Flow Conference Explores Contemporary TV Culture

Media scholars, fans, critics, activists and industry professionals will gather at the 2008 Flow Conference on The University of Texas at Austin campus Oct. 9-11 to discuss some of the crucial issues related to television, media culture and scholarship.

Unlike traditional academic conferences, Flow is organized around a series of questions about TV culture to which participants and attendees respond. The event is open to the public.

"The goal of the Flow Conference is to facilitate dialogue about TV culture among all attendees and to do it at the speed at which it is happening as opposed to traditional academic conferences and publications, which tend to be several years behind," said Mary Celeste Kearney, associate professor in the Department of Radio-Television-Film (RTF) and faculty adviser for the conference organizing committee. "There are no plenary sessions and roundtable participants were asked to submit short position papers instead of full-length essays."

Hosted by graduate students and faculty of the Department of RTF, the conference will feature roundtable discussions, which will begin with selected participants but will include everyone in attendance. All conference guests are welcome to attend all roundtables and are encouraged to participate in all discussions.

Some of the umbrella topics being addressed include:

  • The DTV Conversion
  • Electronic Waste and Media Studies
  • Game Studies in The Academy
  • The Media Industries and Media Studies
  • Media Policy, Media Reform and Media Criticism
  • Mobile Television
  • Music Fans and Copy Protection
  • New Formations of Stardom in Contemporary Media Culture
  • Online and Offline Fan Communities
  • Producing Audiences Through Television Metrics
  • Talent-Based Reality Shows and The American Dream
  • Talking Through "The Wire"
  • Viral Videos and Political Participation

A conference schedule is available online at the Flow Conference Web site.

The Flow Conference is a spin-off of the online journal, FlowTV, a critical forum on television and media culture where researchers, teachers, students and the public can write, read about and discuss the changing landscape of contemporary media at the speed media move.