Organised by the School of Histories, Languages and Cultures of the University of Hull

with support from the Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies project (part of the AHRC’s Open World Research Initiative)

A recent article in the Evening Standard posed the question ‘Is it a coincidence that just as governments are seeking to close their borders, television is opening them?’ (March 15 2017). Indeed, in post-Brexit Britain, television viewers have access to an ever increasing number of foreign language programmes. And ‘with the boom in streaming services, a single TV drama can cross borders like never before. Yet still, telling local stories appears to be the secret to international appeal’ (ibid). But what is the relationship between the local, national, and transnational that is presented on screen? And how do these dramas influence viewers’ perceptions of the countries, nationalities and languages which are depicted on screen?

This conference will address these questions by focusing on popular global crime dramas that are available with English sub-titles to British viewers. Although work has been done on the crime genre in literature and on film in different language contexts, there is little work available on the reception of these television programmes in a transnational context. The conference will therefore explore the way in which ideas of national identity and nationhood are interrogated through crime drama series when watched in Britain and thus outside of their original national context.

The conference will address, but not be limited to, the following areas and contexts:

  • Culture, heritage, preservation, and promotion: ways of screening the nation
  • Walter Presents, BBC4, Sky: successful broadcasting strategies
  • Notions of cultural value and the place of the middle-brow in national, international and transnational TV contexts
  • The local in the national, the national in the transnational: crime drama as ‘a site where the construction of everyday life may be examined’ (Turner, 1996: 6)
  • Cultural identities: local, national, transnational and ‘other’ identities as represented in crime drama
  • Travelling ideas: which ideas and stereotypes of ‘the nation’ persist in and are reinforced in the viewer by such series?
  • Selling the nation, consuming the nation: crime drama as cultural ambassador or promotional tool?

Confirmed keynote speaker: Professor Lucy Mazdon (University of Southampton), Professor Andrea
Esser (University of Roehampton)

We invite proposals of up to 300 words, on these and related topics, for papers of 20 minutes. Email proposals should be sent to Dr Angela Kimyongür ( by Friday 1 June 2018