for Papers

Scholarship on television and acting is a burgeoning field, both in the Anglophone world and internationally. This is important, not only because acting is central to the appeal of TV drama in all its forms, but also because the methodological strengths of television studies as a discipline can help meaningful engagement with acting. Television studies’ diverse and inter-disciplinary approaches have, for example, moved the field beyond the long-standing focus on stars, and towards considering the labour and creative agency of ‘regular’ working actors.

This symposium aims to take stock of past and present achievements, and to look ahead to the remaining challenges for critical reflection on television and acting. We welcome proposals for papers, panels and flash panels on all aspects of television and acting, including:

  • Acting as creative agency and aesthetic achievement
  • Acting as labour and industrial product
  • Acting and the vexed issue of precise critical vocabulary
  • Acting and the contexts of training, rehearsal and process
  • Acting and risk and/or failure
  • Acting and cultures of production and/or reception
  • Acting and the significance of (developments in) technology and/or genre
  • Acting and history/historiography
  • Acting and professional working relationships and collaborative networks
  • Acting and scholarly methodology and/or disciplinary traditions
  • Acting and the politics of representation, on- and off-screen
  • Acting and the social and cultural background of actors
  • Acting across the boundaries of nation and/or medium

Individual case studies are welcome, especially those that seek to engage with wider questions and issues.  We particularly welcome contributions that compare UK television acting with that of other TV cultures, and/or engage with non-Anglophone traditions of drama and acting.

Confirmed Keynote Speaker

Professor Jonathan Bignell, University of Reading

Proposal Submissions

Please submit a title and max. 300-word abstract along with institutional affiliation and max. 150-word bio, or a panel proposal (minimum 3 speakers, 300 word panel rationale plus 300 words per paper abstract) to:  by the 30th October 2015.

Selected papers will be considered for publication at a special issue of Critical Studies in Television.


Symposium Team


Dr Simone Knox, University of Reading

Professor Stephen Lacey, University of South Wales



Dr Tonia Kazakopoulou, University of Reading


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