Wentworth is the New Prisoner

Call for papers
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.)

Additional speakers and panellists to be confirmed, which will include those who have worked on the shows as writers, producers, actors, 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

Dr Radha O’Meara  |  Lecturer in Screenwriting
Coordinator: Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing
School of Culture + Communication  |  Faculty of Arts