Television Textbook Now Available

Cover for Television Visual Storytelling and Screen Culture, 5th edition.Television: Visual Storytelling and Screen Culture has been revised, renamed, and updated. Plus, a new chapter by Amanda D. Lotz has been added.

Television was released last month and is available for summer and fall classes. Examination copies may be requested here:

bit.ly/tvexam

The marketing team says:

Under the title, Television: Critical Methods and Applications, this textbook has served as the foremost guide to television studies for over two decades. The new, fifth edition, offers readers an in-depth understanding of how television programs and commercials are made and how they function as producers of meaning. It shows the ways in which camera style, lighting, set design, editing, and sound combine to produce meanings that viewers take away from their television experience.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FIFTH EDITION:

  • A new subtitle to reflect the broader scope of what qualifies as “television” in the 21st century: “Visual Storytelling and Screen Culture.”
  • An entirely new chapter by Amanda D. Lotz on television in the contemporary digital media environment. (Lotz’s next book, We Now Disrupt This Broadcast: How Cable Transformed Television & the Internet Revolutionized It All will be published by MIT Press this month.)
  • Discussions integrated throughout on the latest developments in screen culture during the on-demand era—including the impact of binge-watching and the proliferation of screens (smartphones, tablets, computer monitors, etc.).
  • Updates on the effects of new digital technologies on TV style.
  • A forthcoming companion Website with PowerPoint presentations, sample syllabi, and sample student papers for instructors.

RECENT REVIEWS:

“There is, quite simply, no more comprehensive resource for the student of television.” -Heather Hendershot, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“Instructors of undergraduate television studies courses know that Butler’s Television is a smart, accessible, and indispensable teaching tool, whether our objects of study are The Beverly Hillbillies or Breaking Bad, Monday Night Football or Meet the Press.” -Mary Desjardins, Dartmouth College

“Given television’s pervasive presence in our personal and political lives today, it’s vital to understand how TV works as an expressive form, a business, and a cultural force. Jeremy Butler’s updated Television proves more indispensable than ever before in exploring these facets of the medium.” -Christine Becker, University of Notre Dame

Television remains the best book out there for introducing students to the art, industry, and culture of television as we actually experience it. An essential guide to the stories television tells, yesterday and today.” -Michele Hilmes, University of Wisconsin, Madison

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • PART I TELEVISION STRUCTURES AND SYSTEMS
    • Chapter 1 An Introduction to Television Structures and Systems: Ebb and Flow in the Network Era
    • Chapter 2 Television in the Contemporary Media Environment, by Amanda D. Lotz
    • Chapter 3 Narrative Structure: Television Stories
    • Chapter 4 Building Narrative: Character, Actor, Star
    • Chapter 5 Beyond and Beside Narrative Structure
    • Chapter 6 The Television Commercial
  • PART II TELEVISION STYLE: IMAGE AND SOUND
    • Chapter 7 An Introduction to Television Style: Modes of Production
    • Chapter 8 Style and Setting: Mise-en-Scene
    • Chapter 9 Style and the Camera: Videography and Cinematography
    • Chapter 10 Style and Editing
    • Chapter 11 Style and Sound
  • PART III TELEVISION STUDIES
    • Chapter 12 An Introduction to Television Studies
    • Chapter 13 Textual Analysis
    • Chapter 14 Discourse and Identity
  • Appendix I: Sample Analyses and Exercises
  • Appendix II: Mass Communication Research
  • Glossary

Further information:

bit.ly/tvvssc

Chuck Kleinhans’s Syllabi

I just finished writing a remembrance of my dissertation adviser, Chuck Kleinhans, which may be published in a journal for which he served on the editorial board. In going over his life and achievements I came to realize that I was enrolled, as a first-year graduate student, in the first two courses he taught at Northwestern University:

  1. C80 Experimental Film
  2. D87-2 Contemporary Film Theory

These were offered in spring term 1977, after Paddy Whannel hired Chuck on a temporary basis. In fall 1977, they converted Chuck’s position to a tenure-track one and he served the Radio/TV/Film Department for 32 years–retiring in 2009 as an associate professor emeritus.

As I went through my Northwestern papers related to Chuck, I found that I still have the syllabi for those courses and so I scanned them to PDFs and present them here–perhaps the first time they have seen the light of day in 42 years! (Click the links below for the PDFs.)

  1. C80 Experimental Film Spring 1977
  2. D87-2 Contemporary Film Theory, Spring 1977

 

New Edition of “Television” Coming in February 2018

Television Cover, Fifth EditionThe fifth edition of Television is scheduled to be released in February 2018.

A cover design has been selected, the copyediting is done, the figures have been collected, and indications are good that we’ll hit that date.

To acknowledge the turmoil in today’s television, we’ve adopted a new subtitle: Television: Visual Storytelling and Screen Culture. And we solicited a new chapter on television today by renowned authority, Amanda D. Lotz.

The new edition also has updated examples and screenshots throughout.

Updates will be announced on TVCrit.com.

New Edition of Television Released

Television: Critical Methods and Applications has been called the “best textbook on television available today” (Ellen Seiter, USC). Its main goal is to encourage readers to think critically about TV. Written by Jeremy G. Butler and originally published in 1994, its fourth edition was released in December 2011.

Cover for the fourth edition.

Videography, editing, acting, set design, lighting and sound are analyzed and explained in terms of how they are used to tell stories, present news, and sell products to TV viewers.

This student-friendly text provides critical and historical contexts, discussing how critical methods have been applied to the medium and highlighting the evolution of television style through the decades.

Television is illustrated with hundreds of frame grabs from TV programs. A companion Website, hosted by Routlege, presents color versions of these black-and-white figures and augments them with video clips, sample student papers, syllabi, and other material. It is available at:

www.routledge.com/cw/butler-9780415883283/

Highlights of the fourth edition include:

  • New chapter and part organization to reflect the current approach to teaching television—with greatly expanded methods and theories chapters.
  • An entirely new chapter on modes of production and their impact on what you see on the screen.
  • Discussions integrated throughout on the latest developments in television’s on-going convergence with other media, such as material on transmedia storytelling and YouTube’s impact on video distribution.
  • Over three hundred printed illustrations, including new and better quality frame grabs of recent television shows and commercials.
  • companion website featuring color frame grabs, a glossary, flash cards, and editing and sound exercises for students, as well as PowerPoint presentations, sample syllabi and other materials for instructors. Links to online videos that support examples in the text are also provided.

With its distinctive approach to examining television, Television is appropriate for courses in television studies, media criticism, and general critical studies.