2023 marks the 65th anniversary of Carry On Sergeant (Peter Rogers, 1958), the first instalment of the Carry On film franchise (1958-1978; 1992). Between 1958 and 1978 the series was a mainstay of British box offices, and remains among the most prolific British film series. During this twenty-year period, thirty feature-length titles were produced and released in cinemas, as well as various iterations on stage and television. The series has become emblematic of a particular brand of British humour characterised by slapstick, farce, and innuendo, drawing on traditions and strategies from earlier forms of popular entertainment (Medhurst 1992; 2007). Despite its enduring popularity and status in the national cultural imagination, the series has received very little sustained scholarly attention. Much of the popular discourse around the series tends towards either the celebratory or the outright disdainful. This event provides a forum for consideration of the franchise from various scholarly perspectives, with the intention of showcasing more nuanced and complex understandings of the series and its significance in histories of film, television, and popular entertainment, and in broader social and cultural histories.

Abstracts are invited for presentations (20 mins) on topics and themes related to any aspect of the Carry On franchise from scholars at all levels – contributions from postgraduate researchers and researchers early in their career are particularly welcome.

Topics might include:

  • Production histories
  • National histories
  • Social histories
  • Cultural histories
  • Queer histories
  • Issues around representation and identity: age, class, gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and their intersections
  • The comic heritage of the Carry Ons
  • The Carry Ons as ‘difficult heritage’
  • The Carry Ons and nostalgia
  • The Carry Ons and genre
  • Carry On aesthetics
  • The Carry Ons and British cinema
  • Reception, audiences, and fandom
  • Carry On stardom
  • Methodological issues

Submissions should be sent to Richard Dhillon (richard.dhillon@warwick.ac.uk) by 5pm (GMT) on Friday 16 February 2024. Abstracts should be around 250 words and include a title, the author’s name, institutional affiliation (if applicable), and contact information.

🔗 Conference website: https://carryonconference.wordpress.com/