Archive for the ‘Not Quite TV’ Category

Recently, I looked over the preliminary program for the Society for Cinema & Media Studies conference in March, so I could book travel arrangements for Seattle. Normally this would create excitement—I’ve been to most SCMS conferences since 1996, and it’s usually a great event to see old friends, meet new people, and hopefully hear some […]


I saw Gravity this weekend, and like many viewers and critics, I loved it. And as a sign of that enjoyment, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. As I always do when I encounter a piece of culture that I love, I’ve been reading about it, looking for critics who can explore […]


I have a video to share with you: If you haven’t seen it, take the eight minutes to watch & enjoy. But there’s a good chance you’ve seen it, as it’s been viewed over 72,000 times (and counting) in the three days it’s been online. It’s been written about on Buzzfeed, Jezebel, CBS News, CBC, Yahoo!, Mashable, and many other […]


In my 18 years in academia, I’ve never been to the MLA convention – until now. For those who don’t know, the Modern Language Association is the largest humanities organization, and their annual convention is an iconic event, known as a massive academic job meat market and an object of mockery in the press for […]


Recently, my friend Annie Petersen took advantage of one of Twitter’s best functions for academics: crowdsourcing syllabus recommendations. Annie was looking for readings that provide a good introduction to semiotics, but are not impenetrable to novice students. I recommended this online visual essay by Tom Streeter (another friend of mine), which I’ve found quite useful for […]


In my pre-Germany post, I mentioned that one of the goals of the year was to provide some “productive disorientation” on the aspects of life I take for granted back in Vermont. Now that I am in my last week in Germany, I can see it has certainly achieved that goal in a wide range […]


One of the most circulated and discussed articles in online academic circles last week was Bruce Henderson’s Chronicle piece arguing for the importance of acknowledging reading as a key part of our scholarly labor. I really liked this article, less for his coining of the awkward neologism “consumatory scholarship” to describe the practice of academic reading, […]


One of the reasons I most enjoy studying the fan culture side of media studies is that fans can come up with some fascinating stuff, a boggling array of creativity discovered through the contraints provided by the source texts. I document some of the most interesting examples I’ve found in my chapter on “Orienting Paratexts,” […]


One of my academic hobby horses is Open Access, the movement to make scholarship freely available online. I’ve tried to model what embracing open access looks like through my own choices of where to publish, my practice of posting essays here pre-publication (and pulling the print publication when necessary), and my work with MediaCommons. I […]


I recently was contacted by Stephen Olsen from the MLA, who is coordinating a pre-conference workshop entitled “Evaluating Digital Work for Tenure and Promotion: A Workshop for Evaluators and Candidates” taking place on the 5th of January at this year’s convention. For the session, they are organizing a number of case studies of digital work […]


Today, Just TV turns five years old, having launched in November 2006, on Middlebury’s installation of MoveableType. It moved here to WordPress a few months later, the digital equivalent of becoming potty trained -managing spam on MoveableType definitely felt like changing diapers! Since launching, I’ve accumulated 268 posts, 1,365 comments (and exponentially more spam), and […]


On the eve of the Oscars, one of many award ceremonies that I’ve grown tired of watching, Inside Higher Ed posted an interesting little feature asking film scholars to weigh in on Best Picture. While I varyingly agreed, disagreed, and laughed at their points, I was shocked that none of the seven academics mentioned the […]


The other day a friend of mine Tweeted about the misuse of Marshall McLuhan in discussing the role of Twitter in recent political uprisings like in Egypt. As I often do, when I hear mention of Marshall McLuhan, my thoughts turn to one of my favorite scenes in one of my favorite films, Annie Hall: […]


The following post is only tangentially about television, being about the state of academic publishing as seen through the lens of one essay of mine (which happens to be about the television show Veronica Mars). So if you read this blog primarily for television thoughts and are not interested in the politics of academic publishing […]


Tonight in my Television & American Culture course, I screened Buying the War, an excellent Bill Moyers PBS feature detailing how the press allowed themselves to be co-opted by the Bush administration to enable the fraudulent war in Iraq. (If you haven’t seen it, check it out online.) The screening reminded me of this piece […]



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