Conference on Television and the National

November 19 - 21, 2008
Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne


Convened by La Trobe University and the Project for Australian Television History (PATH),
an Initiative of the ARC Cultural Research Network.


19 November. Symposium: Television, Comedy and the National
(Australian Centre for the Moving Image).

Keynote: Andy Medhurst (Sussex). Medhurst’s main research interests are British popular culture, gender and sexuality, the genre of comedy and constructions of Englishness. His most recent book is A National Joke: Popular Comedy and English Cultural Identities (Routledge 2007).

20 November. Panels and Forum: Television, Nation, History
(Australian Centre for the Moving Image)

Keynote: Koichi Iwabuchi (Waseda). Iwabuchi's main research interest is in media and cultural globalisation in East Asia. His English publications include: Recentering Globalisation: Popular Culture and Japanese Transnationalism (Duke University Press 2002), Feeling Asian Modernities: Transnational consumption of Japanese TV Dramas (ed. Hong Kong University Press, 2004), Rogue Flows: Trans-Asian Cultural Traffic (co-ed. with S. Mueke and M. Thomas 2004) and East Asian Pop Culture: Analysing the Korean Wave (co-ed. with C. Beng Huat 2008).

21 November. Papers and Panels: Television Research
(Venue to be confirmed)

This conference builds on the Television Studies conference (University of Queensland, Brisbane 2000) and the Television History Conference (Powerhouse, Sydney 2005). It aims to bring researchers together to discuss a broad range of topics in the following strands:

Issues to be addressed include but are not limited to: new approaches to television historiography; the extent to which television history is bound up with the national (in terms of audiences, ratings, formats, critical reception, popular memory, policy, regulation); the proposition that some television genres, such as comedy, variety, sport and current affairs, are less likely to join the global flow of television than others; the extent to which international trade in television formats is underpinned by ideas of the trans/national.

Abstracts for individual papers or joint submissions for pre-constituted panels (of three speakers) are welcomed on any of the conference themes listed above

Panel proposals and abstracts of 250 words should be sent via email on or before April 11 2008 to

Please include the following information in your abstract:


The Television and the National brought together over eighty scholars in the field of media and cultural studies, representative of the national archives, and a number of people producers to discuss the role of television in the formation of ideas about national and transnational identity.

The first day focussed on television comedy and light entertainment and included a keynote by Dr Brett Mills of East Anglia University on the survival of regional comedy in the UK as well as a presentation by writer/performer Robyn Butler (The Librarians, A Very Small Business). Other highlights of the conference included the well-attended launch of The SBS Story by George Donikian, the first presenter of SBS World News, followed by a discussion with two of the three authors, Ien Ang and Gay Hawkins. There were also a broad range of diverse and challenging presentations by national and international academics, both established and emergent including CRN members Graeme Turner, Frances Bonner and Tania Lewis who all presented challenging recent research.

Two themed journal issues based on papers presented at the conference have been proposed with more to follow.