Call for Articles: „Sydney Newman – Producing Television and Film Across Borders“

Probably best known as the creator of the long-running science fiction television series Doctor Who, Sydney Newman played a significant role in the production of television and film both in his native Canada and in the United Kingdom. The Museum of Broadcast Communications describes Newman as „the most significant agent in the development of British television drama.“ [1] But this is only one aspect of Sydney Newman’s (1917-1997) professional experience. Newman enjoyed a long and interesting career in broadcasting and films. While his ‚claim to fame‘ might very well be as creator of Doctor Who and Avengers, he also worked at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as Supervising director of features, documentaries and outside broadcasts (1952-1958), the Associated British Corporation as head of Drama (1958-1962), the British Broadcasting Corporation as head of Drama (1962-1967), and the National Film Board of Canada as a film editor (1941-1949) and as Commissioner (1970-1975). He then became a special advisor on film to the Canadian Secretary of State, and was Chief Creative Consultant for the Canadian Film Development Corporation (1978-1984).

His work at these institutions was critical in the development of Canadian and British broadcasting, and popular culture. His influence was far-reaching. But thus far, while there have been some studies which have taken into account the particular roles which he has played during his career, no study has taken his roles together, to provide a more complete picture.

This peer-reviewed collection seeks to understand Sydney Newman’s career in both Canada and in Britain by curating a number of studies on his various professional roles and works. This includes providing an understanding of the world of broadcast television and film, in both countries during the 50s-70s, and the visions of culture he articulated in his work. Articles can deal with specific aspects of his career, specific institutions, specific programs he developed, his influence as a producer/filmmaker, or administrator. Biographical articles are also welcome. The aim is that the collection taken as a whole will provide a balanced analysis of his varied career in two countries during periods of significant development and change in the entertainment industry of both.

[Please note that Sydney Newman’s Memoirs Head of Drama: The Memoir of Sydney Newman will be released by ECW Press on 5th September 2017.]

Proposals should be approximately two hundred words, and sent to gilliandoctor@gmail.com by the 30th of September 2017.  A decision will be communicated by the 30th of November, and final articles should be submitted by the 15 July 2018.

Gillian I Leitch, PhD, Independent Scholar, Co-Chair, Science Fiction Fantasy Area, PCA/ACA

[1] http://www.museum.tv/eotv/newmansydne.htm [Accessed 2 April 2017]

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