Representing the War on Terror in Drama and Documentary


Location: ATRiuM, Cardiff

Audience: Public

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Much of the coverage of the so-called 'War on Terror’ has been in news, current affairs and documentaries, but there have also been several significant one-off filmed dramas made by UK companies (largely independents) and transmitted by broadcasters in the UK and abroad to considerable acclaim. This conference examined fictional, documentary and current affairs responses to the War on Terror.

The conference keynote lecture was given by Dr Derek Paget (University of Reading) and entitled: ‘Ways of Telling, Ways of Showing: Reflecting and Refracting the ‘War on Terror’ on British Television post-9/11’. Drawing on his work on dramadoc and docudrama, Dr Paget examined the ways in which the dividing lines between documentary and drama have become not so much blurred – as critics of the form(s) have often maintained – as ‘porous’, with radical effects on texts and their reception.

There were also papers on:

  • Recent US dramas that address the War on Terror through science fiction
  • The’ paranoid style’ in recent UK drama series
  • The public and critical response to Henry Singer’s documentary, The Falling Man (2006)
  • BBC’s Panorama and its response to the 9/11 event
  • There will be a particular focus on the work of Peter Kosminsky.