Wentworth is the New Prisoner

Tessa Dwyer's picture
Call for Papers
April 5, 2018
Subject Fields: 
Australian and New Zealand History / Studies, Film and Film History, Popular Culture Studies, Sexuality Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies
Wentworth is the New Prisoner
A two-day international conference
Thursday 5th and Friday 6th April 2018, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

Confirmed keynote speakers and panellists: Professor Sue Turnbull (University of Wollongong, Australia); Kim Akass (University of Hertfordshire, UK); Kate Hood (actress, writer and director, aka Prisoner’s Kath Maxwell); Jan Russ (casting director, Prisoner, Neighbours, etc.)

Wentworth (aka Wentworth Prison) is an award-winning Australian prison drama series now in its fifth season and recently renewed for a sixth season. It screens in Australia on Foxtel, in the UK on Channel 5 and in the USA on Netflix. The series was inspired by Prisoner (aka Cell Block H), a groundbreaking drama produced between 1979 and 1986, which was internationally successful and led to a cult following. Set in a women’s prison in contemporary Melbourne, Wentworth dramatises current cultural and political issues, and provides a rich example of creative and industrial screen practice that can often be read in the context of its predecessor, Prisoner.

This conference will unite those who study and are fans of Wentworth and Prisoner, with those who are or who have been involved in making the series.

We invite abstracts for papers (critical or creative, 20 minutes) from academics, practitioners or those who are both, including research degree candidates and early career researchers. All topics related to Wentworth and Prisoner will be considered, with the aim of generating a lively exchange of critical and creative ideas. Our intention is that selected papers from the conference will lead to a publication (most likely an edited collection).

Conference organising committee:

Associate Professor Craig Batty (RMIT University); Dr Tessa Dwyer (Monash University); Dr Radha O’Meara (University of Melbourne); Dr Stayci Taylor (RMIT University).

Please email your 300-word paper abstract, along with a 100-word biography, to governorwentworth@gmail.com by Monday 30 October 2017.

Potential paper and panel topics include, but are not limited to:

      Gender in Wentworth/Prisoner

      Sexuality and Queerness in Wentworth/Prisoner

      Class in Wentworth/Prisoner

      Prison industrial complex in Wentworth/Prisoner

      Race and ethnicity in Wentworth/Prisoner

      Diversity behind bars

      Nation in Wentworth/Prisoner

      Violence in Wentworth/Prisoner

      Substance abuse in Wentworth/Prisoner

      Mental health and mental illness in Wentworth/Prisoner

      Aesthetics of Wentworth/Prisoner

      Serial narrative and Wentworth/Prisoner

      Performance in Wentworth/Prisoner

      Wentworth as reboot or remake of Prisoner

      Television genre and the prison drama

      Prestige TV and prison dramas 

      Reception of Wentworth/Prisoner

      Wentworth/Prisoner fans, fan practices and fandoms

      Distribution of Wentworth/Prisoner

      Creative practice in the development and production of Wentworth/Prisoner

      Industrial practice in the development and production of Wentworth/Prisoner

      Wentworth/Prisoner and transnational TV and format trade

      Activism, Social Change and Wentworth/Prisoner

      Music and lyrics in Wentworth/Prisoner

Contact Info: 

Conference organisers: Associate Professor Craig Batty (RMIT University); Dr Tessa Dwyer (Monash University); Dr Radha O’Meara (University of Melbourne); and Dr Stayci Taylor (RMIT University)