Written by leading scholars in the field, this book is an internationally relevant, cutting-edge reassessment of both current methods and practices in television historiography and of assumptions and critical common places about television history itself. The book focuses on debates about the canon, on texts, on production and institutions, on viewers, and the interconnections between these distinct areas. The book opens with three chapters, which take different approaches to the notion of the 'television canon'. Then through discussions and case studies it covers a wide selection of themes and issues, from television's approaches to immigration and royal events to histories of television viewing, and the framing of television aesthetics within historiography. The book is prefaced with the editor's overview of historical research in the field of television studies and an appendix details the main research resources for television historians in the UK. The book forms an open-ended intellectual dialogue, which will be welcomed by television historians at all levels in this burgeoning area of exploration and analysis.
Helen Wheatley is Lecturer in Film and Television Studies at the University of Warwick. She has published work on a range of popular television drama and factual entertainment in the UK, US, and beyond, and is the author of 'Gothic Television' (Manchester University Press, 2006). .
Table of contents Helen Wheatley - Introduction Part One: Debating the Canon Prof. John Ellis: Is it possible to construct a canon of television programmes? Immanent reading versus textual-historicism. Prof. Jonathan Bignell: Citing the classics: Constructing British television drama history in publishing and pedagogy Prof. Maire Messenger-Davies: Salvaging television's past: what guarantees survival? Part Two: Textual histories Helen Wheatley - Introduction to Textual Histories Dr. Cathy Johnson: Negotiating value and quality in television historiography. Dr. Su Holmes: 'A friendly style of presentation which the BBC had always found elusive'?: The 1950's cinema programme and the construction of British television history. Lez Cooke: BBC English Regions Drama: Second City Firsts Part Three: Production and Institutions Helen Wheatley - Introduction to Production and Institutions Dr. Emma Sandon: Nostalgia as resistance: The case of the Alexandra Palace Television Society and the BBC. Dr. Darrell Newton: Shifting sentiments: BBC television, West Indian immigrants and cultural production. Dr. Jamie Medhurst: Piecing together 'Mammon's Television': a case study in historical television research. Dr. Ann Gray & Dr. Erin Bell: History on television: charisma, narrative and knowledge Part Four: Audiences Helen Wheatley - Introduction to Audiences Prof. Tim O'Sullivan: Researching the viewing culture: Television and the home 1945-60. Dr Henrik Ornebring: Writing the history of television audiences: The Coronation in the Mass Observation Archive. Dr. Rachel Moseley: Teenagers and television drama in Britain, 1968-1982 Appendix: Directory of key research resources for television history in the UK