Archive for October, 2014

CFP: Distributors, Discs and Disciples: Exploring the Home Media Renaissance, 23rd May 2015, University of Worcester, UK

October 24, 2014

Distributors, Discs and Disciples: Exploring the Home Media Renaissance

23rd May 2015, University of Worcester

Rationale:

Distribution is often been seen as the “invisible link” in the media industry, in terms of facilitating how films, television shows and other texts reach audiences. The rise of digital platforms, such as online rental services and bit torrents, recently changed this view and digital distribution is the focus of several recent publications. However, there has not been a mass shift towards purely digital media, and physical media releases are still sought out by fans and consumers. Special editions and box-sets for DVDs and Blu-Rays are frequently hyped up on social media, and from many countries around the world. Past formats also make for collectible items, such as VHS, Laserdisc, and HD-DVD. Terminology related to physical media hugely affects perceptions of exhibition and consumption, such as ‘box-sets’, ‘binge-watching’, and ‘marathon’.

Distributors have been recognised as the ones making all this possible. Media distribution labels often promote their own actions; or their actions are reported on by critics and journalists; or fans and consumers directly respond to their releases and related activities. Such activity takes place within a variety of contexts – from film festivals to conventions and Q&A sessions; from social media, to dedicated websites and themed public attractions. This also occurs in relation to a variety of media texts – from newer releases to older titles; from films previously unavailable, to those regularly watched and celebrated by many.

The result of the raising of the profile of distributors has been a Home Media Renaissance. This exists not only as an alternative to online digital media exhibition options, but as one that occurs alongside them. In addition to the recent academic study of legitimate and illegitimate methods of online downloading and streaming, the simultaneous desire to own physical media is prevalent.

The aim of this symposium is to discuss and debate how and why distributors are becoming so prolific in an increasingly digital age. Is this activity a reaction to shifts towards downloading and streaming? Are consumers increasingly attracted to these forms of media, or are distributors desperate to maintain their interest? Can it last?

Case studies and observations of particular titles are encouraged – whether they are films, television shows, or other media – and concern a particular genre, national context, authorship figure, or other categorisation. This can take the shape of a 20 minute paper, or a shorter presentation – for example, as part of a panel of lightning talks or speed-geeking.

Other potential topics could cover, but are not limited to:

Distribution Labels
Home Media Formats
Exhibition Methods
Consumption Habits
Fandom (e.g. social media, blogs, communities and groups, etc)
Marketing and Promotion
Creativity and Production within Distribution and Marketing
Critical Reception and Other Reactions
Awards and Recognition

All topics proposed will also be eligible for inclusion within an edited collection. The subject of the symposium has already gained early interest from some publishers.

Proposals should be sent via email to jlwroot@googlemail.com. Proposals should be no more than 200 words, with a brief biographical statement (100 words) attached. The deadline for these is 30th January 2015. Decisions of acceptance will be sent out by the end of February/early March. There will be the opportunity to extend the length of the symposium, and potentially host it at a different location, depending on the number of proposals.

Dr Jonathan Wroot
Sessional Lecturer, Film Studies,
Institute of Humanities and Creative Arts,
University of Worcester.
PhD awarded by UEA
Email: jlwroot@googlemail.com

Advertisements

CFP: Audiences and their musics: new approaches

October 23, 2014

CALL FOR PAPERS

Special issue of Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA-PGN

Audiences and their musics: new approaches

There is a certain imbalance in the way we analyse sound, compared to the way we research images. Listening feels somehow more passive than watching or reading. Even in academic writing, we operate with phrases that accentuate this visual bias, such as ‘as we can see’ or ‘to shed light’. This imbalance is especially striking when considering modes of engagement with music media. While a body of audience research has been able to make connections to reception and literary studies (arguing that the interpretative work of the viewer mediates the reproduction of textual meanings), modes of listening, on the other hand, have been traditionally confined to the domains of semantics, musicology and sound studies.

As a result, dichotomies of music-listening experiences have been imagined: ‘deep’ versus ‘superficial’, ‘conscious’ versus ‘background’, ‘everyday’ versus ‘special’, ‘motivated by aesthetic pleasure’ versus ‘motivated by goal achievement’. These modes have not only been treated as mutually exclusive, but also as indicative of music, genre and individual characteristics of the listener, thus being rarely understood to exist simultaneously or to influence each other. On the other hand, even acknowledging that music is accompanied by a plethora of other stimuli, analysing these engagements in detail remains vital, as empirical data suggests that audiences consciously switch between modes, and identify them as such. As recent studies suggest, placing the media experience within the rich context of everyday life does not preclude multimodality; on the contrary – it allows us to make important connections between media, the personal and the social.This special issue will seek contributions that critically engage with the shift from formalist approaches to music to a model encompassing the experiences of listeners. Postgraduate students and early career researchers across the social sciences and humanities are invited to submit. We are especially looking for original, empirical work that tests and challenges existing theorisations of listening modes, and/or proposes new conceptualisations.

Abstracts should be no more than 250 words for papers of approx. 6,000 words. Accepted papers will be published in a special guest-edited issue of Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA-PGN.

Possible topics might include but are not limited to:
–          Music in everyday life: what does it mean?
–          Un/changing listener experiences in the digital age
–          New practices of music participation
–          Music and generations; music and class
–          Taste and preferences: still relevant?
–          The genre in listening-          Western and non-western music audiences.

Abstracts should be sent to the guest editor Rafal Zaborowski at r.zaborowski@lse.ac.uk by 8 December 2014. For enquiries please contact Rafal or the journal general editor Simon Dawes atsimondawes0@gmail.com

CFP: Popular Music Fandom and the Public Sphere – A One Day Symposium

October 22, 2014

University of Chester, Friday, 10th April 2015

Keynote speaker: Dr Cornel Sandvoss, University of Surrey

In the mainstream media, postwar popular music fandom has traditionally been associated with collective displays of emotion. Yet fandom is actually about a range of things: shared tastes and personal convictions, individual subjectivity and wider community. Fandom does not exist entirely in private nor entirely in public, but is characterized a process of continual mediation between the two. Jürgen Habermas’s concept of the public sphere suggests that shared spaces of discussion have political consequences, making the crossing of the private/public boundary a political act. It is possible for fans to have relatively public experiences in private and private experiences in public. What new forms of public sphere does popular music fandom create? Edward Comentale suggested that Elvis Presley created a “public sphere within the public sphere.” Furthermore, both ‘the public’ and ‘the private’ are transforming in a networked society and neoliberal era. As communities of imagination, fan bases are providing new models for public activism based on shared values. Fandom can therefore help to indicate where conceptions of the private and public might require some reformulation. We invite papers associated with this subject on specific topics such as the following:
•       Closet popular music fandom
•       Fandom and intimacy
•       Music fan diaries and confessionals
•       Voyeurism and fandom
•       Fan mail and its representation
•       ‘Masses’ and ‘manias’ – collective fandom in the mass broadcast era
•       Fan communities as their own public spheres
•       Fandom, festivals and spectacles
•       Collecting, exhibiting and curating and music fandom
•       Genre fandom and the public sphere
•       Fan philanthropy and activism
•       Fan productivity as social commentary
•       ‘Drive by’ media, news and documentary portrayals
•       Interaction on social media
•       Fandom, affect and the public display of emotion
•       The public/private boundary and historical fan studies
•       Abject heroes and music fan shame

Papers will be 20 minutes in length with 10 minutes for questions. Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words and a bio of no more than 50 words to: m.duffett@chester.ac.uk before Wednesday, 19th November, 2014.

Organized by: Dr Mark Duffett, University of Chester and Dr Koos Zwaan, Holland University of Applied Sciences.

This event is free to staff and students from any university – please visit the following link for tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/popular-music-fandom-and-the-public-sphere-a-one-day-symposium-tickets-13092065721

CFP: Daughter of Fangdom: A Conference on Women and the Television Vampire

October 12, 2014

Daughter of Fangdom:
A Conference on Women and the Television Vampire
18 April 2015
The University of Roehampton

Following the success of TV Fangdom: A Conference on Television Vampires in 2013, the organisers announce a follow-up one-day conference, Daughter of Fangdom: A Conference on Women and the Television Vampire. Though Dracula remains the iconic image, female vampires have been around at least as long, if not longer, than their male counterparts and now they play a pivotal role within the ever expanding world of the TV vampire, often undermining or challenging the male vampires that so often dominate these shows. Women have also long been involved in the creation and the representation of vampires both male and female. The fiction of female writers such as Charlaine Harris and L.J. Smith has served as core course material for the televisual conception and re-conception of the reluctant vampire, while TV writers and producers such as Marti Noxon (Buffy) and Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries and The Originals) have played a significant role in shaping the development of the genre for television.

Since vampires are not technically human, the terms male and female may apply, but representation of gender has the potential to be more fluid if vampires exist outside of human society. Given the ubiquity of the vampire in popular culture and particularly on TV, how is the female represented in vampire television? What roles do women have in bringing female vampires to the small screen? In what ways has the female vampire been remade for different eras of television, different TV genres, or different national contexts? Is the vampire on TV addressed specifically to female audiences and how do female viewers engage with TV vampires? What spaces exist on television for evading the gender binary and abandoning categories of male and female vampires altogether?

Proposals are invited on (but not limited to) the following topics:
TV’s development of the female vampire
Negotiation of gender and sexuality
Evading binaries
Female writers/ directors/ producers/ actors in vampire TV
Adaptation and authorship
Genre hybridity
Female vampires in TV advertising
New media, ancillary materials, extended and transmedia narratives
Intersection with other media (novels, films, comics, video games, music)
Audience and consumption (including fandom)
The female and children’s vampire television
Inter/national variants
Translation and dubbing
We will be particularly interested in proposals on older TV shows, on those that have rarely been considered as vampire fictions, and on analysis of international vampire TV. The conference organisers welcome contributions from scholars within and outside universities, including research students, and perspectives are invited from different disciplines.

Please send proposals (250 words) for 20 minute papers plus a brief biography (100 words) to all three organisers by 15th December 2014.
s.abbott@roehampton.ac.uk
lorna.jowett@northampton.ac.uk
mike.starr@northampton.ac.uk

Conference Website: http://tvfangdom.wordpress.com/

This conference is run in collaboration with the Centre for Research in Film and Audiovisual Cultures at the University of Roehampton and the Centre for Contemporary Narrative and Cultural Theory at the University of Northampton.

Call for Chapters – Digital Leisure Cultures: Critical Perspectives

October 10, 2014

CALL FOR CHAPTERS: Digital Leisure Cultures: Critical Perspectives (Routledge)

Following the 2014 Leisure Studies Association annual conference – hosted at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS), Professor David McGillivray, Professor Gayle McPherson and Dr Sandro Carnicelli are co-editing an edited collection on Digital Leisure Cultures.

The collection considers what the digital age means for our understandings of leisure culture in the 21st century, placing emphasis on the changing nature of leisure cultures brought about, intensified, or accelerated in a digital world. The digital turn in leisure has opened up a vast array of new opportunities to play, learn, participate and be entertained – opportunities that have transformed what we recognise as leisure pastimes and activities. People communicate with each other in different ways, more intensively and at greater speed. Technological advances enable people to create and distribute music, videos, images and ideas on a handheld device at the touch of a button or swipe of a touchscreen (Solis, 2012). Offering critical consideration of the ‘costs’ associated with digital leisure cultures on individuals – as well as organisations and societies – the book offers vital intervention into debates within Leisure Studies (including sport, tourism, and events sectors) about the extent to which the digital turn has led to something wholly positive. Does it free us up from the limits of our analogue lives or are we have simply caught up in a web of surveillance, control and corporately controlled leisure – the darker side of digital?

Proposed structure

The book will explore a range of conceptual issues brought to the fore by the digital turn using leisure culture case studies. Each chapter should detail its theoretical trajectory and provide at least one case study exemplar that will explain its relevance for a specified leisure culture (e.g. sport, event, music, tourism, culture).  The book will be divided into three main parts:

Producing digital leisure cultures
Consuming digital leisure cultures
Regulating digital leisure cultures

Each part will be supplemented with a series of sub-themes (or topics), which could include (but are not restricted to):

Resistance
Surveillance
Acceleration
Control
Ownership
Privacy
Commodification and commercialization
Digital divides
Morality and ethics
Moral panics
Risk
Fandom
Health and the body
Social media and digital storytelling
Experiences 

Submission guidelines

We are looking to form a proposal for a book of approximately 12-16 chapters and authors are invited to submit abstracts of no more than 350 words (excluding indicative references) in a Word document to be emailed to David McGillivray david.mcgillivray@uws.ac.uk by Friday 28th November, 2014.

Abstracts should include the following information:
Proposed article title
Proposed author names and affiliations
Part (production, consumption, regulation) and theme being addressed
Purpose/aim of the chapter
Principal body of literature/theoretical framework
Indicative case study
Key findings/conclusions
Some key dates (estimations)

Submission of abstracts:

Friday 28th November 2014

Submission of full chapters (pending approval of proposal): March 2015

Publication: end of 2015

CFP for Conference on Fandom and Religion

October 6, 2014

The University of Leicester would like to announce a Call for Papers for a conference to be held 28th-30th July 2015 on Fandom and Religion. This event is organized by the UK Theology, Religion and Popular Culture Network with the support of UskoMus Research Network (University of Turku and at Åbo Akademi University), CODEC (University of Durham), Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts (University of St Andrews), Network for Religion in Public Life (University of Exeter), and the Christian Congregational Music Studies Network (congregationalmusic.org).

The conference seeks short papers (up to 20 mins when delivered) and panel sessions (3 or 4 contributors, 1.5 hours) are invited either directly on the conference theme (Fandom and Religion) or on any aspect of study relating to popular culture and religion. ‘Popular culture’ is to be understood widely (e.g. TV, film, radio, media, music, sport, videogames) and ‘religion’ may mean organized religion, religiosity, spirituality. It is expected that the conference will need to address the question as to what constitutes ‘religion’ in Western culture, as well as examining how popular cultures are used ‘religiously’, how religious practices and beliefs are influenced by practices of popular cultural consumption, and how religion appears and is carried within culture in its many forms.

The conference is inter-disciplinary (especially sociology, cultural studies, religious studies and theology) and welcomes researchers working in academic and practitioner (media, culture, faith community) settings. Papers which draw together and reflect on the results of empirical studies are especially welcome.

For the event, we expect to group papers with similar concerns, possibly in the following groupings:
• Popular Culture as Religion
• Religion in Popular Culture
• Theory Papers/Literature Reviews

We shall, however, respond to the range and style of papers/panels offered in drawing up the programme.
We welcome proposals of papers and panels on such topics as:
• Case-studies of fan culture (TV, sport, film, music)
• Celebrity worship
• Sport and/as religion
• The impact of celebrity culture on religious practice
• Religious beliefs and practices within popular culture
• Media practices and/as religion
• Uses of popular culture by religious groups
• Theoretical debates about ‘fan culture and/as religious practice’
• Theories of religion as applied to popular culture use

For Short Paper proposal, please send a Word file containing:
• The title of your paper
• A 250-word abstract of what you would deliver

Do not include your name or institution in the file. Include your name and institutional affiliation (where appropriate) and the title of your paper in the e-mail you send to accompany your abstract. This will enable anonymous consideration of the paper proposals.

Deadline for receipt of all short paper proposals: Monday January 12th, 2015 (noon, UK time).

Participants would be expected to book their conference place by the end of April 2015.

All proposals should be sent to: ijw3@le.ac.uk