Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Television for Women conference

Television for Women: An International Conference: Call for Papers

Where: University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

When: 15th-17th May 2013

Keynote Speakers: Charlotte Brunsdon, Christine Geraghty, Kathleen Karlyn and Lynn Spigel

At the culmination of the AHRC-funded project, A History of Television for Women in Britain, 1947-89, the project team (Dr. Mary Irwin, Dr. Rachel Moseley and Dr. Helen Wheatley (Warwick), and Hazel Collie and Dr. Helen Wood (De Montfort)) have organised a three day conference which seeks to open up and internationalise debate about the past, present and future of television programming for women. Whilst television has traditionally been identified as a 'feminised' medium, because it is apparently 'domestic, passive and generally oriented to consumption, rather than production' (D'Acci, 2004), there are still significant gaps in our knowledge of the relationship between television and women. We have therefore brought together scholars doing research on television programming made for and watched by women viewers throughout the history of broadcasting and in the contemporary period, both in the UK and those offering comparative work overseas. Whilst our project has worked to fill in some of the some of the gaps in the history of women’s television, outlining significant moments in our research period, specific programme types, genres and scheduling slots which have become significantly marked as feminine, we know that there are many more gaps to fill, and hope that this conference will be a further step towards this.


Weds 15 May

1.00 Registration, tea coffee and pastries (Film and Television Studies foyer, Millburn House)

2.00 Opening Plenary: Lynn Spigel and Kathleen Rowe Karlyn [Chair: Helen Wheatley] Westwood Lecture Theatre

4.00 Tea, coffee, biscuits (Main foyer, Millburn House)

4.30 Panel 1

1A: Citizenship, consumerism and television for women [Chair: Anu Koivunen] A0.28

Helen Wheatley (Warwick) ‘Television exhibitions and the Ideal Home’

Kristin Skoog (Bournemouth) and Alexander Badenoch (University Paris IV Sorbonne) ‘Women’s radio and television: sounding the boundaries’

Sarah A. Matheson (Brock) ‘Women’s programming in Canada: revisiting the Women’s Television Network’

1B: The reception of television for women [Chair: Helen Wood] A1.27

Amanda Wayling-Yates (Roehampton) ‘Teenage girls and female television presenters’

Sunanda Mehta (Indian Express) ‘Women in Indian soaps: why they make you cry’

Andrea L. Press (Virginia) ‘Feminism of the ground, postfeminism in the air: articulations of gender and class by reality television viewers’

1C: Revisiting Sex and the City [Chair: Ros Jennings] A1.25

Kim Akass (Hertfordshire) ‘The mother of all mothers: Miranda Hobbes and Sex and the City’s radical maternity’

Deborah Jermyn (Roehampton) ‘Blecch – and blah!: Sex and the City and the big screen failure of a women’s TV milestone’

Janet McCabe (Birkbeck, University of London) ‘“I’m 53, and I rock this frock”: Samantha Jones/Kim Cattrall and representing the ageing female body’

6.00 Drinks Reception and screening - Department of Film and Television Studies Foyer, A0.26, and A0.28

8.00 Conference Dinner: Arden House


Thursday 16 May

9.00 Panel 2

2A: Television feminism [Chair: Jane Feuer] A0.28

Laurel Forster (Portsmouth) ‘Houseparty: a feminist phenomenon?’

Jilly Boyce Kay (De Montfort) ‘“I started to blow it sky high by doing serious programming on everything under the sun”: the feminist address of Good Afternoon’

Ruth Heholt (Falmouth) ‘Feminised ghosts: the surprising spaces of Ghosthunting With…’

2B: Dramas of Crime [Chair: Deborah Jermyn] A1.27

Sam Ward (Nottingham) ‘Gender, taste and internationality in the reception of BBC Four’s European drama imports’

Ben Lamb (Glamorgan) ‘C.A.T.S. Eyes: a feminist action series for women?’

Susan Berridge (Stirling) ‘Starting with sexualised violence: feminist concerns in Heroine TV pilots’

2C: Television and maternity [Chair: Kim Akass] A1.25

Hannah Hamad (Kings, London) ‘Call the Midwife, One Born Every Minute and contemporary British media culture’s fascination with nursing and midwifery’

Sara De Benedictis (Kings, London) ‘Televisual birth, “ordinary” women and postfeminism’

Sofia Bull (Stockholm University) Natural births and medicalised motherhood in Scandinavian birthing shows

10.30 Tea/Coffee/biscuits, Main foyer, Millburn House


11.00 Panel 3

3A: Responding to Women’s Television [Chair: Ruth McElroy] A0.28

David Rolinson (Stirling) ‘“Did you recognise yourself?”: women workers In Vision’

Faye Woods (Reading) 'The show that launched a thousand blogs: The reception of Lena Dunham's Girls'

Kate Newbold (Northwestern) ‘Women who watch, women who write: television criticism and gender in postwar America’

3B: Spaces of television: 1970s studio drama and the woman viewer [Chair: Jilly Boyce Kay] A1.27

Leah Panos (Reading) ‘Rock Follies: feminism, performance and the television studio’

Billy Smart (Reading) ‘Armchair Theatre: The Golden Road: representing lesbianism in the 1970s’

Victoria Byard (Leicester) ‘Upstairs, downstairs? The spaces of gender and genre in The Clifton House Mystery and The Georgian House’

12.30 Lunch, Main foyer, Millburn House

1.30 Curated archive session on magazine programmes for women, led by Lisa Kerrigan (National Film and
Television Archive, BFI) and Mary Irwin (Warwick) - Westwood Lecture Theatre

2.45 Panel 4

4A: Comedy for women? [Chair: Mary Irwin] A0.28

Carlota Larrea (Bedfordshire) ‘“Big and silly and not afraid of falling over”: genre and gendered identity in Miranda’

Vicky Ball (Sunderland) ‘Sex, class and consumerism: British sitcom’s negotiations of the independent woman 1968-1972’

Rosie White (Northumbria) ‘From Terry and June to Terry and Julian: June Whitfield and the British suburban sitcom’

4B: TV Drama for Women 1 [Chair: Christine Geraghty] A1.27

Zdenek Sloboda (Olomouc) ‘Women at work. Women in soap operas: a perspective of post-Communist Czech Republic’

Salam Al-Mahadin (American University of Madaba) ‘From right-wing to maternity wing: bodies of women as fields of struggle in Arab drama series’

Ruth McElroy (Glamorgan University) Television Drama By and For Women: a case study of Sally Wainwright and Red Productions

4C: Women’s lifestyles [Chair: Rachel Moseley] A1.25

Frances Bonner (Queensland): ‘What magazines for women? Australian female cooks in print, television and advertising targeting women’

Cecilia Penati and Anna Sfardini (Catholic University, Milan) ‘Watching “lifestyle” in the MultiTV scenario. Mapping contemporary Italian female audiences, their tastes and practices of viewing’

Sigal Barak Brandes (Tel Aviv University) ‘Internalizing the curse: Israeli women respond to television commercials for feminine hygiene products’

4.15 tea, Main foyer, Millburn House

4.45 Panel 5

5A: Celebrity [Chair: Hazel Collie] A0.28

Jennifer Clark (Fordham) ‘From stripping on Broadway to knitting on TV: Gypsy Rose Lee’s unconventional stardom and the role of female entertainers in 1960s television’

Jill Adams (Central Queensland): ‘Cooking demonstrations, housewives and the start of television in Australia: American celebrity chef Dione Lucas and her 1956 Australian tour.'

Meenasarani Linde Murugan (Northwestern) ‘Mobile TV: Cold War Cosmopolitanism and Performing Global Beauty’

5B: A game of their own? Women, sport and television [Chair: Faye Woods] A1.27

Stacey Pope (Bedfordshire) ‘“There are some daft people out there!”: exploring sport and media fandoms’

Victoria Samantha Dawson (De Montfort) ‘“Jonathan Davies says I’ve gone soft” – Being female in the masculine sphere of Rugby League media’

5C: Producing TV for Women 1 [Chair: Misha Kavka] A1.25

Yelda Öykoçak (Istanbul Arel) and Nese Kars (Istanbul) ‘The place of women in Turkish television programs for women’

Munira Cheema (Sussex) ‘Engagement patterns of female viewers with gender-based content in Pakistani television culture’

Ashley Elaine York (Alberta) ‘Designing Popular Television for Women (and Men): The Case of TNT’s The Closer’

6.15 Cocktails (Main foyer, Millburn House) and bus to Leamington at 7.30

Friday 17 May

9.30 Plenary 2: Chalotte Brunsdon and Christine Geraghty in conversation with Vicky Ball - Westwood Lecture Theatre

11.00 tea/coffee, Main foyer, Millburn House

11.30 Panel 6

6A: News and documentaries for women [Chair: Helen Wheatley] A0.28

Gillian Murray (Leicester) ‘Women, archive and the ITV network: exploiting the visual and the feminine in the ATV regional news collection’

Leigh Goldstein (Northwestern) ‘Read My Consumer Desire: Sexology, Market Research and the American Public Affairs Program in the 1950s'

6B: Sex and romance [Chair: Leah Panos] A1.27

Hazel Collie (De Montfort) ‘“I’ve been having fantasies about Regan and Carter three times a week”: television’s role in feminine desire’

Mary Irwin (Warwick) ‘“Scandal, passion and romance in nineteenth century Northumberland”: watching The Mallens’

Elana Levine (Wisconsin-Milwaukee) ‘The supercouple of 1980s US daytime soap opera’

6C: TV and New Media Practices [Chair: Andrea Press] A1.25

Misha Kavka (Auckland) ‘Migrating to the other tube: what’s in it for the GirlS?’

Amy Holdsworth (Glasgow) ‘French and Saunders are a girl’s best friend’

Ouidyane Elouardaoui (California, Santa Barbara) ‘Contemporary Turkish TV soap operas on Arab television and female fandom’

1.00 Lunch, Main foyer Millburn House

1.45-3.15 Panel 7

7A:Producing Television for Women 2 [Chair: Frances Bonner] A0.26

Vanessa Jackson (Birmingham City) ‘Women in television’

Luz-Maria Tato-Pazo (Swansea) ‘Female TV authorship: contesting prevailing cultural narratives?

Jane Feuer (Pittsburgh) ‘Amy Sherman- Palladino: Female Authorship versus Feminism’

7B: TV Drama for Women [Chair: Janet McCabe] A0.26

Cat Mahoney (De Montfort) ‘“It’s not an army it’s just an excuse for a lark”: the Women’s Land Army remembered in film and television’

Ros Jennings (Gloucestershire) ‘Feminisms and identities in space and time: exploring the female ensemble dramas Tenko and Call the Midwife’

Jo Whitehouse-Hart (De Montfort) 'Television drama, biography and identity. Case studies of women watching television drama.'

3.15-3.45 Tea

4-5 Closing Round Table: project team and respondents Westwood Lecture Theatre

Respondents: Feuer, Press, Moseley, Wood

5 Conference End










Sorry, booking is now closed