'TV-Philosophy' Workshop


series tele

Anastasia Krutikova (ERC DEMOSERIES)
Sandra Laugier (Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, ERC DEMOSERIES)
Perig Pitrou (MFO)


Contact: contact@demoseries.eu


TV series are increasingly recognized in current research. However, their aesthetic potential for visualizing ethical issues and developing a collective inquiry into democratic values has not yet been fully appreciated. Because of their format and the participatory qualities of the Internet, series allow for a new form of education by expressing complex issues through narrative and characters.

This education is both political and moral. TV series provide common reference points, which populate ordinary conversations and political debates. They become shared representations of moral reasonings and feelings.

Taking series seriously means investigating the intentions of creators, reconsidering the public’s capabilities, and exploring how TV series structure our understanding of the world and our experiences of it. Philosophy must thus acknowledge the role that TV series play, and can play, in educating and constituting publics, in transmitting and sharing values, in creating awareness of terrorist or environmental threats, and in social inclusion and the integration of diversity in terms of gender, race, and sexuality.

An increasing number of scholars are thus taking an interest in TV series. Yet, series often remain marginal to their main research agenda. Over the past fifty years, the relationship between cinema and philosophy has been explored by key thinkers (Cavell 1971, 1981; Perkins 1972; Mulhall 2008; Rothman 2014; Sinnerbrink 2016). It has evolved into acknowledging film as philosophy rather than seeing film as an ‘object’ for philosophy, and into analyzing it as sustaining an immanent ethics. Series, which have taken over for films in the mission of educating the largest audience worldwide, have seldom been the object of similar philosophical attention (Nannicelli 2013, 2016; Shuster 2017; Laugier 2019, 2023, LaRocca and Laugier 2023). The ambition of the workshop is to explore this intellectual and philosophical ambition about TV series themselves and to explore the principles of TV Philosophy.


7th February, afternoon

1:30 Welcome
1:45 Presentation
Pascal Marty (Director of the Maison Française d'Oxford), Sandra Laugier (Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, DEMOSERIES), Perig Pitrou (CNRS, Maison Française d’Oxford)

2:00-3:00 Genres, Old and New
Stephen Mulhall (Oxford, New College), The Event of Television: Sitcoms, Superheroes and Wandavision
Catherine Wheatley (King’s College), From Soul Mates to Soul Friends: the Cavellian Couple in the Contemporary Sitcom

3:00 Break

3:15-4:15 Perfectionism and Scepticism
Michelle Devereaux (University of Warwick), Repetition, Acknowledgment, and Cavellian Perfectionism in Russian Doll
Robert Sinnerbrink (Macquarie University), True Detective: Existential Scepticism and Television Crime Drama’

4:15 Tea time

4:45 Discussion moderated by Perig Pitrou (CNRS, Maison Française d’Oxford)

8th February morning

9:00-10:30 Security series
Henriette Korthals Altes (Maison Française d’Oxford), En thérapie: Resistance, Resilience, and Terrorism or Working through the Memories of the November 13 Attacks
Tatsiana Zhurauliova and Anastasia Krutikova (Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, DEMOSERIES) Russian Security Series: Imagining the Enemy (Within)
Thibaut de Saint Maurice (Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, DEMOSERIES) "Gender terror", Thinking about terrorism with No Man’s Land

10:30 Coffee break

11:00-12:00 Thought Experiments
Sylvie Allouche (Ucly, DEMOSERIES), TV Series and the Politics of Mind Uploading: Black Mirror, Altered Carbon, Upload, etc.
Perig Pitrou (Maison Française d’Oxford) OVNI(s): Encounters between the French 70’s and Extraterrestrial Life

12:00 Discussion moderated by Sandra Laugier (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

1:00 lunch break

8th February afternoon

2:00-3:30 TV Politics
Sandra Laugier (Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, DEMOSERIES) How TV Series Take Care of Us
Paul Standish (UCL, School of Education), Small Acts   
Walter Armbrust (Oxford, St Anthony College), Unpurgeable: Adil Imam’s Oracle Series

3:30 Discussion moderated by Chihab El Kachab (Oxford University)

4:15 Tea Time

4:45 Conclusions and further projects