Popular Communication is concerned with providing a forum for scholarly investigation, analysis, and dialogue among communication researchers interested in a wide variety of communication symbols, forms, phenomena and strategic systems of symbols within the context of contemporary popular culture.
Division members encourage and employ a variety of empirical and critical methodologies with application to diverse human communication acts, processes, products and artifacts which have informational, entertainment, or suasory potential or effect among mass audiences.
Masculine/Feminine: Gender in English-speaking Cinema and Television, which will be held in Arras, on 3-5 September. We will have the honor of welcoming Yvonne Tasker and Jacqueline Nacache as guest speakers.
The program can be found online at either of the two addresses: www.univ-artois.fr
VISUALIZING THE STREET
Confirmed Keynote Speaker: Professor Gillian Rose http://uva.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=d716ad4643f2e0f147befb9d9&id=9f6eedee15&e=f001d8ee38
(The Open University)
For the international conference /Visualizing the Street, the ASCA Cities Project http://uva.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click u=d716ad4643f2e0f147befb9d9&id=afe299d654&e=f001d8ee38 invites papers that explore the impact of contemporary practices of image-making on the visual cultures of the street.
Date: Friday, 17 June 2016
Place: University of Amsterdam
New technologies of visualization have opened up the practices of photographing, filming, and editing to everyone who carries a phone and is connected online, resulting in the mass circulation of privately produced imagery. This development has social, cultural and political significance. For example, Larsen and Sandbye (2014) write that “increasingly, everyday amateur photography is a performative practice connected to presence, immediate communication and social networking, as opposed to the storing of memories for eternity, which is how it has hitherto been conceptualized.” Hito Steyerl (2009) points towards the potential of such low resolution imagery in propagating a less hierarchical and more democratic regime of visuality. At the same time, new technologies have also contributed to the expansion of an urban visual culture that is subject to a professional system of visual production and distribution. The visual experience of the contemporary street is partly shaped by artistic visualizations, detailed advertisements, big-scale billboards and high resolution renderings that pervade urban environments. Although responding to different sensibilities, there are striking similarities between these various registers of everyday visual experience of the street. The digital means of production of street imagery – never delivering a clear end product and always in circulation between material and virtual networks – and the fleeting glance with which consumers relate to that imagery, point towards a distinctly performative visual language. It seems that what is most important to this visual culture is not so much the content of the imagery as its immediacy. This development asks for new concepts, theories and research methods that would combine close analyses of the image with the study of the practices of production, circulation and consumption of the image, and the diverse set of social, cultural, affective and performative implications of it in everyday life.
Please submit abstracts (max 300 words, for 20 min papers) together with an academic CV to Pedram Dibazar (email: email@example.com) by 1 November 2015.
Please note that we are also working on a publication on the same topic for the Amsterdam University Press book series Cities and Cultures http://uva.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=d716ad4643f2e0f147befb9d9&id=f43ea60594&e=f001d8ee38.
A selection of contributions to the conference will be included in the book.
For any inquiries please contact organizers Pedram Dibazar http://uva.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=d716ad4643f2e0f147befb9d9&id=b5dc4c1f20&e=f001d8ee38
SCREENING THE SUPERNATURAL
Film Journal, the international peer-reviewed online journal founded by SERCIA (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/silva/filmjournal), is seeking contributions for a special-themed issue on the supernatural in film, edited by Andrea Grunert (firstname.lastname@example.org).
DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACTS: 30 November 2015
The Haunted Screenâ?쳌 is the title used both by Lotte Eisner for her famous reading of German Expressionism and Lee Kovacs for her investigation of ghost figures inspired by the literature-based Gothic tradition in film from the 1930s and 1940s to interpretations of the supernatural in productions of the 1990s. Nineteenth-century literature was preoccupied with phenomena which exist above and beyond nature and the vampire entered English literature via Byron and John Polidori, becoming especially popular a hundred years later with Bram Stokerâ??s Dracula. Spiritual seÌ쳌ances, most fashionable in the late nineteenth century, mingled spiritualism and spectacle, anticipating new entertainment media such as the cinema. At the intersection of reality and fiction, belief and spectacle, film appeared as a form of modern magic. Even today, digital creation has not dispossessed film of its magical aura and the power to bring to life and enchant. As a projection of thoughts, film gives visibility to the unknown and explores the unconscious. It represents everyday reality and recreates the world of dreams, creating a space in which religious belief and superstition co-exist.
This issue of Film Journal seeks to explore the various occurrences and functions of the supernatural in film. It proposes to investigate the narratives and the methods of narrative mediation, as well as questions of representation and perception. Written in different contexts and very different in style, Eisnerâ??s and Kovacsâ?? books, reveal the complexity of the topic and the historical, ideological, social and aesthetic aspects at stake. Narratives of the fantastic cross spatio-temporal and generic boundaries, creating a feeling of instability through the blend of generic elements. By exploring the abyss between rationality and fantasy, films dealing with supernatural phenomena and devices recall the complexity of the viewing experience in cinema which is composed of feelings, body reactions and thoughts. As Octave Mannoni put it, the modern viewer does not believe in illusion anymore, yet, part of him/her is still captured by the suggestive power of the image and the spectacular.
Why are elements of the mystifying and supernatural so fashionable today and how is cinema able to keep this fascination alive? The mixture of spiritualism and entertainment at cinemaâ??s roots continues to find expression in contemporary films and their updating of ghost tales under the auspices of psychological knowledge. Christopher Nolanâ??s The Prestige (USA/UK, 2006) deals with both the â??uncannyâ?쳌 (events which can be explained by using logic) and the â??marvelousâ?쳌 (events which are unexplainable), two concepts described by literary theorist Tsvetan Todorov. Moreover, the mystifying elements borrowed from Gothic tradition fulfill the viewerâ??s wish to be entertained by unmasking the illusion at the very heart of filmmaking. Guy Ritchieâ??s Sherlock Holmes (2009), for instance, allies the pre-cinematic world and its preoccupation with the magical with a taste for spectacular events far from everyday experience.
Occult rituals integrated in the narrative delve back to the historical roots of film while also pointing to contemporary tendencies in filmmaking. The photographic representation of ghosts often follows older forms of representation, that of fluid, transparent bodies such as they appeared in nineteenth-century occultism. From the silent film to ultra-contemporary productions, what have been the aesthetic approaches to ghosts or spirits in cinema? There are filmmakers who forgo special effects â?? sometimes for financial reasons â?? and allow ghostly visitations to be played by actors, while still filming them â??realisticallyâ?쳌. But then, what is the most realistic way to film a ghost or spirit? Questions that may be raised concern the significance of the different approaches â?? mise-en-sceÌ?ne devices for representing external reality, as opposed to ghosts and phantoms, or the images and sounds of the supernatural realm and how editing, sound effects and music score contribute to the creation of a world beyond our experience and knowledge.
The supernatural invades all genres. At the end of Allan Dwanâ??s The Iron Mask (1929) Dâ??Artagnan and his Musketeer-friends are dead, but appear again as translucent, ghostly figures (an effect created by overexposure) to greet the audience. Seen from our point of view, the sequence seems to comment on the history of film, anticipating the end of the silent era by showing one stars, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., in one of his last roles. In todayâ??s cinema, elements of the fantastic increasingly inspire film, updating generic forms and devices, in films as different as Clint Eastwoodâ??s western Pale Rider (1985) or Bertrand Tavernierâ??s French-American production In the Electric Mist (2009). Horror films and science fiction tales narrate the supernatural within their own frame of conventions. Vampires, werewolves and other creatures that haunt the cinema from its beginnings have been reborn in films addressing adolescent audiences. What points in common does Polidoriâ??s Vampire have with Edward in the Twilight Saga films? And what links Francis Ford Coppolaâ??s Dracula to its predecessors or the latest update of the figure in the US television Dracula (2013-2014)?
New readings of the vampire figure have also appeared in Neil Jordanâ??s Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (USA, 1994), Byzantium (UK/Ireland, 2012) or Jim Jarmushâ??s Only Lovers Left Alive (UK/Germany, 2013).
Angels and demons, zombies and aliens people the realm of the supernatural. Yet, the â??otherâ?쳌, the unknown is not only expressed by photographed or computer animated characters. It may be an invisible threat, creating constant tension, as in The Blair Witch Project (1999).
Phantoms or zombies and other creatures challenging normalcy can be seen as materializations of fear, as figures of individual and social crisis.
The supernatural expressed through horror film devices and the recurrence to spirits may be linked to loss, grief and death, as in two very recent productions, David Keatingâ??s Wake Wood (Ireland/UK, 2008), the first theatrical release from Hammer Films in 30 years and Conor McPhersonâ??s The Eclipse (Ireland, 2008). The mourner, who is unable to overcome the death of a beloved person, is haunted by visions which the cinema materializes. Trauma, inner images and sensations are brought to the surface of the film. The fantastic may be experienced as a real presence by characters facing fear, guilt and grief. Once again, occultism and psychology are blended in a filmic discourse that relies on generic devices and aesthetics (like film noir in The Eclipse). In Spellbound (1945), psychiatric experience and surrealism are brought together to depict mental images, whereas one of the recent Hammer-productions, The Woman in Black (2012), the adaptation of a successful British play written in the eighties, but set in the Edwardian era, constantly reveals the psychological meaning behind the conventions of the horror genre.
The Eclipse and The Woman in Black are only two, recent samples of a variety of films which explore encounters between everyday life and the supernatural. In so doing, they attempt to deal with the complexities of past, present and future and reveal the extent to which film is able to overcome the boundaries of time and the constraints of realism. Just as the voice of Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard (1950), the voice of a dead man, may echo the magical power of film â?? or its power to allow the viewer to â??suspend disbeliefâ?쳌 â?? so the ghost of the protagonistâ??s dead wife in The Eclipse is a signifier of the abolition of boundaries. At a time of interest in the occult and realms beyond rationality, it would indeed be interesting to examine how â??magicalâ?쳌 thinking is integrated in film, not only in more recent Native American, Aboriginal or Maori films (Whale Rider, Nikki Caro, NZ/Germany, 2002), but in Jim Sheridanâ??s In America (Ireland/UK, 2002), for example, which blends Irish folklore with voodoo and contemporary New York society.
Botting, Fred. Limits of Horror: Technology, Body, Gothic. Manchester:
Manchester UP, 2010.
Eisner, Lotte. The Haunted Screen: Expressionism in the German Cinema and the Influence of Max Reinhardt. 2nd edition. Berkeley, University of California Press, 2008.
Kovacs, Lee. The Haunted Screen: Ghosts in Literature and Film. New York, McFarland, 2005.
Lafond, Frank. Cauchemars ameÌ쳌ricains: fantastique et horreur dans le cineÌ쳌ma. LieÌ?ge, CeÌ쳌fal, 2003.
Morgan, Jane. The Biology of Horror: Gothic Literature and Film.
Chicago, University of Southern Illinois, 2002. Richardson, Michael.
Surrealism and Cinema. Oxford, Berg, 2006.
Skal, David J. Hollywood Gothic: The Tangled Web of Dracula from Novel to Stage to Screen. London, Faber & Faber, 2004.
Todorov, Tzvetan. The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre. Ithaca, NY, Cornell UP, 1975.
______________________________________________________________________________________________The 100 Greatest Video Game Characters (working title)
The 100 Greatest Video Games (working title)
Robert Mejia (State University of New York, Brockport), Co-Editor
Jaime Banks (West Virginia University), Co-Editor
Aubrie Adams (University of California, Santa Barbara), Co-Editor
The field of game studies has grown substantially since the turn of the century, and yet the field lacks a rigorous reference collection on the cultural significance of video game franchises. Such a reference collection is needed as it can be difficult for even well-versed scholars to keep track of the range and complexity of the many significant franchises that populate the industry.
Hence, we are seeking essays for an edited collection on the cultural and historical significance of 100 video game franchises. The collection, titled “The 100 Greatest Video Games,” will be published by Rowman & Littlefield in early 2017. This collection will serve as a companion volume to the edited collection, titled “The 100 Greatest Video Game Characters.”
Academics, game industry personnel, gaming journalists, and others are invited to submit proposals addressing the historical and cultural significance of a specific video game franchise. Suggested franchises include (but are not limited to):
Age of Empires
Call of Duty
Dance Dance Revolution
Ecco the Dolphin
Grand Theft Auto
Leisure Suit Larry
Medal of Honor
Sonic the Hedgehog
The Legend of Zelda
The Oregon Trail
Tony Hawk Pro Skater
We welcome (1) proposals focusing on franchises listed above or (2) proposals suggesting franchises not listed above. The hope is that this collection will serve as a rigorous reference guide to the historical and cultural significance of 100 of the most important video game franchises. Likewise, considering that the field of game studies consists of academics, industry professionals, and journalists, we encourage contributors to submit with an eye toward academic and non-academic audiences alike.
Please submit the following: (1) an abstract (250 word max) addressing the rationale for inclusion of your selected or proposed franchise in terms of the franchise’s cultural and historical significance; (2) a short bio (250 word max); and (3) a 1-page CV or 1-page publication list emphasizing expertise in game studies to email@example.com by November 1st, 2015. Authors will be notified by December 1st, 2015 if their proposals have been accepted. Full essays should be within the range of 800 – 1000 words, submitted as a Word or Rich Text Format. Full essays will be due by January 15th, 2016. Multiple submissions are acceptable. For more information please contact the co-editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The editors of the book series Palgrave Entertainment Industries are seeking to commission books on a number of specific topics (specified below) and are calling for expressions of interest.
The Entertainment Industries are a distinct sector of the Creative Industries, with particular business models, relationships with audiences and aesthetic systems. The Palgrave Entertainment Industries series – edited by Professor Alan McKee (University of Technology, Sydney), Associate Professor Christy Collis and Dr Stephen Harrington (Queensland University of Technology) – examines the processes and products of the Entertainment Industries, the ways they are used and the purposes they serve. The series addresses questions including:
The series editors are currently seeking to commission books in the following areas:
If you’re interested in writing any of these titles, please contact in the first instance Professor Alan McKee on email@example.com, sending your CV and a single paragraph outlining your ideas for the book you would like to write. Please note that we are not seeking full book proposals at this stage.
If you would like any more information please contact Professor McKee at the above email address.
Please feel free to distribute this email as widely as possible through your own networks.
Sound Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal Launching in 2015
Editors Michael Bull, Professor of Sound Studies, U of Sussex, UK
Veit Erlmann, Professor of Ethnomusicology and Anthropology, U of Texas at Austin, USA
CRIME PAYS, CRIME DAYS
Aalborg, Denmark, 1 - 2 October 2015.
Register at conference website: http://conferences.au.dk/crime2015/
Full programme available at website.
Keynotes: Sue Turnbull, Ruth McElroy, Annette Hill, Andrew Nestingen and Gunhild Agger Speakers include: Steven Peacock, Elke Weissman, Tim Raats, Kerstin Bergman Industry partners include: Lars Blomgren (Filmlance), Senia Dremstrup
Genres of crime are diverse and in constant development. Crime fiction adapts to other genres as well as other media in order to develop.
Nevertheless, traditional crime series still attract a lot of attention and crime is still, across national and international television traditions and new ways of watching, very conspicuous in prime time television.
Long-running TV-shows such as Tatort (1970-), Der Alte (1976-) and Midsomer Murders (1996-) still en-compass the power of genre traditions, while so-called 'quality TV-series' such as The Wire (2002-08) and True Detective (2014-) serve as examples of genre renewal. Somewhere between tradition and renewal, between national and transnational attention, we find the Scandinavian brand Nordic noir with series such as The Killing
(2007-12) and The Bridge (2011-) - in the UK followed by Broadchurch (2013), Hinterland (2013) and Shetland (2013). All of the above mentioned examples combine local/national and transnational elements, but they do so in different ways. Some of the shows are 'steady-sellers'
(Tatord) while others are contemporary 'bestsellers' suspended after three seasons (The Killing). An intentional transnational trend is recently represented by The Team (2015) and Fortitude (2015).
We ask the following questions: Does crime (still) pay, or is the genre on television challenged by other genres and other audience interests?
Which picture do ratings show? How well does crime pay financially and in terms of public response and goodwill? In which ways has crime series production developed over the years? Can the crime genre keep up its peak position in popular television drama? What happens to production traditions, audience response and content when crime series are produced and distributed by on-demand streaming services, e.g. Netflix?
It is our aim to bring together these projects with industry partners and other international experts of crime series on television. The symposium seeks to establish a common ground for knowledge exchange in order to better understand the persistence of crime in television drama.
We bring together experts in crime series in order to uncover the myths of crime fiction and pose key questions about the perseverance of a dominant television genre.
New book: Making and Remaking Horror in the 1970s and 2000s
Roche, David. Making and Remaking Horror in the 1970s and 2000s: Why Don't They Do It Like They Used To? Jackson, MS: UP of Mississippi, 2014. ISBN 978-1617039621
In Making and Remaking Horror in the 1970s and 2000s author David Roche takes up the assumption shared by many fans and scholars that original horror movies are more "disturbing," and thus better than the remakes. He assesses the qualities of movies, old and recast, according to criteria that include subtext, originality, and cohesion. With a methodology that combines a formalist and cultural studies approach, Roche sifts aspects of the American horror movie that have been widely addressed (class, the patriarchal family, gender, and the opposition between terror and horror) and those that have been somewhat neglected (race, the Gothic, style, and verisimilitude). Containing seventy-eight black and white illustrations, the book is grounded in a close comparative analysis of the politics and aesthetics of four of the most significant independent American horror movies of the 1970s--The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes, Dawn of the Dead, and Halloween--and their twenty-first-century remakes.
To what extent can the politics of these films be described as "disturbing" insomuch as they promote subversive subtexts that undermine essentialist perspectives? Do the politics of the film lie on the surface or are they wedded to the film's aesthetics? Early in the book, Roche explores historical contexts, aspects of identity (race, ethnicity, and class), and the structuring role played by the motif of the American nuclear family. He then asks to what extent these films disrupt genre expectations and attempt to provoke emotions of dread, terror, and horror through their representations of the monstrous and the formal strategies employed? In this inquiry, he examines definitions of the genre and its metafictional nature. Roche ends with a meditation on the extent to which the technical limitations of the horror films of the 1970s actually contribute to this "disturbing" quality. Moving far beyond the genre itself, Making and Remaking Horror studies the redux as a form of adaptation and enables a more complete discussion of the evolution of horror in contemporary American cinema.
The latest issue of Philosophy of Photography (Vol. 4, No. 2) will be available soon. It includes:
Jose Cuevas & Laurence Heglar, Photography and the Discovery of the
Double Helix Structure of DNA
Helen Petrovsky, Document: Fact and Fiction
John Lechte, The Photographic Image: the ‘Face of Sydney’ and August
Kelly Wood, In Favour of Heroines: Lincoln Clarkes’s Vancouver Photographs
Shepherd Steiner, Photography at a Crossroads: Studio as Genealogy,
Elodie Hiryczuk and Sjoerd van Oevelen, Seeing, of course, is also an Art
Tom Slevin on Technology
Lisa Stein on Francois Laruelle’s Photo-Fiction
Jenee Mateer reports on a recent Society for Photographic Education
Central Saint Martins, London
Sotheby’s Institute, London
For more details see:
If you are interested in making a submission to Philosophy of
Photography, please see the notes for contributors and style guide for