General Call for Papers information
The International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics (MCP) is committed to analysing the politics of communication(s) and cultural processes. It addresses cultural politics in their local, international and global dimensions, recognizing equally the importance of issues defined by their specific cultural geography and those which run across cultures and nations. The content focus will be critical, in-depth analysis and engaged research of the intersections of sociology, politics, cultural studies and media studies with the aim of keeping academic analysis in dialogue with the practical world of communications, culture and politics.
MCP invites articles (6,000-8,000 words), short commentaries (2,500-3,000), and short polemics (1,000-2,500) on media and cultural politics topics, and in particular on these five themes:
- Infantilizing culture: the collapse of media content?
- The death of the intellectual
- 'In here and out there' – the media, the centre and the regions
- Getting past 'post-feminism'
- The media and the end of history – a view from several continents
MCP also welcomes books for review. The journal invites contributions from a wide and diverse community of researchers. It seeks to generate and promote research from both experienced researchers and to encourage those new to this field. The aim is to provide a forum for debate arising from findings, as well as theory and methodologies. A range of research approaches and methods is encouraged.
Selection of Themes
Infantilizing culture: The collapse of media content?
Could it really be that 'elitist' cultural pessimists of the twentieth century (like Adorno and Eliot) were embarrassingly accurate about the degradation inflicted on culture by media producers? Should we evolve social policies to treat some media output like cigarettes and junk food? Can local media systems resist? What are the implications for future political engagement when media content is at once youth-focused, consumerist, and escapist? Is it elitist and prejudiced to ask questions like these about quality?
The death of the intellectual: Can Beckham replace Sartre?
Is the intellectual a superseded phenomenon like the troubadour or the condottiere - or a vital cultural resource in the consumer world? What associations exist between intellectual labour and the West's domination of material resources and intellectual property? Will the West hear intellectuals from the rest of the world? Is there an intellectual response function to the newest 'Pax' Americana? Is there an intellectual common ground for Islam, Christianity and secularism? Why are the British as embarrassed by intellectuals as the French are by their talent for football?
'In here and out there': The media, the centre and the regions
How do the media define 'provinces' and 'regions', the 'centre' and the 'periphery'? How do the media drive the interests and values of some locations and suppress those from elsewhere? Is metrocentrism a major form of parochialism of developed media societies? What is the collective geographical subject of news producers, and who is defined through otherness? What are the demographics of inclusion and exclusion, and how do geographical identities relate to ethnicity, gender and class? How do national metrocentrisms map on to international media coverage, not least of the new category, 'asylum seeker'?
Getting past 'post-feminism'
The spectacle of the female body is as never before a standard component of the economies of tv, cinema, and the web, with even pre-teens now the target of legal as well as criminal image-producers across several media. What is the political meaning of these developments? In what ways may we comprehend alternative responses to female spectacle - for example, within some domains of Islam? Does the growth of spectacle of the male body 'equalize' the politics of the image or does it only make it easier to oppress women? Has the reach of techno-economic power made progressive sexual politics irrelevant?
The media and the end of history: A view from several continents
If political action is based on historical consciousness, how do the media affect historical knowledge? Do they help to obliterate history? How much resistance can there be to powerful media-borne versions of history? Does the web liberate individuals from institutional oppression, or increase Western/Anglophone ownership of history? Does computer technology exile history by intensifying the present? Can communities reconstitute their own histories through museums, social action and specialized media? If so, will the result be history or heritage?
All articles submitted should be original work and must not be under consideration by other publications.
Journal contributors will receive a free PDF copy of their final work upon publication. Print copies of the journal may also be purchased by contributors at half price.
Special Issue Calls for Papers
Special Issue: ‘Researching Political Cinemas: A State of the Art’
Abstract submission deadline: 16 February 2024
Notification of acceptance: 31 March 2024
Article submission deadline: 30 June 2024
Xose Prieto Souto
Université Côte d’Azur-Lirces, France
The International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics (MCP) would like to invite submissions for a special issue dedicated to a state of the art in political cinema.
The volume, edited by Guy Hennebelle and published in the journal Cinéma d'aujourd'hui (‘Cinéma militant: histoire, structures, méthodes, idéologie et esthétiques’, 5&6: March–April, 1976), marked an important stage in research about the phenomenon of political cinemas, at a time when it was still benefiting from the momentum of May 1968. This was followed by a period of relative academic disaffection with these film practices, which coincided, particularly in the western world at the end of the twentieth century, with a certain decrease in political intervention cinema and a questioning of militant practices themselves. However, interest in this field of investigation has grown considerably over the last twenty years, with a growing number of articles, doctoral theses and important books.
This development in academic research on political cinema now presents the opportunity to rethink the subfield from methodological, epistemological and historiographical perspectives, with the aim of drawing up an initial state of the art, as a necessary steppingstone that will pave the way for new research including comparative approaches and a possible mapping of political cinema on an international scale.
The term ‘political’ used in this call is intended to be broad enough to reflect a heterodoxy of practices and interests. Often referred to as militant, activist, marginal, alternative or even underground and experimental, the cinema discussed here must be considered as a tool for intervention whose existence cannot be dissociated from its political and social contexts, and which is part of collective political action. However, semantic debate and reflection on categories have their place in this issue, which will welcome with interest conceptual considerations on film practices that are related to political cinema or are close to it.
Possible article topics include:
- The evolution of historical research in political cinemas, from modes of production to exhibition practices, with special attention to the film collectives, audience analysis and the different traditions and research trends;
- The methodological and conceptual aspects involved in analysing film practices framed by militant practices, where the dynamic process is as important as the result itself;
- The contemplation of enunciative and narrative strategies as elements of aesthetic tactics for films whose aims are different forms of social praxis;
- The roles and functions of transnational networks and international solidarity in the production and distribution of political cinemas;
- The question of the circulation of images and of the recovery and reinterpretation of political films from a diachronic perspective;
- The links and connections between filmmakers, film practices, political
- structures (trade unions, political parties, etc.) and movements (such as feminism, anti-colonialism, environmentalism, workers and gender struggles, among others);
- The analysis of political cinemas in the context of a wider media landscape;
- Technologies and formats of political cinema;
- The challenge of access to documentary evidence (public archives, private collections, etc.) and the preservation of the films.
Submissions will be considered in a two-step fashion: first, interested authors should submit an abstract by 16 February 2024. Those authors whose abstracts are deemed appropriate for the Special Issue will be notified by 31 March 2024 and will be invited to submit a full paper by 30 June 2024. The titles and abstracts of the proposed papers may be sent to email@example.com, and should include title, author(s) institutional affiliation(s) and a 300-word summary. Please state ‘Political Cinemas Special Issue’ in the subject of your email.