27th Jul 2017 - 28th Jul 2017
154-155 Edward Street
Film and Screen Studies and Broadcast Media
School of Media, University of Brighton, 27-28 July 2017
BRITISH MEDICAL TELEVISION
An interdisciplinary 2-day conference at the University of Brighton
SCROLL DOWN FOR BOOKING DETAILS AND ACCOMMODATION INFO
In response to the news of the British government’s imposed changes to junior doctor contracts in 2015, actors from the BBC’s hospital drama Holby City and Channel 4’s hospital comedy The Green Wing joined marches and picket line protests alongside NHS workers. Although the BBC took the decision not to focus reporting on the strikes, an episode of the medical drama Holby City entitled ‘Handle with Care’ (2016) drew attention to the plight of “marvellous junior doctors” and the serious problems created by NHS reforms. Further episodes have raised issues about the ‘winter crisis’; privatisation of services; media misrepresentation; ‘immigration and health care reforms’ and so on. The explicit foregrounding of social and political issues within television’s hospital drama genre is not new, but medical programmes like Casualty, Holby City in particular and Call The Midwife and One Born Every Minute more generally, appear to have become one of the primary cultural spaces where political tensions are being played out.
Within this political and ideological landscape of Tory cuts, austerity, threats of privatisation, editorial control and neo-liberalism, this conference suggests that to consider the history, politics, production and public role of British medical television is timely and urgent work. The genre has a long and rich history, both fictional and factual, and yet, despite its longevity, its broad appeal, and its resonance within the political, and cultural national landscape, British medical television has not been the subject of much academic interest. Whilst academics have recognised the significance of US dramas such as ER and Grey’s Anatomy, programmes like Casualty – which is the longest running medical drama in the world – have been largely neglected.This conference offers a unique opportunity for scholars across academic disciplines to engage with a strand of British television that has too long been ignored within the academy. We seek to consider questions such as:
· What ideological and political purposes are served by TV programmes dealing with medical issues, and how do they shape public understandings of healthcare?
· Do programmes like Holby City and Casualty serve as a vehicle for the BBC to tell its own story about the impact of government intervention and the ideological dismantling of the BBC?
· What impact does the tendering out of programmes to independent production have on the potential ideological relationship between the BBC and national politics?
· How are the political schemas of programmes like Holby City and Casualty reflected in other forms of medical television broadcast on UK commercial television?
· How do genres such as reality TV and documentary engage with medical issues?
The conference aims to map out the rich history of medical programming on British television and to engage with the complex relationships between the NHS, British broadcasting, and the state. Indicative texts from a range of genres include, but are not restricted to:
Call The Midwife
Junior Doctors24 hours in A&E
Doctor in The House
Only When I Laugh
British Medical Television Conference: Thursday 27th – Friday 28th July, 2017.
Venue: School of Media, Lecture Theatre 1 (Room 105), University of Brighton, 154-155 Edward Street, Brighton BN2 0JG.
Thursday 27 July
Pat Holland: The Politics of Medical Television Across the 1980s.
Historical Developments in Non-Fiction Medical TV
Pascale Mansier: Similarities between French and British TV Medical Magazines in the Late Fifties.
Paul Bader: Power to the People: How Medical TV started talking to people rather than Doctors in the 1980s.
Nariman Massoumi: Health Before (or After) the NHS: Reflections on Producing a Social History Television Documentary on Hospitals.
Nostalgia and Medical Television
Anne Jespersen: The Royal – Bridging the Gap Between Nostalgic Ignorance and Harsh, Realistic Knowledge.
Martin Fradley: ‘I can tell I’m not well… I think I’m a little bit poorly’: Working-Class Drama and the NHS in Shane Meadows’ This is England ’86, 88, 90.
Louise FitzGerald: Fluffy Cardigans and Starched Uniforms: Call The Midwife, Nostalgia and the NHS.
The Mutability of Medical Television
Fran Pheasant-Kelly: States of Abjection: The Politics and Practices of Jed Mercurio’s Bodies and Cardiac Arrest.
Teresa Forde: Nursing Back to Health? From Angels to No Angels.
Elizabeth Ford: The Representation of Doctors in Children’s Fictional Television Programmes.
Friday 28 July
Hannah Hamad: Mediating the NHS at 70: Exploring the Political Stakes of Contemporary Medical Television.
Medical Television: Ethics and Policies
Marta Lopera, Monika Jimenez-Morales, Manel Jimenez-Morales: Binge Eating, Binge Watching: Narrative and Aesthetic Representation of Mental Health and Body Dysmorphic Disorders on My Mad Fat Diary.
Agata Korecka: The Man with 10 Stone Testicles: Corporeal Spectacle and ‘Humilitainment’
Rony Armon and Colleen Cotter: Televising Obesity: The Role of Personal Stories in the Depiction of Policy Objectives.
Popular Drama and Medical Discourse
Ruth Deller: 30 Years in Holby: Analysing Casualty’s Anniversary
Katie Marshall, Naji Tabet, John Anderson: The Portrayal of Dementia in Television Soaps
Georgina Turner: ‘And that’s how you turn the lesbian death trope on its ear!: Holby City and the ‘Berena’ phenomenon.
Production and Practitioners Session
Helen Littleboy (Hospital), Spencer Kelly (24 Hours in A&E), Joanna MacDonnell (Casualty
Register for the conference here (you may need to copy URL into your browser):
Limited University accommodation near the conference venue available – book now! (minimum 2 night requirement, select Phoenix Halls):