Special issue #18 of VIEW journal: a history of television and health.

We are presently accepting propositions for a special issue of VIEW on the history of television and health. The special issue follows the thematic lines of the Tele(visualising) Health conference on the history of TV, public health, its enthusiasts and its publics. The special issue authors will include those who presented at the conference, which took place from 27 February to 1 March 2019 at the Institute of Historical Research (London, UK) but is open to other authors who wish to explore these topics in writing.

Televisions began to appear in the homes of large numbers of the public in Europe and North America after World War II. This coincided with a period in which ideas about the public’s health, the problems that it faced and the solutions that could be offered, were changing. The threat posed by infectious diseases was receding, to be replaced by chronic conditions linked to lifestyle and individual behaviour. Public health professionals were enthusiastic about how this new technology and mass advertising could reach out to individuals in the population with the new message about lifestyle and risk. TV offered a way to reach large numbers of people with public health messages; it symbolised the post war optimism about new directions in public health. But it could also act as a contributory factor to those new public health problems. Watching TV was part of a shift towards more sedentary lifestyles, and also a vehicle through which products that were damaging to health, such as alcohol, cigarettes and unhealthy food, could be advertised to the public. Population health problems could be worsened by TV viewing. How should we understand the relationship between TV and public health? What are the key changes and continuities over time and place? How does thinking about the relationship between public health and TV change our understanding of both?

VIEW Journal of European Television History and Culture is the first peer-reviewed, multimedia and open access e-journal in the field of European television history and culture.

In this special issue, we seek to explore questions such as:

  • How did the enthusiasm develop for TV within public health?
  • How were shifts in public health, problems, policies and practices represented on TV?
  • How was TV used to improve or hinder public health?
  • What aspects of public health were represented on TV, and what were not?
  • How did the public respond to health messages on TV?
  • What were the perceived limitations of TV as a mass medium for public health?
  • In what way was TV different from other forms of mass media in relation to public health?
  • How were institutions concerned with the public’s health present –and staged –on TV broadcasts?

This special issue aims to bring together scholars from different fields (such as, but not limited to, history, history of science, history of medicine, communication, media and film studies, television studies) working on the history of television in Great Britain, France and Germany (West and East) (the focus of the ERC BodyCapital project), but also other European countries, North and South America, Russia, Asia or other countries and areas. Papers might focus on one national, regional or even local framework. Considering the history of health-related (audio-) visuals as a history of transfer, as entangled history or with a comparative perspective are welcome. The co-editors welcome contributions with a strong historical impetus from all social and cultural sciences.

Please consult the author guidelines, notably with regard to format, length and availability of films/programmes, before making your proposal.

For further information or questions about the issue, please contact its co-editors: Tricia Close-Koenig <tkoenig [at] unistra [dot] fr>, Claude Mussou <cmussou [at] ina [dot] fr>, Angela Saward <a [dot] saward [at] wellcome [dot] ac [dot] uk> and Jessica Borge <jborge [at] unistra [dot] fr>. We invite you to submit your proposals (500 word abstract) by 1 June 2019 to VIEW’s managing editor at <journal [at] euscreen [dot] eu>.

Authors will be notified by 1 July and full articles (3000-6000 words) must be submitted by October 2019, they will then be circulated for the double-blind peer reviewing process, for publication in winter 2020.

About VIEW Journal

See www.viewjournal.eu for the current and back issues. VIEW is supported by the EUscreen Network and published by the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. VIEW is proud to be an open access journal. All articles are hosted by Ubiquity Press and indexed through the Directory of Open Access Journals, the EBSCO Film and Television Index, Paperity and NARCIS.