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Call for Papers: TELEVISION AESTHETICS: NOW WHAT? (A BSA Conference)

University of Kent | 7-8 July 2022


Jason Mittell (Middlebury College)

Iris Vidmar Jovanović (University of Rijeka)

The Aesthetics Research Centre at the University of Kent is delighted to invite paper proposals for ‘Television Aesthetics: Now What?’ (7-8 July 2022), a conference organised with generous funding from the British Society of Aesthetics.

The title of our conference – ‘Television Aesthetics: Now What?’ – is a provocative metacritical question about the state of the field. Television aesthetics has established itself as a distinct, and at times controversial, field of inquiry into television’s artistic value. Scholars in television aesthetics have made significant progress in outlining some of the field’s parameters, especially the importance of close analysis of individual television series in defence of the medium’s artistic value. However, although television aesthetics is no longer an emerging field, its specific remit beyond issues of artistic value needs to be further clarified.

To this end, our conference aims to bring together philosophical aesthetics with both television studies and television aesthetics. We wish to stimulate exchange across different disciplines and approaches, with contributions from television scholars, philosophers, and aestheticians. In bringing together these different perspectives, we hope to make some headway towards answering the question ‘Now what for television aesthetics?’

We welcome papers that will,

  • Broadly address aesthetic issues relating to television;
  • Offer reflections on and critiques of the field of television aesthetics;
  • Show how television studies and philosophical aesthetics might fruitfully interact (and the limits to this interaction);
  • Consider aesthetic questions relating to different genres and forms of television, either historical or contemporary;
  • Explore the intersections between aesthetics and questions of identity (national, racial, gender, sexual, class) and/or politics;
  • Take an aesthetic approach to the various specificities of television – an artistic medium, a broadcast technology, a domestic product, an industry – or the challenges of convergence.


Papers will be 20 minutes long, followed by a 10-minute Q&A.

To submit your paper proposal, please email the following to televisionaesthetics@kent.ac.uk:

  1. An anonymised paper proposal of no longer than 500 words (excluding bibliography).
  • A separate document containing:
    • The title of your paper
    • A short bio of the author(s)

Please send your abstracts to televisionaesthetics@kent.ac.uk for consideration by 23:59 GMT on Tuesday 3 May 2022. We aim to notify those who submit a proposal by 15 May 2022.


The British Society of Aesthetics has Travel Stipends available for postgraduate students, early career researchers, and those employed in fixed-term positions in the UK, up to a maximum of £800.

See here for more details: https://british-aesthetics.org/portfolio/travel-stipends/

We have also allocated a portion of the budget towards supporting travel for postgraduate students, early career researchers, and independent researchers who are not eligible for a BSA travel stipend. These travel bursaries will be allocated on a case-by-case basis. If you want to be considered for such a travel bursary, please include a brief rationale to the document with your paper title and bio.

Should you have any questions about the conference, please do not hesitate to contact us at televisionaesthetics@kent.ac.uk.

We look forward to hearing from you!

On behalf of the conference team.

Lead Organiser: Dr David Brown

Programme Committee: Prof Murray Smith, Dr Margrethe Bruun Vaage, Dr Dieter Declercq, Michael Clark