Conference explores themes of hit TV show Mad Men

Mad Men: The Conference co-conveners were (left to right) Kirsty Fairclough-Isaacs , Salford University; David Lavery, MTSU College of Liberal Arts; Jane Marcellus, MTSU School of Journalism; and Michael Goddard, Salford University.

Mad Men: The Conference co-conveners were (left to right) Kirsty Fairclough-Isaacs, Salford University; David Lavery, MTSU College of Liberal Arts; Jane Marcellus, MTSU School of Journalism; and Michael Goddard, Salford University.

About 50 panelists from across the country and around the world visited campus May 26-28, when professors from the colleges of Media and Entertainment and Liberal Arts teamed up to host Mad Men: The Conference. The two-day event included keynote speakers, guest panels and a Mad Men-themed reception at the Foundation House.

The symposium was the brainchild of Professor of Journalism Jane Marcellus and Professor of English David Lavery. Marcellus recently co-authored a book exploring the roles of women in the hit TV show entitled “Mad Men and Working Women: Feminist Perspectives on Historical Power, Resistance, and Otherness.”

“Our purpose in writing the book was not simply to analyze Mad Men,” Marcellus said, “but to use Mad Men as a springboard to look at women’s lives in the 1960s, particularly in relation to labor, both in the workplace and at home.”

Salford University in the United Kingdom also hosted the inaugural event. Keynote speakers were Matt Zoller Seitz, author of Mad Men Carousel; Mimi White, a feminist scholar from Northwestern University; and Gary Edgerton, dean at Butler University and author of Mad Men Dream Come True. 

Marcellus and Lavery plan to showcase the conference’s best papers in a future publication.

Mad Men’s portrayal of 1960’s New York life is often praised for its authentic set, props and costumes as well as its flawed and egocentric cast of characters. The popular AMC series is a regular on critics’ top 10 lists and won multiple Emmy and Golden Globe awards. The series aired its final episode on May 17, 2015.

For more information about the conference, please click here.

Poster design by Leslie Haines, MTSU School of Journalism.

Poster design by Leslie Haines, MTSU School of Journalism.

 

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