Call for Chapters: A Netflix Reader: Critical Essays on Streaming Media, Digital Delivery, and Instant Access


Call for Chapters: A Netflix Reader: Critical Essays on Streaming Media, Digital Delivery, and Instant Access, an edited collection on the cultural impact of Netflix, currently under contract with McFarland.

Areas of analysis: American Studies, Business Studies, Communication, Cultural History, Cultural Studies, Fan Studies, Film and Television Studies, Folklore, Gender Studies, Internet Studies, Media Studies, New Media, Political Policy Studies, Popular Culture Studies, Technology Studies, Telecommunication.

Editors: Cory Barker and Myc Wiatrowski, Indiana University
The editors of Popular Culture in the Twenty-First Century (2013, Cambridge Scholars Publishing) and Mapping Smallville: Critical Essays on the Series and Its Characters (2014, McFarland).

When Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph launched Netflix in 1997, they could not have predicted that their company would eventually be the catalyst for a number of shifts in media production, distribution, and consumption. What began as a way to subvert egregious late fees charged by video store chains like Blockbuster has grown into a digital distribution behemoth. Netflix and its approximately 31 million subscribers are now responsible for more than a third of all downstream Internet traffic in North America. Netflix’s practices have directly affected distribution models for film and television, changing not only what we watch, but also how and when we watch it. The popularity and ubiquity of its service has had a dramatic impact on technological developments, necessitating new, Netflix-ready devices and platforms. Recently, Netflix has been at the center of public policy debates, particularly those regarding net neutrality. Yet, despite these very real and noticeable impressions on American culture, very little has been written about Netflix in critical and academic circles. This collection of essays seeks to rectify this academic blind spot and examine Netflix from multiple perspectives and disciplines.

Potential topics for discussion include, but are not limited to:

• Netflix’s impact on the broadcast television paradigm
• The role of Netflix in debates on net neutrality
• How Netflix has altered or highlights patterns of media consumption in individuals and groups (including binge watching)
• Netflix’s influence on technological developments
• How Netflix’s success has created market competition (Amazon Prime, Hulu+, etc.)
• Explorations of Netflix’s business failures (e.g. Qwickster)
• Explorations of Netflix’s expansion into international markets
• Analyses of Netflix original programming
• Fan responses to Netflix programming and/or campaigns to relaunch failed network programs

The deadline for proposals of 500 words is August 29, 2014. Please email your abstract and a short biography or CV as Word docs to The subject line should contain the writ-er’s surname followed by “Netflix Abstract” (e.g. Wiatrowski Netflix Abstract).

For selected abstracts, full essays of 6,000-9,000 words (inclusive of citations and endnotes) will be due December 19, 2014.


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