Archive for January, 2015

CFP: Edited collection – ‘Transitions, endings and resurrections in fandom’

January 13, 2015

Periods of transition and change, as well as endings, can have huge impact on fans who either engage with texts collectively via fan communities or who have more individual connections with fan objects. This edited collection seeks to draw on existing work on fandom in this area to offer greater insight into how fans respond to and cope with transitions or periods of ending such as actors or characters leaving television shows; the cancellation of shows entirely; the deaths of famous people; the splitting up of bands or the ends of careers of musical acts; players leaving particular sports teams, and so on. It also examines how fandom continues and changes after these periods of transition or cessation, exploring ongoing practices such as fan discussion, creativity, or identification, along with cases of fans who may abandon favoured objects and move onto new objects of fandom entirely. Issues of return and resurrection can also be explored to examine cases such as returning television series, the reforming of musical bands, or the revival or reboot of a film franchise.

The proposed collection draws on the work being conducted on endings more broadly by writers such as Jason Mittell (2013), C. Lee Harrington (2012) and Joanne Morreale (2011), and on specific fan studies including Bertha Chin’s work on post-series X-Files fandom (2012), Bore & Hickman’s (2011) study of post-West Wing fan practices on Twitter, Whiteman and Metevier’s (2013) study of the ends of online fan communities, and Rebecca Williams’ (2011; forthcoming) work on fan reactions to the ends of television shows. However, it seeks to extend these approaches and offer new ways of theorising periods of transition and change, as well as the concept of the ‘ending’ in fandoms, along with broadening the field of inquiry beyond television to consider examples including cinema, popular literature, games, sport, celebrity, music, TV, media technology (e.g. hardware, consoles) and more.

The collection already has a number of proposed chapters but I now invite proprosals on the from other interested contributors. I am particularly interested in proposals on the following topics:

• The impact of media production contexts
• Transmedia and multi-platforming
• Fan reactions to deaths of celebrities
• Examples of fan objects on hiatus (where a return is unknown)
• The role of memory and/or nostalgia
• The role of archives and/or memorials
• Fan activism and endings/transitions
• Non-Western case studies
• Endings and transitions in sports fandom

Please send an abstract of 300 words, along with a short author biography of 150 words to Dr. Rebecca Williams rebecca.williams@southwales.ac.uk by 15th February 2015. Please also address any queries to this email address.

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The World Hobbit project

January 9, 2015

World Hobbit Project (www.worldhobbitproject.org)

The World Hobbit Project, the most ambitious film audience research project yet undertaken, launched on December 1 of this year to coincide with the premiere of the final film of The Hobbit trilogy. Research groups in 46 countries, operating in over 30 languages, will be gathering a range of demographic data (age, sex, country, education, occupation, etc), asking a series of orientation questions (designed to show patterns in responses, kinds of evaluation, modal questions about the kind of story The Hobbit is seen to be, etc.) and probing how people watch (and like to watch) a film of this kind. We are also interested in what else audiences do in connection with watching the films (reading the book, taking part in online discussions, following particular stars, creating fanworks, etc.). Crucially, the survey is designed on the principle of linked quantitative and qualitative questions. We believe that if we can recruit a large and diverse array of respondents, we can make contributions to many current debates: about globalisation, cultural identities, the role of online participation, and the role of film and cinema, among them.

What can we offer In return? All our findings will be made publicly available, in as many forms as we are able; and once we have completed our own work on the database, the entire body of data and materials will be placed in the public domain for other researchers to use in whatever way they choose. Please, help us in simple ways:

By completing the survey yourself, of course, if you have seen the films.
By passing on this information to students, colleagues, family, friends, and asking them to do the same.
By mentioning and pointing to the project’s address in blogs, postings, and conversations.
By mentioning the project and showing the link on Facebook and the like, so that it is as widely visible as we can possibly make it.

Our survey is available at: http://www.worldhobbitproject.org . If you have any questions about the project, we will do our best to answer them. Please contact either:

Martin Barker (mib@aber.ac.uk)
Matt Hills (mjh37@aber.ac.uk)
Ernest Mathijs (ernest.mathijs@gmail.com)

CFP: U:Pop – The First International Popular Music Studies Undergraduate Conference, Northampton, UK, 30 May 2015

January 6, 2015

The University of Northampton, United Kingdom
Saturday 30th May 2015

As the academic study of popular music has developed over the last thirty years, reaching both across disciplines and across the globe, our understanding of the economic, social, political and cultural significance of this most ubiquitous of forms has only become ever more sophisticated and dynamic. Whilst the discipline(s) has developed both scholars of international repute and a thriving postgraduate research body, the work produced by undergraduate students studying relevant courses has had little opportunity to be recognized outside their own institutions.

Following the highly successful Undergraduate Panel at the PopLife conference at the University of Northampton in 2014, students and staff recognized the need to offer a conference platform to the very best work in the field coming out of undergraduate courses in popular and commercial music. As such we would like to offer undergraduate students working in the field of Popular Music Studies the opportunity to submit proposals for the First International Popular Music Studies Undergraduate Conference to be held on the 30th May 2015. The aim of the conference is to promote the very best scholarship at undergraduate level and to encourage continued engagement with the field, and the introduction of new blood into the research community.

Submissions

There is no fixed theme for the conference as long as it relates to the study of popular music. Both conventional papers and practice-based research may choose to engage with the following themes:

Music making
Performing popular music
Audiences / fandom / subcultures
Patterns of consumption
Music media
The music industry / industries
Pop historiography
Writing about music
Technology and innovation
Popular music and the political realm
Proposals may be entirely novel pieces of work or may be presentations or extensions of current dissertation or project work.

Abstracts should be no longer than 300 words (for a 20 minute paper) and should be submitted with a short author biography to nathan.wiseman-trowse@northampton.ac.uk by 14th February 2015. Proposals for dedicated panels or for practice-based sessions will also be considered.

CFP: Media Archaeologies Forum: Journal of Contemporary Archaeology

January 3, 2015
Media Archaeologies Forum: Journal of Contemporary Archaeology

The recent emergence of ‘media archaeologies’ is an exciting theoretical and methodological shift within media studies. In 2010, in The Routledge Companion to Film History (ed. William Guynn), Erkki Huhtamo defined ‘media archaeology’ as ‘a particular way of studying media as a historically attuned enterprise’ that involves researchers ‘”excavating” forgotten media-cultural phenomena that have been left outside the canonized narratives about media culture and history’ (203). In the same year, Jussi Parikka added that ‘media archaeology needs to insist both on the material nature of its enterprise – that media are always articulated in material, also in non-narrative frameworks whether technical media such as phonographs, or algorithmic such as databases and software networks – and that the work of assembling temporal mediations takes place in an increasingly varied and distributed network of institutions, practices and technological platforms’ (http://mediacartographies.blogspot.ca/2010/10/what-is-media-archaeology-beta.html). German media theorist and trained archaeologist, Wolfgang Ernst, describes media archaeology’s focus on the ‘nondiscursive infrastructure and (hidden) programs of media’ (2013, Digital Memory and the Archive, p. 59). If media archaeologists such as Thomas Elsaesser, Wolfgang Ernst, Lisa Gitelman, Erkki Huhtamo, Jussi Parikka, Cornelia Vismann and Siegfried Zielinski are interested in scalar change, material-discursive assemblages and deep time relations as they pertain to media technologies and networks, how might archaeologists with interests in the media actively contribute to the shaping of this field?

Alongside archaeology’s discursive travels across the humanities, most notoriously via Michel Foucault, archaeologists have long engaged with media. From Silicon Valley to Atari dumps, from the mobile phone to the media technologies of post-war astronomy and from telegraphy to the material-discursive actions of media as sensory prostheses, the global archaeological community has produced a large number of important studies of media techno-assemblages that both map specifically archaeological approaches and push at the limits of archaeology as a discipline. What are the archaeological specificities that mark out a distinct disciplinary approach to understanding media? How might the practices of media archaeologists such as Huhtamo, Parikka, et al challenge assumptions that archaeologists located within the discipline might have about their methodological and conceptual specificities? In short, where are the boundaries between media archaeologies and archaeologies of media? How are those boundaries drawn, performed and maintained? And how might we work together to ask new questions of media technologies and their relations?

This forum invites contributors to submit responses to the provocations contained in the first paragraph. The forum invites contributors to draw out key archaeological theories and practices to contribute to the rich field of media ecologies, archaeologies and ‘variatologies’ in order to explore the implications of distinct yet diverse archaeological approaches to media assemblages. Commentaries are welcomed in the form of short texts (1,000 – 3,000 words) or in any other genre suitable for print, including drawings and images. We welcome especially original thoughts and specific examples from around the world.

Commentaries will be selected in terms of originality, diversity and depth and will be published in a forthcoming Forum in Journal of Contemporary Archaeology (http://www.equinoxpub.com/journals/index.php/JCA). Deadline for submissions is 3 February 2015.

For submissions and questions, please contact Angela Piccini, a.a.piccini@bristol.ac.uk.