Pull up a chair as binge-watching gets serious

Published: 11 September 2018 at 15:21

Cover of Netflix And The Re-Invention Of Television by Mareike Jenner

Anglia Ruskin is hosting conference and workshop examining on-demand television

Academics from across the world will meet in Cambridge this week to discuss the very modern phenomenon of binge-watching – one of the most talked-about cultural developments of the 21st century.

The conference and series of innovative workshops have been organised by Dr Mareike Jenner of Anglia Ruskin University, the author of Netflix and the Re-invention of Television published this month by Palgrave Macmillan.

The packed programme, taking place at Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge campus on Thursday and Friday this week, covers everything from the effects of binge-watching on the body to how people manage to fit marathon TV sessions into their daily lives. The event is funded by the British Academy.

Amongst the (back-to-back) presentations are “Suddenly It Was Three O’Clock in the Morning: An Anatomy of Binge-Watching” (Ri Pierce-Grove, Columbia University, US), “Binge-watching and Narrative in Post-Broadcast Comedy Television” (Tom Hemingway, University of Warwick), and “‘You know this: why do I have to tell you all this if you already know it?’ – Recaps and the binge-watch” (Lynn Kozak, McGill University, Canada).

Dr Jenner, Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at Anglia Ruskin University, said:

“Binge-watching works as an umbrella term for a number of different strands within contemporary television studies.

“It has served to describe the structure and marketing of Netflix, its publication model and the viewing patterns associated with it, and the developments of narrative structures in ‘bingeable’ series.

“There are currently major changes taking place in the way television is understood as a cultural object in terms of its technological infrastructure, branding, associated viewing patterns, national and transnational reach, cultural connotations, and so on. The workshops aim to develop broader frameworks to deal with some of these key issues in the field of contemporary television studies.”