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Research on spectacular TV and on-screen stardom scoops awards at BAFFTSS 2017

AwardsBAFFTSTwo academics from the University of Warwick Film and Television Studies department have won prestigious awards for their research at the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFFTSS) Awards in 2017.

Dr Helen Wheatley, Reader in Film & Television Studies was awarded Best Monograph for her latest book, Spectacular Television: Exploring Televisual Pleasure, (I. B. Tauris) while Dr Julie Lobalzo-Wright, Teaching Fellow in Film & Television Studies won Best Edited Collection for her new book, Lasting Screen Stars, (Palgrave) co-authored with Dr Lucy Bolton of Queen Mary University of London.

JulieOn receiving the award Dr Julie Lobalzo-Wright said, “Lucy and I are thrilled to have been given this award by such an important association in our field of study. The book includes many new and exciting insights into the longevity and fading of stars and represents the first full-length study into the phenomena of lasting and fading stardom. We were impressed with the commitment of our contributors and their unique perspectives that helped to create a book that examined various historical eras and national cinemas.”

The fifth annual conference took place at the University of Bristol 19-20th April 2017, with the theme ‘Genre Studies Now’. The conference supports BAFFTSS activity to encourage research into and critical analysis of screen-based media, which is central to understanding the culture, society and economy of the new century.

Dr Wheatley’s book, Spectacular Television: Exploring Televisual Pleasure was described by the panel as, “An incredibly broad-ranging piece of work, in terms of topics covered, methodologies used, discourses occupied and expertise displayed. It’s fresh, intelligent throughout, and deftly puts forward a well-argued thesis on the exhibitionist qualities – the visual – of television.

“There are fascinating historical accounts of the ‘Telekinema’ at the Festival of Britain, and on colour, interrogating issues of the decorative and the pretty. Section II on Beautiful Television deals with ‘quality’ natural history programmes and makes an important case for the consideration of aesthetics. Whether discussing the ‘contemplative’ gaze at spectacular landscape, the history of ‘Holiday’ broadcasting, the medicalised spectacle of the human body, or the way visual desire is constructed by television, Wheatley is in command of her work, and expresses everything wonderfully. Nothing about this book is less than a joy to read.”

When describing Dr Lobalzo-Wright’s book, Lasting Screen Stars: Images that Fade and Personas that Endure the panel said, “The international scope of the book is excellent at the start of the book, seemingly signalling a book stretching beyond Hollywood and the analyses, although large Anglo-American offer a wide range of discussions. The chapters are grouped together effectively and are well-edited by Bolton and Lobalzo Wright, presenting a coherent balance between genders.”

“Of most interest in the book is the theme of aging, given the lack of work on this generally within the field and feels timely at a point where what a screen star is has shifted substantially back to Barthes’ evocation of the star as event. The discussion of aging is what makes this book distinctive against the many other books we see on film stars and marks out its originality for the reader. Utterly enjoyable to read and entirely relevant for those teaching star studies, celebrity of aging and the body.”

More about: Spectacular Television: Exploring Televisual Pleasure

More about: Lasting Screen Stars: Images that Fade and Personas that Endure

Notes to Editors:

The University of Warwick Film and Television Studies Department is a vibrant and friendly community with an international reputation for the outstanding quality of it's publications and research-led teaching.

The department are very proud of leading the way in developing an innovative and exciting curriculum for students and as one of the longest established departments in the UK, enjoy an unrivalled range of intellectual and creative facilities that support many activities both at Warwick and around the country.

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