Spectacle, recreation, amusement, free time, in a word entertainment: not something accessory, but rather a key element in understanding not only an aesthetic expression, but also certain socio-economic transformations, and in reality also political, of 20th century modernity. And yet the role played by the entertainment dimension in the codification, in particular, of the cultural specificity of the twentieth century, over and above the canons imposed by so-called high culture, is still today undervalued and only occasionally investigated in a careful and in-depth manner. The development of a discipline like that of film studies is a prime example. Notwithstanding meaningful exceptions influenced by television studies (i.e. C. Geraghty's groundbreaking study of female spectatorship of prime time soap operas), traditionally, theories of 20th century cinema, are committed first and foremost to giving aesthetic legitimization to the seventh art, following the critical tendency imposed on the models initiated, among others, by the Cahiers du cinéma. They have committed to protecting the territories of art from being contaminated by those of pure recreation, favoring, in their interpretation of the realm of entertainment, a sociological reading at the expense of a formal approach. A not so different attitude can sometimes be found also in television studies, where academic attention is often focused on distinguishing, from among the small screen productions, the territories associated with quality. There is, however, another way of viewing the complexity of the entertainment world, perhaps already initiated in his time by Gilbert Seldes, but systematized with greater awareness in the seminal essays written from the 1970s onwards by Richard Dyer. Departing precisely from these studies, in recent times new venues of investigation have tried to take entertainment more seriously. Nevertheless, there is still space for a whole series of particularly decisive questions, above all in the English language audiovisual environment – that of the USA and Great Britain, in primis, but not exclusively. Is it possible, then, to rewrite a historiography of English-language cinema and television from the point of view of entertainment, over and above the schemes imposed by the politics of authors and of value judgement? What relations have been established, in the era of new means of mass communication, between popular entertainment and official culture? What effects have been produced by specific performative and recreational practices, coming from the various fields of expression (theatre, music, radio, serious and popular literature, comic strips) not only in the linguistic but also systemic evolution of cinema and television? What is the role played by technology in the development of recreational forms, including audiovisual, in the 20th century? How is the body viewed, engaged, or conceived, and what notion of personality and actoriality is imposed after the diffusion of a certain idea of entertainment? And again: to what extent, in the era of new media and the internet, can the main ways of entertainment - and their exploitation - that dominated the last century, still be operative? The twenty-third SERCIA conference will endeavor to answer these and other questions, trying to offer new historical perspectives on the cultural forms of entertainment in the audiovisual production of English-speaking countries, that is to say in those territories in which greater space has been given to the conception of amusement that over the years has ended by imposing itself at a global level, transforming the customs, habits and the very culture of many nations, not only in the west.