Author Archive

CFP: Exploring 30 Years of Studio Ghibli: Spirited Discussions

November 22, 2014

Exploring 30 Years of Studio Ghibli: Spirited Discussions

A Cardiff University and UEA collaborative project – 18th April 2015 Cardiff University 

2015 marks the 30th anniversary of Studio Ghibli, and with that anniversary it is time to reflect on the domestic and global success of Japan’s most famous animation studio. With the retirements of Studio Ghibli’s most famous director, Hayao Miyazaki, and it main producer, Toshio Suzuki earlier this year, the future of Studio Ghibli is in turmoil, provoking rallying cries from fans and critics alike. The Wind Rises may have been Miyazaki’s swan song, but this is not his first retirement. Despite Miyazaki’s professed departure, Ghibli’s other directors like Miyazaki’s founding partner, Isao Takahata, and Hiromasa Yonebayashi have produced recent hits of varying degrees for this powerful studio that suggest overlooked aspects of the Studio in need of further analysis and discussion. This anniversary year is therefore a pertinent time to celebrate and critically reflect on Studio Ghibli, not only exploring Miyazaki’s famous films, but also considering other facets of the Ghibli universe. This symposium explores a diverse range of topics, exploring the wide international appeal of Studio Ghibli and the cultural significance of everything from the studio’s canon to its more obscure local activities.

Submissions from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives are welcomed, with possible topics including (but not limited to):
• Discourses of national and transnational cinema
• Animation methods and the role of cel animation versus CGI
• Ghibli anime in comparison to other animation
• The role of children in Ghibli cinema
• Adaptation of literature stories to cinematic texts
• Ghibli’s relationship to other media such as TV series, commercials, music videos, and videogames
• Merchandising and fan objects/creations
• The Ghibli Museum and discourses of space
• The role of auteur(s) and mass media production
• Postcolonial Studies
• Subtitles, dubbing, and translating texts
* Ghibli as brand and business
• Cross-cultural fan practices
• Wider socio-political issues played out in Ghibli narratives
• The studio’s history, development and relationships with outside institutions

Please send a proposal of 250-500 words and a CV/resume, or if you have any queries, to by the 15th January 2015.

Call for Papers: Television Genres in the Age of Abundance

November 7, 2014

Call for Papers: Television Genres in the Age of Abundance

Comunicazioni Sociali – Journal of Media, Performing Arts and CulturalStudiesIssue III 2015

The arrival of digital technologies was supposed to spell the end of the line for television, the most dominant medium of the last half of the twentieth century. However, the opposite has happened — there is more television than ever before and, as Toby Miller recently put it, “people like it more than ever”. As a result, many people have rushed to characterize what has become of the medium.

This special issue of Communicazioni Sociali is devoted to making sense of how television genres have changed and adapted in an era where more television is more abundant than ever. There are those, such as Jason Mittell, who claim that we are living in an age of “complex TV” that is characterized by considerable innovation in narrative styles of dramatic television series. However, this reflects a small — albeit important — portion of the total amount of television available across a range of channels. Such developments are part of the constant back-and-forth between media industries estimations of what their audiences expect and desire from particular television genres and the economic opportunities that arise from them. Others note the narrative possibilities that have been created due to television’s incredible mobility, available on different technological platforms from 3D televisions mounted on the wall to cell phones and tablets. Services like Netflix provide new opportunities for accessing television programming, like House of Cards, while at the same time capturing audience information that allows them to determine future productions as well as to organize its existing catalogue in categories such as “Goofy Comedies”. Governments have increasingly become active in the television business, with channels like RT and France 24 as examples of networks producing programming that mimics the style and content of commercial all-news networks. Although there is greater emphasis on our ability to record and replay television programming according to personal preferences, the live event — especially sports — remains a key component in the economics and aesthetics of television.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
-Genre versus series, or episodes, or season as an object for television analysis
-Genre and the study of television industries
-Genre and the construction of celebrity within television
-Making sense of “mixed” genres, (eg: “dramedies”, ‘Biopics”)
-The “Netflix” effect and the creation of “micro-genres”
-Theoretical approaches to the study of television genres
-Continuities and discontinuities in TV genres
-Case studies of specific, contemporary genres: news, soap operas, talent and variety shows, reality programming, drama, sitcoms, satire, documentary, awards programs, sports
-Television networks built around generic styles (all-news, cartoons,food, travel, lifestyle)
-Gender and the discursive construction of genres as “masculine” or“feminine”
-Genre, sound, and television style
-Mainstream and marginalized genres of television within different national or regional contexts
-Genre and transmedial and/or intermedial storytelling
-Genres and production styles within “algorithmic culture”
-Genres, distribution and scheduling
-The role of paratextual and promotional material in the construction of generic identity
-The legal and regulatory framework around genre production
-Seriality and the consumption of television genres
-Television criticism as a genre

Deadlines & Guidelines

Please send your abstract to both the editors Massimo Scaglioni (massimo.scaglioni@unicatt) and Ira Wagman ( ) byJanuary 31, 2015. All notifications of acceptance will be emailed no later than February 15, 2015. Abstracts must be from 300 to 400 words long, and may be presented in English or French. The proposal shall include: 5 key words, authors, institution, and contacts (email), together with a short curriculum for each author.

If the proposal is accepted, the Author/s will be asked to send thewhole article by May 1st 2015. Contributions will be sent to two independent reviewers in a double-blind procedure prior to publication decision. Articles should be of between 4,000-5,000 words in length (no more than 35,000 characters, spaces and notes included), but shorter articles will be considered.

CFP: The Aesthetics of Online Videos

November 6, 2014

The Aesthetics of Online Videos (Special Issue of Film Criticism)

Scholarship on online videos often focuses on digitalization, user interfaces, and/or the phenomenon of peer-to-peer sharing. While such issues (and related matters of cultural globalization, the amateur/professional divide, and alternative forms of distribution) are certainly relevant to studying online videos, these approaches tend to foreground social impacts over aesthetic analysis. 

This special issue of Film Criticism seeks essays that turn attention to formal and stylistic aspects that have been downplayed in the analysis of online videos. Examining online videos as cultural artifacts worthy of aesthetic analysis and interpretation, this issue invites contributions from a range of methodological and theoretical approaches. As a whole, the issue seeks work that engages online videos as aesthetic objects, considering visual and sound style, without losing sight of the electronic, digital, and online context of this form.

Potential topics may include (but certainly are not limited to):
* Animal videos (e.g., viral videos, unedited/streaming nature documentaries)
* Ubiquitous “social videos” (e.g., on Vine, Facebook, Buzzfeed, Metacafe, Vimeo)
* Online video poetics (historical development in form, style, production practice)
* Online video genres (documentary, drama, sports, news, music, etc.)
* Web original series, webisodes, online video channels
* Aesthetics of online video conferencing, TED talks, interviews
* Political, advocacy, and other forms of persuasive videos
* Political mash-ups
* Online video activism
* Online promotional culture (e.g., trailers, promos, “bonus” videos, choose your ending ads, branded videos, sponsored videos, product or service demos)
* ‘Haul,’ ‘unboxing’ and other shopping videos* Web original series, webisodes and online video channels
* Online music videos (as well as parodies, remixes, amateur ‘covers’ etc)
* Amateur and fan videos (mash-ups, spoilers, covers, etc.)
* Recycling (online clips and highlights from film and television)
* Video blogs (vlogs), lifecasting, YouTube celebrity videos/sites
* Shock and/or Stunt videos (parkour, pet tricks, etc.)
* Videos of video gameplay
* How-to videos
* Virtual Tours
* Experimental/avant-garde videos
* Gifs

Send 500 word proposals along with a brief 100 word author bio to Stephen Groening by November 15 2014

On TV: Children and Television Conference

November 4, 2014

On TV: Children and Television Conference

14-15 November 2014
The Showroom Cinema, Sheffield

A reminder that registration is open for On TV but please register soon. Registration form available at:

On TV is a space to celebrate and explore all things television. This year, the inaugural festival tunes into the characters, catchphrases and colour of children’s television. A range of academics and industry speakers are contributing to the academic strand, speaking on shows from Doctor Who, My Little Pony, Newsround, Horrible Histories and more and debating topics from transmedia and branding, to the changing nature of public service broadcasting. The festival will begin on Friday evening and continue all day on Saturday.

Keynote speakers:

·         Prof Maire Messenger Davies, author of Children, Media and Culture, Dear BBC and many studies of children and television

·         Anna Home, one of the original Jackanory production team, commissioner of Grange Hill and Teletubbies, Chair of the Children’s Media Foundation

Join the Facebook group:


CFP: Audiences and their musics: new approaches

October 23, 2014


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 by 8 December 2014. For enquiries please contact Rafal or the journal general editor Simon Dawes

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: 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:

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.

Conference Website:

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):

Commodification and commercialization
Digital divides
Morality and ethics
Moral panics
Health and the body
Social media and digital storytelling

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 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 (

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:

CFP: From Robson Green to Sean Bean: Mapping Northern Stardom on Popular British Television

September 10, 2014

Special dossier for the Journal of Popular Television

Edited by Beth Johnson (Keele University) and David Forrest (University of Sheffield)

We invite contributions that explore the stars of the North of England on contemporary British television. Considering and examining the intersections between stardom, Northern places, spaces and identities, the purpose of this dossier is to argue for the existence of a Northern consciousness on television that is characterized through the figure of the Northern star. In particular, this dossier is to explore how the public and private personas of Northern stars are frequently merged when such performers enact or perform Northern characters. Accordingly, we would like to receive proposals for full length articles/case-studies of specific Northern television stars. In particular, we encourage proposals (though proposers are not limited to these) on the following:
Robson Green         
Sean Bean       
John Simm          
Sue Johnston          
Ricky Tomlinson          
Caroline Aherne         
Karl Pilkington        
Sarah Lancashire         
Chris Bisson          
Lesley Sharpe       
Maxine Peake         
Ant and Dec         
Christopher Eccleston          
Gina Mckee

Please submit an extended abstract of 500 words to and (entitled Northern Stardom), by 30th September 2014. Please also include a brief biographical note.  

We plan to complete evaluation of abstracts by the end of October.  Those accepted will be asked to submit completed article, to a maximum of 8,000 words, by the end of March 2015. Articles will then be submitted for peer review.


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