CALL FOR PAPERS: Thinking Serially: Repetition, Continuation, and Adaptation An Interdisciplinary Conference

Thinking Serially: Repetition, Continuation, and Adaptation

An Interdisciplinary Conference


Amidst the advent of quality television, the proliferation of sequels, remakes, and adaptations in Hollywood, and the endless and growing forms of reproduction of media made possible by modern technology, the notion of seriality has perhaps never been more important than today. From the re-invention of Orphic and Faustian legends to the serialization of the novel form, the phenomenon of seriality has been present throughout Western literature. In the last two decades, we have seen a rise in the production of sophisticated, narratively complex television, from The Sopranos to Mad Men and Breaking Bad. The serial has become a dominant form of media entertainment, often rivaling the more classically elevated genre of film. Invoking questions of succession and context, both temporal and spatial, our inquiry into the nature of the series in media and literature seeks to understand the dynamic relations of fragments and totalities, parts and wholes.


The Department of Comparative Literature at The Graduate Center, CUNY presents a conference on seriality in literature, theory, and media to be held April 23 and 24, 2015.


This conference asks: how do we understand serials differently from other works (e.g., the serialized novel versus the epic)? How does seriality speak to the act of binging and the notion of deferred satisfaction, the suspension of expectation, and the manipulation of the spectator? What does seriality tell us about re-readings? How do we understand the relationship between seriality and history?


We invite papers whose approaches and methods come from a broad spectrum of disciplines and fields, including psychology/psychoanalysis; literature, media, gender, and post-colonial studies; economic theories; intellectual history; art history and architecture; linguistics and musicology.


Topics may include, but are not limited to:


  • Serialization of the novel; how seriality affects a particular genre or complicates genre theory
  • Issues raised by spinoffs, sequels, farces, and/or parodies
  • The work of art in the age of the digital platform
  • Repetition compulsions
  • Periodization and anthologizing
  • Cultural appropriation
  • Serialization and historical analysis
  • The relationships between objects and impressions, images, and memories
  • Genres with many iterations: science fiction; vampires; serial killers and crime dramas


Please submit a 300-word abstract for a 15-20 minute paper by January 15, 2015 to Proposals should include the title of the paper, presenter’s name, institutional and departmental affiliation, and any technology requests. We also welcome panel proposals of three to four papers.

Images are for demo purposes only and are properties of their respective owners.
Old Paper by

Skip to toolbar