Watching the Transnational Detectives: Showcasing Identity and Internationalism on British Television

Watching the Transnational Detectives: Showcasing Identity and Internationalism on British Television
8 November 2018, 10.00am - 9 November 2018, 5.00pm
Conference / Symposium
Room 243, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

A recent article in the Evening Standard posed the question ‘Is it a coincidence that just as governments are seeking to close their borders, television is opening them?’ (March 15 2017). Indeed, in post-Brexit Britain, television viewers have access to an ever increasing number of foreign language programmes. And ‘with the boom in streaming services, a single TV drama can cross borders like never before. Yet still, telling local stories appears to be the secret to international appeal’ (ibid). But what is the relationship between the local, national, and transnational that is presented on screen? And how do these dramas influence viewers’ perceptions of the countries, nationalities and languages which are depicted on screen?

This conference will address these questions by focusing on popular global crime dramas that are available with English sub-titles to British viewers. Although work has been done on the crime genre in literature and on film in different language contexts, there is little work available on the reception of these television programmes in a transnational context. The conference will therefore explore the way in which ideas of national identity and nationhood are interrogated through crime drama series when watched in Britain and thus outside of their original national context.


Thursday November 8th

09:00 Registration at IMLR, Senate House

09:45 Welcome

Panel 1: Chair: Helena Chadderton
10:00 Stan Beeler (English Department, University of Northern British Columbia, Canada): ‘This is not San Francisco: Babylon Berlin and the German version of The Hardboiled Detective’ 
10:30 Hilary Potter (School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, University of Leeds, UK): ‘Transnationalism, Nationalism, Historicising & Recycling in Babylon Berlin?’
11:00 Susanne Eichner (School of Culture and Communication, Aarhus University, Denmark: Local segmentation as sales strategy: Watching the German crime series Tatort in the UK.

11:30 Coffee break

11:45 Keynote speaker: Lucy Mazdon (Department of Film Studies, University of Southampton UK) ‘Remaking the female detective’

12:45 Lunch

Panel 2: Chair: Angela Kimyougür
13:30 Eli Løfaldli (Department of Language and Literature, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU): ‘Exporting Ideology: Modern Fatherhood in Nordic Noir Crime Series’
14:00 Jacqui Miller (Department of Media and communication, Liverpool Hope University, UK): ‘Martin Beck: Translation and Adaptation, a Labyrinth of Noir’ 
14:30 Jeff Morrison (School of Modern Languages, Maynooth University, Ireland): ‘Alternative to mainstream to market leader: the fate of Scandi crime drama’

15:00 Coffee break

Panel 3: Chair: Laura Rorato
Stefania Antonioni (Dept of Communication, Humanities and International Studies, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Italy): ‘The crime scene has never been so lively: Inspector Coliandro and the other side of Bologna.’
15:45 Carmen Fiano and Elena Martusciello (Università degli Studi di Napoli “Parthenope”, Italy): ‘Female and male characters’ language: A corpus-based analysis of Inspector Montalbano’
16:15 Kenneth Longden (School of Arts and Media, University of Salford, UK): ‘“Walter Presents”, Transnationalism, and the Postproduction Detective Fiction Experience’

16:45 Break

17:00 Q&A with ‘Walter Presents’

Friday November 9th

Panel 4: Chair: Rachel Haworth
09:00 Monica Dall’Asta (Department of the Arts, University of Bologna, Italy): ‘Euronoir as aTranscultural Genre’
09:30 Federico Pagello (Department of the Arts, University of Bologna, Italy) : ‘Transnational Online Distribution and the Case of Nordic Noir TV’
10:00 Luca Barra (University of Bologna, Italy): ‘The Many British Lives of Italian Contemporary TV Drama’
10:30 Caius Dobrescu (University of Bucharest, Romania): ‘British Crime Dramas and the Emergence of European Noir’

11:00 Coffee break

11:15 Keynote: Andrea Esser (Department of Media, Culture and Language, Roehampton University, UK) ‘Transnational Detectives and the Appeal of the ‘Authenticity’ of Place’ 

12:15 Lunch

Panel 5: Chair: Laura Rorato
Serena Laiena (Clare College, University of Cambridge, UK): ‘Inspector Montalbano: the local dimension from national to transnational’
13:30 Abigail Loxham (Department of Modern Languages and Cultures,University of Liverpool,UK): ‘Reframing Spanish Women on British Screens: the case of Vis-à-vis /Locked Up and Sé quien eres/I Know Who You Are’.
14:00 Anja Louis (Languages and Cultures, Sheffield Hallam University, UK): ‘Transnational success made in Spain’

14:30 Coffee break

14:45 Roundtable: Viewer Reception/Audience Perception with Andrea Esser (Roehampton University, UK), Susanne Eichner (Aarhus University, Denmark), Rachel Haworth (University of Hull, UK), Clare Schoeman (Fans of European & World TV Dramas Facebook Group)

16:00 End of conference

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Organised by the School of Histories, Languages and Cultures of the University of Hull. With support from the Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies project (part of the AHRC’s Open World Research Initiative) and German Screen Studies Network.
Registration fee: Standard ticket both days 
£20 | Standard ticket one day only £15  

PG Students/unwaged Free 

Advance registration required by 31 October 2018.


Jenny Stubbs
020 7862 8832