Call for Chapters: American Television in the Trump Era
Editor: Karen McNally
Deadline for Submission of Abstracts: 30 June 2019
Donald Trump’s emergence in the field of American politics has had an undeniable and wide-ranging impact on contemporary American television. As a medium television has been quick to respond to the extraordinary climate and fast-paced news environment created by the roller-coaster of events and political strategies that have defined the Trump administration. CBS drama The Good Fight, for example, explicitly ties the unfolding events of the Trump presidency to its characters’ professional and personal lives, while the dystopian narrative of The Handmaid’s Tale seems an updated warning of the continuing threats to women’s legal and cultural rights. Each genre from the satirical show to reality television has demonstrated the centrality of contemporary politics to viewers’ everyday experience, assuming an atypical awareness of current events amongst diverse members of the American public. At the same time, television has been forced to confront its role in the construction of a media-driven celebrity presidency, as it provides 24-hour breaking-news coverage and makes celebrities out of the various press secretaries entering and exiting Trump world. Whether it’s the challenge of depicting the fictitious car crash politics of Veep with the backdrop of a White House reportedly in disarray, or news analysis shows wading through the concepts of ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’, the balance between representation, critique, entertainment, fiction and fact has become the site of television’s negotiation with the current era.
This volume seeks a range of essays aiming to address the ways in which the political climate of the Trump era has revealed itself on American television. The political setting might be defined as much by movements such as #MeToo, Time’s Up and Black Lives Matter as by the various branches of federal government, or political moments such as Charlottesville or the release of the Mueller Report. Similarly, authors might choose to examine individual television shows or particular genres, and themes including celebrity politics, backlash culture, journalism as entertainment, genre hybridity, amongst a variety of topics.
Chapter proposals should be submitted as a 300-400 word abstract by 30 June 2019 to the editor, Karen McNally, at TrumpEraTelevisionthebook@gmail.com. Please include a full author biography and contact details. Final chapters will be 5,000 to 6,000 words and due by 15 November 2019. Please feel free to email also with any queries prior to submission of abstracts. A major publisher is being sought for the volume.
Dr Karen McNally is a Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Studies at London Metropolitan University and a specialist in Hollywood cinema and American television and culture. She is the author of When Frankie Went to Hollywood: Frank Sinatra and American Male Identity (University of Illinois Press, 2008) and The Stardom Film: Hollywood and the Star Myth (Columbia University Press, forthcoming). She is also the editor of Billy Wilder, Movie-Maker: Critical Essays on the Films (McFarland, 2011) and co-editor of The Legacy of Mad Men: Cultural History, Intermediality and American Television (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming).