Soap Opera and Serialized Storytelling

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Soap operas, wrestling, periodicals, reality television, comic books, literature, video game and film franchises, vlogging, sports, advertising campaigns, and  now even  politics and  political journalism have  harnessed the power  and  popularity of the serialized form to build and  sustain audiences in our increasingly fractured media landscape.


The Soap Opera and  Serialized Storytelling area  welcomes submissions that address soap operas, other  serialized narratives that share this unique and  vital structure, and  cross-genre comparative work. If it encourages you to follow the story or characters into the next episode, we want to hear  about it!


All perspectives and  methods of inquiry are welcome, including interdisciplinary examinations of seriality as a narrative form and  considerations of its impact and  usage across multiple forms of discourse.


Submitting Your Work

On the conference website, begin by creating an account and  crafting your submission. For individual papers, you will submit a title and  abstract of 200-words or less. For themed panels, each presenter must enter  their own presentation. Please reach out to the area  chair for more  information on themed panels. A presenter may deliver only one formal paper at the conference but may also participate in other  ways, such as chairing a panel. If you are interested in additional forms of participation, please email the area  chair.


Possible Areas of Investigation Include, but are Not Limited to the Following:


English Language Soap Operas

From Days of Our Lives to Emmerdale, from Hollyoaks to Home  and Away, we are interested in works on all aspects of both  English language soap operas currently on the air and  legacy soaps that are no longer being produced but made substantial contributions to television history.


Mediated Serials in a Global Context

We welcome studies of international forms of meditated serials, including telenovelas, Asian dramas, and  more.  We are also interested in papers exploring the global broadcasting and popularity of English Language soaps.


Professional Wrestling

Professional wrestling is the storytelling medium perhaps most often compared to the “traditional” soap opera. We are interested in papers on all aspects of professional wrestling including writing about fantasy wrestling and  e-federations. We especially welcome works that focus on how professional wrestling utilizes seriality.


Magazines and Periodicals

As seriality is a key feature of the periodical, we welcome papers focused on periodical studies. While papers on all aspects of periodical studies will be considered, we are especially interested in work focused on seriality.


Queer Seriality

We welcome works focused on how serialized narratives can  queer time and  space. Papers can  explore queer temporality, cross-textual seriality, and  more.


Serialized Storytelling Across Mediums

Commercial serial narratives are abundant in contemporary media. From video game franchises to podcasts to social media-based storytelling, we find elements of serial narrative everywhere. We welcome work on seriality and  serialized storytelling across platforms and  mediums.


Serialized Narratives across Film, Television, Streaming, and Online Entertainment Series

How is serialization harnessed by contemporary storytellers across film (including film franchises like the Marvel Cinematic Universe), television (from limited episodic series like The Crown to Bridgerton and  everything in-between), and  streaming media?


Online Content Creators

Youtube, TikTok, and  more! From beauty channels to the drama channels that cover  them. From finding serialized elements in music commentary channels to watching a creator’s curated video series of Amazon  recommendations. How do influencers and  content creators utilize elements of seriality to craft videos and  develop audiences?


Fandom and the Serialized Form

We welcome papers on fandom, including fan texts, fan curation practices, online fandom, and  commentary around serialized narratives.


Game Shows and Reality Television

We are interested in papers focused on seriality as seen on game/quiz shows and  the serial narratives seen on reality television. This interest extends to a focus on competitive reality shows (Big Brother,  Survivor, The Amazing Race, The Bachelor, The Circle, The Challenge, and  more) that bring serialized narratives to the world of the game show and  reality docudramas (The Real Housewives franchise, The Hills: New  Beginnings, etc.) that share many traits and  tropes with soap operas.

COVID-19 and Serialized Media


In acknowledgment of the current pandemic, the SO&SS Area is interested in fielding a panel or panel(s) on the effect  of the pandemic on the consumption of serialized texts, as well as the use of seriality and  the genre characteristics of soap opera in politics and political journalism.



Area Chair: R. Bruno

Email Address: [email protected]


Submit a Paper Proposal for the 2023 PCA Conference: 

Submissions for paper proposals are now open. The submission deadline is December 20, 2022. Please be sure you read and understand all instructions, policies, and procedures before you submit your proposal. 






Area chairs