Feminist Scholarship


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Feminist Scholarship is interested in exploring the relationship of gender and communication, both mediated and non-mediated, within a context of feminist theories, methodologies, and practices.

The Division explores issues such as feminist teaching; international commonalities and differences by race, class and gender; women's alternative media; and feminist cultural studies. Members support and encourage feminist scholarship in other divisions, and work with the Committee on the Status of Women to link scholarship to issues concerning women professionals.


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  • Gender Equality Around the World
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  • Gender Equality in the Media



Feminist Reception Studies in a Post-Audience Age: Returning to Audiences and Everyday Life

Andre Cavalcante, University of Virginia,
Andrea Press, University of Virginia,
Katherine Sender, University of Auckland,

From its inception, the qualitative study of media audiences has been informed by feminist concerns. Pioneering work in the field such as Herzog’s classic study about female listeners of daytime radio soap operas, Hobson’s analysis of the role of television in working class housewives’ daily round, and Radway’s exploration into female readers of romance novels, foregrounded women’s experiences with media, and pushed the boundaries of the social science/humanities divide that existed in media studies. In doing so, they exposed the lived realities of women’s everyday lives, which emerged as a worthy object of academic analysis, transcending existing methodological boundaries in the process.
Since this work, feminist media and communication studies has continued to pioneer analyses of media reception in the context of everyday life. Extending beyond women, the field has offered insight into lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) experiences with media. It has also explored the changing role of sex, gender, and desire, as media have become increasingly portable, social, and integrated into the fabric of commerce, politics, culture, and daily life. In light of rapid and widespread shifts in contemporary communications technologies and the emergence of new media environments, we argue for a reinvestment in scholarship that critically attends to the relationship between media, audiences and everyday life, and that continues to transcend the divide between the social science and humanities in the tradition of earlier feminist audience research.
In this special issue of Feminist Media Studies, we call for abstracts that reflect a commitment to feminist and/or queer audience scholarship in our contemporary media environment, or what some call a “post-audience” age. We seek feminist audience research that interrogates the everyday world, attending to how it is differently experienced by individuals across the gender spectrum. In other words, our goal is to bring together a diverse body of work that deploys a feminist lens to study how our contemporary media culture deploys a feminist lens to study how audiences make media meaningful in the gendered context of everyday life.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
- What the ‘post-audience’ age means for everyday experiences of gender
- The ways LGBTQ individuals use new media in their everyday lives
- Conducting feminist audience research in the ‘post audience’ age
- The significance of media to women at various stages of life
- The gendered dimensions of transnational audiences
- The way gender influences audiences’ practices of reception and reading strategies
- How audiences conceive of feminism
- Media’s role in daily experiences of gender, embodiment, sexuality, and desire
- Experiences of gender and sexual subjectivity in virtual worlds
- The relationship between media, affect, and the body
- Thoughts on audience research methodology in the ‘post audience’ age of new media
- The impact of feminism and postfeminism on audience research methodology

Abstracts should be no more than 750 words and should be sent to all three special issue editors (apress@virginia.edu, amc7jc@virginia.edu and k.sender@auckland.ac.nz) by May 15, 2015. Please give your email the subject head “Abstract for special issue of Feminist Media Studies.” Abstracts should be submitted as a Word document. Please make sure your name and the paper title is on the abstract itself, not only in the email.

If accepted, final papers should be no more than 7,000 words long including bibliography, notes, and so on. Feminist Media Studies uses the Chicago-Author-Date citation style. Please refer to the general instructions for preparation of manuscripts here:
Submissions significantly over length or not consistent with the journal style will be returned for editing.

Abstracts to editors: May 15, 2015
First drafts to editors: January 20, 2016
Second drafts to editors: June 1, 2016
Final revisions to editors: November 1, 2016
Publication: February 2017


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