Book Cover

Media of Serial Narrative


Edited by Frank Kelleter

306 pp. 6 x 9
14 b&w illustrations
Pub Date: April 17, 2017

Subjects: American Literary Studies, Narrative Studies

Series: Theory and Interpretation of Narrative

Order Paperback $39.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-5399-1
Order PDF Ebook $39.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-7501-6

Media of Serial Narrative is a strong collection that adds significantly to our understanding of seriality across media. As a whole, the volume both ranges widely across media and time and also tightly coheres around the history of seriality. I believe Media of Serial Narrative will have real impact in the fields of film, television, literature, comics, and games where there is interest in seriality, and I highly recommend it.” –Greg Smith, author of Beautiful TV: The Art and Argument of Ally McBeal and Film Structure and the Emotion System

Media of Serial Narrative, edited by Frank Kelleter, is the first book-length study to address the increasingly popular topic of serial narratives—specifically, how practices and forms of seriality shape media throughout the landscape of popular culture. In modern entertainment formats, seriality and popularity can seem so obviously connected that scholarship has long neglected to address their specific interrelations. This volume looks closely at the relationship between seriality, popularity, media, and narrative form and asks: What are the structural conditions of serial stories? Which historical circumstances are presupposed or supported by series and serials? How do commercial types of seriality differ from serial structures in other cultural fields?

Media of Serial Narrative focuses on key sites and technologies of popular seriality since the mid-nineteenth century and up to today: newspapers, comics, cinema, television, and digital communication. Paying close attention to the affordances of individual media, as well as to their historical interactions, the fourteen chapters survey the forms, processes, and functions of popular serial storytelling. With individual chapters by Frank Kelleter, Jared Gardner, Daniel Stein, Christina Meyer, Scott Higgins, Shane Denson, Ruth Mayer, Kathleen Loock, Constantine Verevis, Jason Mittell, Sudeep Dasgupta, Sean O’Sullivan, Henry Jenkins, Christine Hämmerling, Mirjam Nast, and Andreas Sudmann, Media of Serial Narrative is an exciting and broad-ranging intervention in the fields of seriality, media, and narrative studies.

Frank Kelleter is Chair and Einstein Professor of American Cultural History at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at Freie Universitaet Berlin.

All About Seriality: An Interview with Frank Kelleter (Part One) by Henry Jenkins



INTRODUCTION  About this Volume

CHAPTER 1     Five Ways of Looking at Popular Seriality


CHAPTER 2     Antebellum Popular Serialities and the Transatlantic Birth of “American” Comics

CHAPTER 3     Serial Politics in Antebellum America: On the Cultural Work of the City-Mystery Genre

CHAPTER 4     Serial Entertainment / Serial Pleasure: The Yellow Kid


CHAPTER 5     Inevitability of Chance: Time in the Sound Serial

CHAPTER 6     Spectral Seriality: The Sights and Sounds of Count Dracula

CHAPTER 7     Hollywood Remaking as Second-Order Serialization

CHAPTER 8     New Millenial Remakes


CHAPTER 9     The Ends of Serial Criticism

CHAPTER 10     Sensing the Opaque

CHAPTER 11     The Inevitable, the Surprise, and Serial Television


CHAPTER 12     “All Over the Map”: Building (and Rebuilding) Oz

CHAPTER 13     Popular Seriality in Everyday Practice: Perry Rhodan and Tatort

CHAPTER 14     Digital Seriality: On the Serial Aesthetics and Practice of Digital Games



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