Office of Undergraduate Research

Her Stories: Daytime Soap Opera and US Television History

The daytime soap opera has been a popular and persistent form of U.S. television programming throughout the medium's history. This book project examines the genre as central to US TV history and to the history of popular culture associated with women. I focus on the production and reception of daytime soaps across their more than 60 year history on TV through a range of source materials, from popular and television industry trade press to fan magazines and web sites, from the archival collections of soap opera writers and producers to interviews with workers in the soap opera industry. I also analyze soap opera episodes and scripts. In all, I seek to understand the influence of this long-running genre upon the economic and cultural place of American television, and the relationship between the genre and its audience.

Tasks and responsibilities:

The student will assist me in various forms of research, including searching for and summarizing press coverage of daytime soaps, analyzing interview transcripts and field notes, and summarizing story and plot developments. The student will also participate in the book production process, working to find appropriate images, secure rights to publish them, and create digital files for publication. Depending on the duration of the placement, the student may also participate in book production through copyediting and indexing.