Free TV, Intermediality

New work! 

Television & New Media vol. 13 no. 6 includes my essay, "Free TV: File-Sharing and the Value of Television." This is the journal version of a paper I gave at SCMS in 2011

Abstract: Circulation of television programs in file-sharing networks such as BitTorrent is one of the many developments in the era of media convergence prompting a renewal of television’s place in the popular imagination. Scholarly study of file-sharing tends to focus on movies and music, keeping TV marginal despite its heavy circulation in P2P networks. By considering its cultural implications as revealed in the discourses of P2P TV sharers, this essay’s aim is to understand TV file-sharing as one term in the negotiation of television’s value during the contemporary period. It is especially concerned with understanding the ethical theories of file-sharing participants. It situates these within the context of television’s shift from low, mass culture to a more legitimated status; from a freely accessible public good to a private good for which one must enter into terms of commercial exchange; and from a national/local form of culture to a global, cosmopolitan experience.

And last month I contributed an entry to the Center for 21st Century Studies blog. "Intermediality and Transmedia Storytelling" was my response on a talk at UWM by Hans-Joachim Backe

Excerpt: In Anglo-American film and television studies, as well as in the entertainment/media industries, “transmedia” has been a buzzword and object of scholarly attention in the past several years. Transmedia is usually short for transmedia storytelling: the expansion of narratives in media franchises such as Batman or Star Wars across multiple platforms including movies, TV, web video, comics, novels, and games. “Intermedia” was not a term I had noticed, though. As Backe described in his engaging presentation on September 13, intermediality has been a subject of much research and publication where he lives and teaches in Germany and elsewhere in Europe — more than a dozen books on the topic have appeared — particularly among literary scholars whose interests have turned to other media. Yet, in his words, it “furrows the brows of non-Europeans” to hear this term rather than the more familiar transmedia. The two ideas ostensibly do not have much to do with each other conceptually, and yet I kept wondering during Backe’s talk if it might not be productive to consider them side by side and see what each one reveals about the other.