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Wish List, Wonder Weapon or Web Series 4.0? – “Wishlist” as a New Type of German Web Series or Public Television’s (Vain) Attempt to Attract Younger Audiences


Monday, June 3, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Wish List, Wonder Weapon or Web Series 4.0? - Prof. Dr. Markus Kuhn

Among the broad range of new players in the market for audiovisual content on the Internet, the German content-network funk has a special position. As it is run by Germany’s public broadcasters ARD and ZDF and, thus, financed by mandatory television license fees, the platform is, on the one hand, bound to rigid production guidelines. On the other hand, funk’s success is highly dependent on its ability to appeal to its target audience of young viewers and, therefore, its capacity to compete in the battle for attention in contemporary digital culture.
By analyzing the web series “Wishlist”—one of the most successful shows produced by funk—I aim to highlight how the show’s aesthetics, narrative structure and interconnectedness to its media context are determined by its specific production conditions. Taking “Wishlist” as a prototypical example, I would like to introduce you to the field of German web series production, and discuss possible similarities and differences to past, current and future trends in the US.
Markus Kuhn is Professor of Media Studies at the Institute of Modern German Literature and Media, University of Kiel, Germany. His research interests are film and transmedial narratology, web series, genre theory, biopics, transmedia storytelling, narration on the Internet, as well as comic and animation studies. From 2015 to 2017, Markus Kuhn was Associate Professor at the Department for the Study of Culture, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, and from 2010 to 2015 Junior Professor at the University of Hamburg, where he chaired the interdisciplinary Colloquium for Narrative Studies (ETK). From 2015 to 2017, he was Principal Investigator in the research project “The Aesthetics of Interactive and Pseudo-Authentic Web Series.” Recent publications include: Filmnarratologie: Ein erzähltheoretisches Analysemodell (2011; Paperback: 2013); “Web Series between User-Generated Aesthetics and Self-Reflexive Narration: On the Diversification of Audiovisual Narration on the Internet,” in: J. Alber/P. K. Hansen (eds.): Beyond Classical Narration: Transmedial and Unnatural Challenges (2014, 137–160); “Narrative Mediation in Comics: Narrative Instances and Narrative Levels in Paul Hornschemeier’s The Three Paradoxes,” in: D. Birke/T. Köppe (eds.): Author and Narrator: Transdisciplinary Contributions to a Narratological Debate (2015, 235–261) [together with A. Veits]; “(Un)reliability in Fictional and Factual Audiovisual Narratives on YouTube,” in: V. Nünning (ed.): Unreliable Narration and Trustworthiness: Intermedial and Interdisciplinary Perspectives (2015, 245–271); and: Transmedial Narratology: Current Approaches. Guest Edited Issue. Narrative 25.3 (2017) [together with J.-N. Thon].


Monday, June 3, 2019
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


2135 SSMS Building
SSMS Building
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4010 United States