Tuesday, 3 March 2009

CFP: Bitten by Twilight

CFP: Bitten by Twilight: Youth culture, media, and the Twilight saga
Edited by Melissa Click, Jennifer Stevens Aubrey, and Lissa Behm-Morawitz

Proposal deadline: April 10, 2009

The editors seek essays that explore Stephenie Meyer¹s wildly popular Twilight series. We are particularly interested in essays that explore the cultural significance of the Twilight phenomenon and its impact on youth culture. The collection will feature scholarly work from a diversity of theoretical and methodological perspectives, including: analyses of the series¹ messages, production and marketing processes, and audiences. We welcome work from a wide variety of disciplines, including: communication, sociology, cultural studies, psychology, religious studies, and gender studies.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

--Representations of gender, race, class and sexuality
--Religion, morality, and values
--Feminist and anti-feminist themes in Twilight
--Intended and unintended audiences
--Fans and anti-fans
--Genre and vampire/werewolf folklore
--Relationship models (romantic, friendship, and familial)
--Space and place in Twilight
--Celebrity culture and Stephenie Meyer, Robert Pattinson, and Kristen
--Translation of the series for the screen
--The Twilight franchise

This collection will be proposed to Peter Lang's "Mediated Youth" series.

Please email a 250-word proposal, short bibliography, brief author¹s bio,
and contact information to Melissa Click at clickm@missouri.edu by April 10,

Notification of accepted proposals will be made by May 15, 2009.
First chapter drafts of 6000 to 8000 words will be due in early fall 2009.

The Dr Who Influence?


The Dr Who Influence?
February 27, 2009

Researchers at the University of Glamorgan have been awarded £20,000 by the BBC Trust to examine the impact of landmark BBC Wales drama series on the way that Wales in general, and Cardiff and South Wales in particular, are represented.

The research will centre on a case-study of Dr Who and Torchwood and will focus on the ways in which these high-profile drama series represent Cardiff and South Wales and how they are interpreted and appreciated by different audiences (general viewers from different parts of Wales, for example, and professionals charged with promoting and branding the city/region).

The research is being conducted by Professor Steve Blandford, Professor Stephen Lacey, Dr Ruth McElroy and Dr Rebecca Williams and involves a survey of viewer attitudes, including face-to-face focus groups and online questionnaires. In addition to analysing the programmes themselves, the team also aim to interview key production personnel and professionals in the tourist industry and to draw parallels with representations in television drama of other cities, regions and nations.

The work began in January 2009 and a report is scheduled for September. It is hoped that the research will form the basis of a bid for research council funding for a larger project on television audiences in Wales and representations of national identity in television.

If you would like more information about the project, or are interested in participating in the audience survey, please contact Dr Rebecca Williams at: landmarktvproject@glam.ac.uk . If you would like to communicate in Welsh, please contact Dr Ruth McElroy at: rmcelroy@glam.ac.uk

Friday, 30 January 2009

CFP: In the Limelight and Under the Microscope: Forms and Functions of Female Celebrity

Email address correction: proposals should be sent to both Dr Su Holmes (Susan.holmes@uea.ac.uk) and Professor Diane Negra (Diane.negra@ucd.ie) by 28 February, 2009.

In the Limelight and Under the Microscope: Forms and Functions of Female Celebrity
Edited by Diane Negra and Su Holmes

Proposals are sought for an edited collection on the politics of female celebrity across a range of contemporary, historical, media and national contexts. From Reality TV, gossip blogging and media scandals, to narratives of the celebrity ‘trainwreck’ or breakdown, women are positioned at the centre of contemporary celebrity culture. Although film studies and media studies have long since examined questions of gender at the level of star or celebrity image, attempts to explore the wider ‘gendering’ of fame as a concept, set of ideologies and representational practices have been marginal. Indeed, in 2000, Christine Geraghty observed how women are ‘particularly likely to be seen as celebrities [rather than ‘stars’] whose working life is of less interest than their personal life’ (Geraghty, 2000: 12) – in part because women are more identified with the private sphere, and their value as ‘workers’ in the public sphere has historically had to struggle for cultural legitimacy. Yet despite the fact that the media and cultural fascination with the ‘private’ lives and identities of the famous has accelerated substantially since Geraghty was writing, and despite the fact that the apparently devalued currency of celebrity – the now familiar laments regarding the decline of ‘talent’ and ‘work’ – have been articulated with increasing fervor, there has been little academic analysis of the significance of the gendered politics of celebrity. This collection will seek to interrogate the representational tropes and map the broad terrain of female celebrity.

Questions/ topics may include, but are not limited to:

• How is the perceived uncoupling of talent from fame a particularly gendered phenomenon? Is it postfeminist?
• To what extent has Reality TV functioned to articulate gendered forms of fame?
• How do codes for celebrity representation articulate sexist logics (and how might these intersect with discourses of race, age, class and sexuality)?
• To what extent are these discourses ‘new’, and how can we excavate historical precedents?
• How are gendered constructions of celebrity particularized within national contexts?
• What contemporary/ historical views about ‘appropriate’ forms of femininity are articulated via the representation of female celebrities?
• How does the surveillance of the female celebrity body – in such forms as plastic surgery narratives, celebrity magazines and internet gossip blogging – function within this context?
• What drives the fascination/repulsion for ‘bad’ women/girls in celebrity culture?
• How do new delivery systems such as YouTube, and older ones like celebrity magazines, favor and foster the spectacle of female ‘train wreck’ celebrity?
• How do discourses of motherhood, maternalism, family, the ‘work/life balance’ and the concept of the celebrity couple shape images of female celebrity?
• How are female celebrities placed in an expanded environment of paparazzism and mainstreamed tabloid media?

Please send proposals (maximum 300 words), accompanied by a short biographical note, to Dr Su Holmes (susan.holmes@uea.ac.uk) and Professor Diane Negra (diane.negra@ucd.ie) by 28 February, 2009.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Affective Audiences: Analyzing Media Users, Consumers, and Fans


Sponsored by the Popular Communication Division.

Title: Affective Audiences: Analyzing Media Users, Consumers, and Fans
Time: Wednesday May 20, 12:00 – 19:30 and Thursday, May 21, 9:00 – 17:00
Limit: 50 persons
Cost: ICA Members: $60.00USD
(Includes morning and afternoon refreshments, lunch on your own)

The study of audiences constitutes a central concern of contemporary (popular) communication research. As Democratic U.S. Presidential nominee Barack Obama fills football stadia addressing enthusiastic supporters and political commentators frequently refer to “Obama fans” and “Palin fans,” evidence of the centrality of notions of affect and participation in contemporary mediated communication within and beyond the realm of traditional popular culture is abundant. This preconference aims to explore the social, cultural, textual, and psychological conditions through which readers engage with, and attach meaning and emotional significance to, the texts they privilege in their everyday media consumption.

Corresponding with the theme of the 58th International Communication Association’s conference Keywords in Communication (21-25 May 2009 in Chicago, Illinois, USA) the field of audience studies constitutes a key conceptual battleground that has witnessed a number of paradigm changes over the past half century which have both reflected and contributed to the wider discourses of social and cultural theory.

“Affective Audiences” explores these recent paradigm changes by offering a dedicated space within the ICA conference program that combines empirical audience research with a thorough examination of the field’s canon and a discussion of its conceptual challenges vis-à-vis convergence and globalization. The preconference therefore includes themes at the heart of contemporary audience studies:

• Audiences, participation, and citizenship
• The changing interplay of media production and consumption
• Convergence and audience participation
• Television fan cultures
• Gender and audiences

Wednesday, 20 May 2009
12:00 Welcome and Introduction (Cornel Sandvoss)

12:10 – 12:45 Opening Address: Social Institutions and the Affective Engagement of Audiences – Denise Bielby

13:00 – 16:00 SESSION 1: Fans, Audiences, and Citizenship
Chair: Liesbet van Zoonen
• Audiences, Users, Participants: Conceptualising the Affective Public in the Digital Public Sphere - Josetin Gripsrud)
• “It’s Annoying When They Keep Going on About Iraq”: The Political Uses of Popular Culture By First-Time Voters – Sanna Inthorn, Scott and John Street
• News Talk Online – Liz Bird
• The Citizen-Audience Dialectic: Beyond the Active Audiences Framework – Jeffrey Jones

Break 14:45 – 15:00

• Civic Education Through the Media – Lothar Mikos, Claudia Töpper)
• Keywords for Studying the Emotional Audience - Emily West)
• Affects, Information Processing, and Postcommunist Audiences – Alina Dobreva

16:30 – 18:30 SESSION 2: Audiences and Institutions: From Consumption to Production
Chair: Cornel Sandvoss
• Affective Audiences, Affective Musicians, and the Digital Economy – Baym and Burnett
• Capturing Impact? Qualitative Methods of Enquiry into the Arts Consumption Experience – Carnegie and O’Reilly
• Affective Labor in Academia: A Perspective on Blogs – Lia Ungureanu
• Working for the Text: Fan Labor and the New Organization – R.M. Milner)
• The Power of the Image: Exploration of an Image Archive – Virginia Nightingale

19:30 Optional preconference dinner
Off-site, venue TBD.

Thursday, 21 May 2008
09:00 – 11:00 SESSION 3: Gender, Fans and Audiences
Chair: Lynn Clarke
• What’s Gender Got to do with it?: Orientation, Academic Culture, and the Gendering of Audience/Fan Scholarship – Christine Scodari
• That’s So Hot: New Technologies, Audience Feedback, and the Gendered Body – Sarah Banet-Weiser
• A History of Violence: Cultivation Analysis and Fan Studies – Andy Ruddock

Break 10:00 - 10:10

• Women's Magazines and Their Readers – Brita Ytre-Arne
• Gender and Fandom as Interpretive/Performative Frames – CarrieLynn D. Reinhard
• Empowered or Embarrassed? Female Audiences Respond to Women and Sex in Contemporary British Cinema – Louise Wilks

11:30 – 13:00 SESSION 4: Television and its Audience
Chair: Jonathan Gray
• The Reflexive Self: The Expressive Subject in Makeover Television and Audience Research - Katherine Sender
• Reality TV: the Audience Also More “Real” in this Genre? – Michael Real
• Identity, Value & “Quality Television”: Fan Responses to the End of The West Wing – Rebecca Williams
• Media Socialization and Media Convergence – Martina Schuegraf and Theo Hug
• The Winner is the Emotion: Appraising Reality TV – Katrin Döveling and Jakob Eckstein
• Tourist Audiences, Mediated Places: From Hobbiton to Sedona (And Back Again) – Curtis Coats and Robert Moses Peaslee

13: 00 – 14:00 SESSION 5: Poster Presentations: Affective Audiences (Lunch on Your Own)

• Affective Convergence: Reality Programming, Judgment Culture, and Inter(re)active Audiences - Jack Z. Bratich
• Authenticity as Affect in Web2.0: Lonelygirl15 and the Contested Terrain Between The Real and The Fake - Michael Mario Albrecht
• Casting Credibility: Patterns of Audience Assessment of Television News Reporters and News Programs - Dumdum and Garcia
• Interactivity and Fans on the Battlestar Galactica Website and Forums - Melanie Bourdaa
• Modeling Consumption: Selling Fashion as a Way of Life - Elizabeth Wissinger
• Out in the Field: A Theoretical Analysis of “Cultural Gleaners” - Suellen Rader Regonini
• The Affective Space in Online Fandom and ‘Imagined Communities’: Nationalism in Hollywood North – Samita Nandy
• The Labor of Pleasure and a Rhetoric of Empowerment in NBC's Create Your Own Promo Contest – Michael Lahey
• Traveling With Fanfiction Writers - Angela Lee

14:15 – 15:45 SESSION 6: Technological Change and Audience Practices
Chair: Virginia Nightingale
• Participation Beyond Production: The Return of the Active Audience? - Joshua Greene and Jean Burgess
• Technological Convergence and Audience Activism – Jennifer Rauch
• Understanding the Implication of Interactivity Between Musical Artist and Audience: A Virtual Ethnography of Live Musical Performances on Secondlife.com - Hiesun Cecilia Suhr
• Audiences and Friendships in Online Social Networking Sites - Rebekah Willett
• Unplugged Audiencing: Media Resistance Practices in an Age of Convergence and Ubiquity - Michele Rosenthal and Rivka Ribak

16:00 – 17:00 SESSION 7: The Future of Audience Research (Roundtable)
Chair: Cornel Sandvoss
Lynn Clarke
Jonathan Gray
Kristina Busse
Nancy Baym
Liz Bird
Denise Bielby
Virginia Nightingale


Monday, 5 January 2009

CCI Researchers Win BBC Trust Grant


CCI Researchers Win BBC Trust Grant
January 5th, 2009

A group of Glamorgan researchers have been awarded £20,000 by the BBC Trust to examine the impact of landmark television drama, principally Dr Who and Torchwood on the representation of Cardiff (and to an extent Wales).

With the support of the Centre for the Study of Media and Culture in Small Nations, and the Theatre and Media Drama and Communication, Culture and Media Studies Research Units Professor Steve Blandford, Professor Stephen Lacey and Dr Ruth McElroy constructed the proposal and they will be joined on the project team by Dr Rebecca Williams. The work will begin in January with a report scheduled for September 2009.