Introduction: Media Anniversaries — Brand, Paratext, Event … and the Hype of the Doctor
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Given the rise in media/brand anniversaries, I consider Doctor Who’s 50th in 2013 as a case study. Such anniversaries could be dismissed as pseudo-events, but we should not devalue them as mere hype. Instead, I deploy a paratextual approach, developed to become more phenomenological. Rather than focusing on paratext-text relations, the media/brand anniversary raises questions of inter-paratextual, para-paratextual and meta-paratexual relationships of meaning. I also address how media/cultural studies and philosophical approaches to “media events” may be useful, arguing that previous work has overly emphasized the ritual centrality (and national unification) of media events. I conclude that a rigorously paratextual take on anniversaries as “unfolding events” is required. This Introduction thus develops, and contests, theorizations emerging from the “paratextual cohort” in screen studies.
Keywordsanniversary brand Doctor Who media event meta-paratext
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