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Small Screen, Big Feels – Television and Cultural Anxiety in the Twenty-First Century - Kentucky Scholarship Online
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Small Screen, Big Feels: Television and Cultural Anxiety in the Twenty-First Century

Melissa Ames


While television has always played a role in recording and curating history, shaping cultural memory, and influencing public sentiment, the changing nature of the medium in the post-network era finds viewers experiencing and participating in this process in new ways. They skim through commercials, live tweet press conferences and award shows, and tune into reality shows to escape reality. This new era, defined by the heightened anxiety and fear ushered in by 9/11, has been documented by our media consumption, production, and reaction. In Small Screen, Big Feels, Melissa Ames asserts that TV h ... More

Keywords: affect theory, post-9/11, reality television, infotainment, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, police brutality, Scandal tv show, Shonda Rhimes, trauma theory, digital activism, celebrity culture, The Bachelorette

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780813180069
Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2021 DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813180069.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Melissa Ames, author
Eastern Illinois University

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Front Matter

Part I Post-9/11 Televisual Trends: Analyzing the Affectual Climate on and off the Small Screen

Part II Mediating Fear and Anger: How Televisual Affect Reflects and Influences Current Cultural Conflicts

Part III Amplifying Affect: Twenty-first-Century Viewing Practices—From Fandom to Digital Activism and Beyond