DePaul University College of Communication > Initiatives > DePaul Pop Culture Conference > Past Symposiums > Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary Celebration

Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary Celebration

This event is now past.
On May 4, 2013, the College of Communication held an all-day colloquium celebrating the cultural impact of the BBC's long-running (50 years) Doctor Who. Scholars, writers, and fans attended the event organized by MCS Professor Paul Booth. The guest of honor and keynote speaker for the day was writer Robert Shearman (Hugo-nominated screenwriter of the Who episode "Dalek").

The event featured topical panels (see below), eight episode screenings, including "Dalek" with live commentary, guest speakers and much more. The 100 or so Doctor Who fans and scholars were also greeted with a special welcome [video] from a certain Captain Jack Harkness.

Program Note from Professor Paul Booth

What a fantastic time to be a fan of Doctor Who. Whether you’ve been watching the show since the 1960s, picked it up with PBS repeats in the 1980s, or are a new convert to New Who, there is so much to explore, discuss, and learn about this long-running program. In this one-day celebration, we can’t hope to touch upon it all – but we can certainly try.

This colloquium is intended to spark debate and discussion about the changing “faces” of Doctor Who and its shifting text and context over the half-century of the show. We hope to explore some of the nuances of the program, discuss the greater mysteries of the protagonist, and debate the greatest enigmas throughout all of time and space. So what are we waiting for? Allons-y!

2013 marks the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. In honor of this momentous occasion, the College of Communication at DePaul University is pleased to host writers, scholars, and fans to speak about this groundbreaking BBC television series. A show that started as a children’s science fiction adventure has grown far beyond its original borders to become one of the foremost entries in global entertainment.

But above all, Doctor Who is about fun and adventure. The Doctor sees beauty in the unknown, humor in the face of danger, and truth in darkest of places. And so too shall we, as we embark on this day-long journey. What else is there to say, except – welcome! Thanks for coming!

And, of course, Geronimo!

Panels

Speaker Biographies(.pdf)

Panel 1: The Long Appeal of Doctor Who (mp3 - right-click to download) (54:13)
Erika Ensign (Moderator)
Sherry Ginn
Mary Robinette Kowal
Gillian Leitch
Jody Lynn Nye
Kathryn Sullivan

Panel 2: Doctor Who and Philosophy (mp3 - right-click to download) (58:45)
Gerry Canavan
Ann Hetzel Gunkel (Moderator)
Ashley Hinck
Derek Kompare
Scott Paeth
Philip Sandifer

Panel 3: Doctor Who Aesthetics (mp3 - right-click to download) (54:00)
Piers Britton
Tammy Garrison
Derek Kompare (Moderator)
Robert Levy
Philip Sandifer
Lynne M. Thomas

Panel 4: Doctor Who and Gender (mp3 - right-click to download) (52:55)
Carole Barrowman
Sherry Ginn
Tara O'Shea
Scott Paeth
Lynnette Porter (Moderator)
Kathryn Sullivan

Panel 5: Doctor Who Fandom (mp3 - right-click to download) (53:06)
Carole Barrowman
Erika Ensign
Tammy Garrison
Jennifer Adams Kelley
Gillian Leitch
Lynne M. Thomas (Moderator)

Panel 6: Doctor Who and Narrative (mp3 - right-click to download) (55:35)
Cary Elza
Jennifer Adams Kelley (Moderator)
Michele Leigh
Jody Lynn Nye
Tara O'Shea
Mary Robinette Kowal

Press

"A Celebration of Doctor Who — Boy, Was That Fun!" (FanGirlKnitScarf)
"Celebrating 50 Years of 'Doctor Who' at DePaul" (The DePaulia)
"The Doctor is in at DePaul: 'Doctor Who' Colloquium Celebrates 50 Years of Television" (The DePaulia)
"The Tardis Lands at DePaul" (Tardistopia.net)

[Photo Gallery with captions]