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American Television during a Television Presidency

Edited by Karen McNally

Television Studies, Media Studies, Political Science, Performance Studies

Contemporary Approaches to Film and Media Series

Published: April 2022
ISBN: 9780814349359
Pages: 336 Size: 6 x 9
Published: April 2022
ISBN: 9780814349366
Pages: 336 Size: 6 x 9
Published: April 2022
ISBN: 9780814349373

In American Television during a Television Presidency, Karen McNally and contributors critically examine the various ways in which television became transfixed by the Trump presidency and the broader political, social, and cultural climate. This book is the first to fully address the relationship between TV and a presidency consistently conducted with television in mind.

The sixteen chapters cover everything from the political theater of televised impeachment hearings to the potent narratives of fictional drama and the stinging critiques of comedy, as they consider the wide-ranging ways in which television engages with the shifting political culture that emerged during this period. Approaching television both historically and in the contemporary moment, the contributors¾an international group of scholars from a variety of academic disciplines¾illuminate the indelible links that exist between television, American politics, and the nation’s broader culture. As it interrogates a presidency played out through the lens of the TV camera and reviews a medium immersing itself in a compelling and inescapable subject, American Television during a Television Presidency sets out to explore what defines the television of the Trump era as a distinctive time in TV history. From inequalities to resistance, and from fandom to historical memory, this book opens up new territory in which to critically analyze television’s complex relationship with Donald Trump, his presidency, and the political culture of this unsettled and simultaneously groundbreaking era.

Undergraduate and graduate students and scholars of film and television studies, comedy studies, and cultural studies will value this strong collection.

Karen McNally is Reader in American Film, Television and Cultural History at London Metropolitan University. She is the author and editor of five books, including The Stardom Film: Creating the Hollywood Fairy Tale.

Contributors Include:
Michael Mario Albrecht, Hannah Andrews, Kathryn Castle, Steven Cohan, K. Scott Culpepper, Kwakiutl L. Dreher, Jessica Ford, Teresa Forde, Gregory Frame, Oliver Gruner, Rafal Kus, Karen McNally, Aimee Mollaghan, Martin Murray, Donna Peberdy, Dolores Resano, Simon Stow, Martin Zeller-Jacques

Since the broadcast of the first of the Nixon / Kennedy debates in September 1960, US politics have been inextricably entwined with television. None more so than reality TV star turned President – Donald Trump. McNally’s exhaustive edited collection covers every aspect of the Trump presidency through the prism of television. From the presidency itself, textual analyses of dramas screened through the 4 years of his term, how his disruptive politics impacted on television genres and gender politics, American Television During a Television Presidency deserves its place in the canon of titles dealing with American politics, presidencies and how they impact television. This is a timely publication and one that deserves to be read, and then read again, in order to understand how Trump’s politics impacted on and influenced the medium of television.

– Kim Akass, professor of Radio, Television, & Film, Rowan University

American Television During a Television Presidency offers a wide-ranging look at how the Trump Era fundamentally changed the way America makes and consumes popular culture. Full of fascinating case studies, the book forcefully illustrates just how deeply politics has become ingrained in the world of entertainment. Anyone interested in understanding today’s television landscape is sure to learn and enjoy.

– Matt Sienkiewicz, associate professor of Communication, Boston College