Electronic Media Theory Seminar: Non-Fiction Television

Course Details
L.S. Kim
Academic Year: 

In this seminar, we will explore the expanding genres of Non-Fiction and Reality Television. A key focus will be on the role of the viewer as a primary factor in the production and promulgation of reality-based programming ranging from news to talk shows, to syndicated programs to prime-time series, to the plethora of content that has been developed for cable networks. We will discuss notions of ‘the real,’ ‘realism,’ and ‘reality’ within the context of the televisual apparatus – which consists of unique narrative devices, camera interventions, textual expressions, industrial practices, audience pleasures, and intertextual “flow.” 

The goal of this course is to come to understand how reality sits on a spectrum – in terms of programming, as well as in terms of how television is predicated on its relationship with viewers. Through individual case studies, you will examine and articulate how television as a “live-medium” which exists as part of “the everyday,” is linked to or functions alongside a drive for the Non-Fiction. Together, we will come to a theory of the production of story in television.