Our colleague Sudeep Dasgupta has just published an article entitled “Sensing the Opaque: Seriality and the Aesthetics of Televisual Form.”
In this article, Sudeep responds to the recent abundance of media scholarship in textual analyses of narrative complexity. The focus on narrative meaning-making, he argues, risks ignoring the material presence and power of images, and the non-signifying sensory dimensions of spectatorship. The article develops an understanding of the presence of opacity in televisual seriality. The image, the article argues, exceeds narrative by both contributing to and overshooting meaning through sheer presence. Nonresolvable opacities produce moments of rupture in the televisual text. Opacity absorbs viewers into the sensory power of the presence of images while pulling them out of the narrative’s investigatory dynamic. The article develops this hitherto neglected dimension of TV seriality through the concept of opacity, and analyzes three specific forms of its presence in Mad Men.
The article is published in The Media of Serial Narrative, edited by Frank Kelleter (Columbus, Ohio State University Press, April 2017). For more information on this publication, click here.