Camp TV: Commercial Counterpublics and the Cultural by Quinlan Miller

By Quinlan Miller

This dissertation explores the creation of queer that means in U.S. media tradition. Adapting the idea that of “camp” and theories of “counterpublic” formation, it provides a cultural historical past of queer discourse within the advertisement medium of tv. Drawing on archival learn into the undefined, the paintings explores queer illustration by way of concentrating on emergent chances round the cultural construction of queer gender. utilizing tale outlines, episode scripts, community memos, study notes, enterprise files, and press releases from sponsors, censors, and creation businesses, in addition to filmed pilots and broadcast programming, it reformulates debts of TVprogramming in mild of “insider” histories. An advent explains the equipment, which provide new instructions for media heritage, and the version of critique, which furthers the fields of gender and sexuality reviews and the subfield of queer media historiography. bankruptcy surveys the queer content material on tv within the Fifties, demonstrating the heterogeneity of convey enterprise traditions that inspired televisioncomedy and its variations in this time. bankruptcy 3 addresses the interrelation of queer gender, homosexual vernacular, and camp discourse round actor Bob Cummings, exploring the residue of vaudeville traditions within the print tradition publicizing sitcoms through the postwar period. bankruptcy 4 appears to be like heavily on the Bob
Cummings convey, a chain that exemplifies “insider” discourse and the chances for sitcom camp during this interval. bankruptcy 5 seems at fictional “insiders” within the context of married undefined, charting the redistribution of camp discourse in behind the curtain sitcoms in the course of the Sixties. bankruptcy six explores the creation historical past of The Ugliest lady on the town, a feminine impersonation sitcom, interrogating the development of queer gender as a development thatfails to sign up within the dominant ancient list. This study indicates that “insider” discourse turned a relevant point of U.S. public tradition partly as a result of television’s emergence as a kind of well known leisure within the postwar period. The dissertation argues thatdespite renowned conceptions concerning the dominance of the closet and conservative family-oriented sequence within the Nineteen Fifties and Sixties, camp television from the time exists asa robust conduit for counterpublic histories ofqueer cultural construction.

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Additional resources for Camp TV: Commercial Counterpublics and the Cultural Production of Queer Gender

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58 As Lynn Spigel and Michael Curtin explain, the television industry strategically developed program types including the variety show and the sitcom in order to streamline production and distribution. ”59 Standardized formats for series allowed the industry to standardize costs, in part through an internal network review process of censorship protocols. “Insider” aspects of comedy texts were explored on thematic, visual, and rhetorical levels in relation to the industrialized production process.

The incalculable aspect of this industrial production process defined television’s unique character. Assessing these dynamics, Spigel and Curtin characterize programming as an alchemical task bound to induce existential crises in its practitioners. They wonder: Why, for example, was Mr. Ed, which featured a man and his talking horse, a hit while My Mother the Car, which showcased a man and his talking auto, a relative failure? In the long run, who is to say why a wisecracking horse who watches TV is more profitable than a chatty car radio inhabited by the ghostly voice of someone’s dead mother?

This approach resonates with scholarship that addresses histories of counterknowledge from within the domain of media studies, seeking to defamiliarize communications systems in order to show the power relations within which they are constructed. 98 52 In the postwar era, queer gender served as the primary site at which counterpublic relations could be forged. The production of camp forms of gender representation reflects the oppositional character of the queer possibilities that emerged in this era.

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