From the Director

Thank you for your interest in the Melodrama Research Consortium. I began the organization in the fall of 2013 in response to what seemed to be a pressing need for greater interdisciplinary collaboration, as the study of melodrama has exploded in the past two decades and now constitutes a central topic of concern in disciplines all across the humanities. My recognition of that need was fostered by my experience in recent years of attending conferences devoted to melodrama of many different kinds, and finding among them many shared questions and concerns, overlapping theoretical models and research practices, and common insights and ideas, but too little awareness, or use, of complementary research in other fields.

I began the Melodrama Database Project, the MRC’s first collaborative research venture, in 2008, in response to a similarly pressing need. We have, collectively, begun to recognize and to recover melodrama’s vast and extended global history, and to realize that its many forms and traditions are densely interconnected. Yet we still lack any clear, commonly-shared record of that history, and the record we do have is woefully incomplete. Melodrama has been produced in such quantities, in such diverse forms, and in such a changeable, ephemeral fashion that much of it has been lost to memory and remains unrecovered. What records we possess are, moreover, scattered across many sources in several fields and buried in the print scholarship of many small areas of specialization. The Melodrama Database Project is intended to address these needs, and to provide both a resource for scholars working on particular periods and fields as well as a basis for more advanced interdisciplinary and comparative work.

If you have any questions about either the consortium or the database project, please contact me at

Matthew Buckley, Director