The Journal of Religion & Film and the Free University of Amsterdam jointly announce a webinar to take place on Wednesday, June 16th at 6:00 pm Amsterdam time (11:00 am CST): "TV or not TV? The Definition and Evolving Boundaries of Religion and Film Scholarship." Participants will include Dr. William L. Blizek (University of Nebraska at Omaha), Dr. Amir Hussain (Loyola Marymount University), Ken White (Screenwriter and Filmmaker, University of Nebraska at Omaha), Dr. John Lyden (University of Nebraska at Omaha), and Miranda van Holland (Free University of Amsterdam).
The lines between "film" and "television" have become increasingly blurred in an era in which we have not been able to go to movie theaters but instead watch streaming video in our homes and on personal devices. "Television" now arguably includes not only broadcast or cable shows, but streaming content available through subscription services that create their own films and multi-episode series which may be multiple seasons or just a few stand alone episodes. How should scholars of religion and film or media then define the categories? Are there meaningful distinctions between these types of media, or are these anachronisms of an earlier technology? Most pointedly, what is the subject matter of a "Journal of Religion and Film"? And how have these changes in delivery and consumption impacted how we analyze the impact of media on viewers?