The issue I wanted to raise is that we should not take a « World » for granted. I had the feeling that, in the formal approach of M-L Ryan talk it was the case. That is if you have characters, props, space and time then automatically you have a world.
The example of Mad Men was meant to illustrate this. That is : I had the impression that despite the fact that you have all it needs to make a world, for some reason, there is not anymore a Mad Men world in season 6. It is this very impression that I said might be subjective. Not, in general, the evaluation of weather there is or not a world.
Then I was asking if an ecological approach might be good for making an account of the fact that the world of a TV series might die.
And this was indeed one of the core of the conference’s question. Why is it that in some cases there is a huge appropriation by user of the feature of a world and in other case, even the richest publicity campaign cannot create such a hype. This is something that, I guess, that a mere formalist approach cannot understand.
Otherwise I was also under the impression that the problems raised by the concept of World were raised long ago in the famous debate on the notion of genre. In many sense, a genre is also a world. Todorov had a formalist, structuralist approach and many others (someone like Rick Altman for instance) were defending an organic conception of genre. As it is often the case in the humanities, the problem was never solved as such but was replaced by other concerns.
But I’m still thinking that Pescatore use of the idea of ecology is still very metaphorical. I’m sharing your idea that everything is at some point metaphorical. But then, might be a good thing to make account of how something emerge from this state to acquire a complete identity.