Critical Issues in Television Historiography

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REQUIRED READINGJohnson, C (2007), ‘Negotiating value and quality in television historiography’ in HelenWheatley (ed)Re-Viewing Television History: Critical Issues in Television Historiography,London: I. B. Tauris pp 55-66.This chapter presents an assessment that when a particular text is well placed in a particularcontext, it can perform a particular function. The text can have a historical importance with highquality artistic creativity. The old television programs on being critically analysed by historianhave been asked about their historical importance, artistic creativity and quality etc. One suchdifference is that the nature of creativity is found to be different and a relationship has beenfound between the quality and the artistic creativity onevaluating the television, and specificallyhistorical television. The author suggests that the programming forms like studio drama and lightentertainment along with other forms can be termed as the ‘bread and butter’ television. Butthese factors are likely to conflict strongly with the contemporary dominant criteria of aestheticvalue. However, the author suggests that while engaging in the evaluation of the old televisionprograms and their quality, are offering a manner of challenging the dominant criteria forevaluating the quality of contemporary television. This evaluation has been helpful in shapingthe writing of television’s history.** REQUIRED READING: Lull, J. (2003). Hegemony. In Dines, Gail and Humez, Jean M.(eds.), Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A Text-Reader, pp. 61-66.London:Sage.The authors have tried to capture the readers with the a comprehensive introduction to the massmedia studies and have presented an innovative and classical reading which critically analysesthe influential and pervasive mode of media entertainment culture which includes shows,sitcoms, advertising, pornography, celebrity gossip websites, online social media etc. The powerand the issues have repeatedly been related to the class, sexuality and are integrated with various
economic and financial implications. The article puts an emphasis on gender and race in the lightof media and their emergence from time to time in any form of media.**REQUIRED READING: Robertson, R. (2010) Eisenstein on the Audiovisual: TheMontage of Music, Image and Sound in Cinema. London: I.B. Tauris.Introduction pp 1-12.The article focusses on the study of cinema which has potentially being overwhelmingly visualin nature. The article presents the audio visual perspective of cinema on the ideas of the authorsregarding the montage of music, sound and image. The article presents on the various audiovisual focus on the key works performed by film directors like Stanley Kubrick, Spike Lee,David Lynch, Fritz Lang, Maya Deren, Alfred Hitchcock and also explores the audio visual inlandscape in cinema, in the avant-garde animation, and in films beyond the European tradition.** REQUIRED READING: Gibbs, J. (2012) Mise-en-Scène: Film Style and Interpretation.London: Wallflower. ‘The elements of mise-en-scène’, pp 12-31The article presents the various film styles and interpretation. The action and performancesection has been described as the important base level and the décor, lighting, use of colour etc.along with the direction of action and through the skilful performance. It presents the importanceof delivering the line and the position of the actor. The authors suggests that writing aboutcomplexities and performance is difficult and the understanding of narratives is central to theperformance which has been explained by the example of Barbara Bel Geddes’ performance incaught. The author explains the importance of eye movement and various other actions thatdefine the performance of the actor. Further the author explained the concept of space which isconsidered to be vital expressive element which also includes the personal space between the
performers. Further the author stresses upon the importance of placing camera at a correctposition in order to determine the understanding of the scene. Similarly the concept of framingand interaction of all the elements have been given a critical position in the film style andinterpretation.**REQUIRED READING: Mulvey, L. (1975), ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”,Screen, Vol 16 Issue 3, pp 6-18.This article discusses the pleasure and pleasure that the traditional narrative film offers. It rangedfrom the scopophilic instincts to ego libido, to explaining the image of women as a raw materialin cinema. This article discuses about the controlling of time dimension and space dimensions toproduce as a measure of desire. The image of women has been presented as such due to thepatriarchal historical presentation of the inferior women. The article suggests that the spectatorslook beyond the to-be-looked-at-ness of the women and is herself presented in the way thespectators want her to watch. The author reflects on the festishistic representation of womanwhich seems to threaten to break the spell of illusion and further their erotic images shown to thespectators, the fixation of the spectator etc. The image of women, according to the article hascontinuously being stolen and used for in the end.** REQUIRED READING: Press, A. (2009), ‘Gender and Family in Television’s GoldenAge and Beyond’ in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science,Volume 625, No 1. pp 139-150.The article focuses on the image of women, family, work etc. on the television and discuses onhow it has changed since theheyday of the network era. It focuses on how the women wereshown to be confined in the family settings with restricted set of images in the early television.With the increase in the number of working women the television started showing the images of
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