SERIES Vol 5 No 2 – Television Serials in Asia – Call for papers


This themed issue of Series aims to contribute to the study of television serials produced in the Asian region and make them more widely known. The television serial is a prominent expression of popular culture across Asia, especially in China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, but has not been extensively studied.

While we would welcome a range of approaches, we are particularly interested in perspectives that emphasize our cognitive, emotional, and aesthetic engagement with the form. One focus may be on the analysis of specific narrative and stylistic features of the television serial. How do the multiple elements of television programs interact and contribute to seriality? For instance, how do performance or sound design help shape seriality? We are also interested in explorations of the particular aesthetic effects and achievements of Asian television serials. We welcome close analyses, case studies, or broader theoretical discussions grounded in close attention to the form and style of Asian television serials.

The following are possible topics, but other topics are welcome:

  • Cognitive and/or narratological approaches to the study of narrative forms and devices—e.g. narrative suspense, narrative closure, cliffhangers—and their impact on viewer response.

  • Case studies analyzing how stylistic elements contribute to a program’s seriality, interacting with narrative and performance.

  • Ways of maintaining a rhythm between contained episodes and ongoing seriality.

  • Relationships between seriality and temporality in serials produced in cultures where temporality is circular, not linear (at least as a narrative convention).

  • The specificity of particular genres.

  • The successful formula in Japan of adapting manga or anime to live action drama, and its extension beyond Japan.

  • Circulation of TV serials via transcultural remakes.

  • Cinematography, mise-en-scene and editing in television serials.

  • The aesthetic experience and reflexivity of online fans of drama – e.g., Chinese fans of Japanese drama, as seen on the Taiwan-based website Dorama or the Dramabeans site (in English) about Korean drama.

  • The casting of popular young actors, such as pop group “idols,” as a facet of character design and viewer engagement. Why does the strategy sometimes fail?

  • Various functions of music and/or other non-narrative elements in serials.

  • Discussions of the interaction between artistic or aesthetic achievement with moral, political, social, and/or educational values in television serials.

Guidelines for Submission

Please send proposals of no longer than 300 words plus a short CV (up to 300 words) to:

Dr Sung-Ae Lee:

Deadline for proposals: 2 July 2018

The editors will respond to proposals by: 6 August 2018.

Full submissions of no more than 10,000 words and conforming to Series’ house style will then be due with the Editors by March 4th 2019.