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TV, Culture and Identity Are Focus of UCSB Conference

“Console-ing Passions” brings scholars and industry leaders together for in-depth look at trends, careers and challenges.

More than 200 scholars and entertainment industry leaders are meeting at UCSB this week for a conference exploring issues of television, culture and identity as they relate to gender and sexuality.

Presented by the Department of Film and Media Studies and the Carsey-Wolf Center for Film, Television and New Media, “Console-ing Passions 2008” includes four panel discussions that are free and open to the public:

• “Viral Media and the Politics of Media for Social Change” will investigate uses of the Internet as a tool for digital resistance and its role in the upcoming presidential elections. Speakers include panel chairwoman Anna Everett, a professor and chairwoman of film and media studies at UCSB; Megan Boler, University of Toronto; Rita Raley, UCSB; and Jane Shattuc, Emerson College. The forum will be held at Corwin Pavilion at 5 p.m. Thursday.

• “UCSB Alumni Discuss Careers in the Entertainment Industry,” moderated by actor and lecturer Sage Parker-Lang and actor, writer and director Perry Lang. Speakers include Steve Elzer, senior vice president, Columbia Tri-Star Motion Pictures Group; Georgia Packard, president of the Camera Operators Union; Jamie Painter Young, national editor-in-chief of Back Stage magazine; Mark Panik, editor, CBS Promotions; and talent manager Jeremy Platt. The event will be held at 1004 Girvetz, 5 p.m. Friday.

• “Working on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.” Producers and writers from the TV series will discuss the challenges and processes involved in creating a weekly network drama. Speakers include panel chairwoman Tonia Graphia, producer and writer; supervising producer/writer John Enbom; staff writer Ian Goldberg; co-producer/writer Ashley Miller; and staff writer Denise The. The discussion will be in the Corwin Pavilion at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

• “The State of the Industry.” Entertainment industry leaders will discuss emerging trends that are transforming the TV industry, including new programming forms, the impact of new technologies and the future of the medium. The moderator is Constance Penley, professor of film and media studies at UCSB and co-director of the Carsey-Wolf Center for Film, Television and New Media. Speakers include Ann Flett-Giordano, television writer and producer of the Desperate Housewives and Frasier series; Toni Graphia, television writer and producer of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles; Toby Miller, professor of media and cultural studies at UC Riverside; and Dana Walden, chairwoman of 20th Century Fox Television. The forum will be in Corwin Pavilion at 2 p.m. Saturday.

“Console-ing Passions” was founded in 1989 by a group of feminist media scholars and artists as a venue for presenting work and fostering scholarship in issues of television, culture and identity, with an emphasis on gender and sexuality. Since its inception, a series of conferences has brought together scholarship from a wide scope of interests, retaining a focus on feminism but also encouraging research in spheres of race, gender and identity.

UCSB sponsors include the offices of Chancellor Henry Yang, Executive Vice Chancellor Gene Lucas, Executive Dean David Marshall and Associate Vice Chancellor Maria Herrera-Sobek; the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center; and the Center for Information Technology and Society. Additional sponsors include the comparative literature program, the English department; German, Slavic and Semitic studies department; the sociology department; and the women’s studies department.

Other university sponsors include the University of Arizona, Dartmouth College, De Montfort University, the University of Illinois, New York University, Northwestern University, Tulane University and the University of Wisconsin.

Click here for more information about the conference or call Cathy Boggs at 805.252.9518.

Andrea Estrada is a UCSB Public Affairs Office writer.

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