Americana: The Institute for the Study of American Popular Culture invites submissions in American Studies and American popular culture for our journal.
DEADLINE: 1 June 2018 for the Spring 2018 edition of Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture, 1900 to present
We welcome a variety of critical appraoches on subject matter such as film, television, streaming shows, YouTube shows/channels, sports, bestsellers, venues, fashion, emerging popular culture trends, pop culture and technology, music, politics, style, and other related pop culture topics.
All work is peer reviewed by our Advisory Board readers: http://www.americanpopularculture.com/journal/advisory_board.htm
[[If you would like to be considered for our Advisory Board, email a CV to email@example.com. The duties include reading one or two essays per year in your field of expertise.]]
Please keep your name off the submission itself as we use the double blind peer review process.
We encourage you to read past issues as well as the current issue if you would like to get a sense of the kind of work we have published: http://www.americanpopularculture.com/journal/index.htm
Guidelines for submission are here: http://www.americanpopularculture.com/journal/call_for_papers.htm
Email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you. We look forward to reading your research and writing.
A Conference at the Hagley Museum and Library
Wilmington, Delaware, November 8-9, 2018
The history of surveillance is often associated with the history of the state. However, commercial organizations in the United States – from insurance companies to audience rating firms and database marketers, to corporate personnel and auditing departments – also exercise power over citizens through systems of identification, classification, and monitoring. The history of commercial surveillance thus intersects with key issues concerning the history of privacy, information, social sorting and discrimination, and technologies of discipline and control.
For a conference sponsored by the Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society on November 8-9, 2018, we invite proposals that explore the history of commercial surveillance in the United States, from settlement to the present. These (non-state) surveillance activities might be found in a variety of business settings and industries, involve a range of formal or informal practices, and might be directed at customers, media audiences, borrowers, consumer markets, employees, or labor. The long history of commercial surveillance serves to illuminate the precursors, continuities, and logic of today’s “surveillance capitalism.”
We are interested in original, empirically-grounded unpublished essays that consider one or more of the following questions:
- How have commercial surveillance systems contributed to the production of knowledge about individuals or populations? To what extent have private-sector classification systems shaped categories of identity and social status in the United States?
- In what ways have commercial surveillance systems contributed to understandings of gender and race in the United States? How have these understandings been formalized or institutionalized?
- How does the development of commercial surveillance fit into broader social, political, or economic efforts to discipline behavior or control risk?
- To what extent have commercial surveillance systems overlapped – or collaborated – with state surveillance systems, such as law enforcement, social services, or statistical data gathering?
- What legal issues have attended the history of commercial surveillance? How have commercial surveillance practices been regulated, particularly with regard to discrimination and privacy?
- To what extent have distinctions between work and leisure been blurred by commercial surveillance?
- How does the history of commercial surveillance help contextualize the development of big data and predictive analytics in our own time? What underlying structures, norms, or business objectives can be discerned?
- What technologies have been developed, and for what specific purposes, to facilitate commercial surveillance?
Sarah E. Igo (Vanderbilt University) will open the conference with a keynote address on the evening of November 8. She will discuss her new book, The Known Citizen: A History of Privacy in Modern America, to be published by Harvard University Press in May 2018.
If you are interested in proposing a paper, please submit proposals of no more than 500 words and a one-page C.V. to Carol Lockman at email@example.com by May 1, 2018. We welcome submissions from historians as well as ethnographically oriented social scientists. Presenters will receive lodging in the conference hotel and up to $500 to cover their travel costs.
This conference was initiated by Josh Lauer (University of New Hampshire), and he is joined on the program committee by Roger Horowitz (Hagley Museum and Library) and Ken Lipartito (Florida International University).
Call for Papers for Film and History area for the NEPCA’s 2018 Fall Conference to be held at Worcester State University in Worcester, MA October 19-20, 2018. Northeast Regional Popular / American Cultural Association (NEPCA) annual conference.
Dr. Carol Mitchell; Area Chair of Film and History
Call for Papers: Film and History. The annual fall conference of NEPCA will be held at Worcester State University in Worcester, MA on October 19-20, 2018. Deadline for proposals is June 1, 2018. Visit the NEPCA website at: https://nepca.wordpress.com/2018-conference for full information on proposal submission and registration.
Film and History welcomes presentations on a wide range of film topics contributing to popular culture.
Suggestions for topics include:
- Films portraying historical events with great accuracy or which provide fresh or controversial perspectives (e.g., Spotlight; F.K.)
- Films exploring the nature of complex characters or incorporating social, political, and cultural themes (e.g., heroism, friendship, injustice, racism, betrayal, ambition)
- Film adaptations of other media, (i.e., novels, short stories, theatre) or from real life
- Film genres, such as comedy, crime film, the Western, war film, or science fiction
- Filmmaking and film directors (e.g., Scorsese’s portrayal of women)
- History of the cinema and economic and cultural impacts of film on society
- Academy Awards’ nominations, policies, and practices
Please submit your paper proposals by following the 2018 Paper Proposals link at: https://nepca.blog/2018-conference by June 1, 2018.
NEPCA presentations are generally 15-20 minutes in length and may be delivered either formally or informally. As Area Chair of Film and History, I am happy to preview your proposal. However, all final submissions should be “CC’d” to me at firstname.lastname@example.org in addition to your submission to the program chair.
NEPCA prides itself on holding conferences that emphasize sharing ideas in a non-competitive and supportive environment consisting of graduate students, independent scholars, junior faculty, and senior scholars.
A growing awareness of transgender issues has intensified in recent years, especially after the high-profile media example of Caitlyn Jenner, the career ascension of Laverne Cox, and the cross-media achievements of Jazz Jennings. This rising awareness has caused activism both for and against the transgender community and compels us to question many of the binaries that permeate popular culture. Few issues question borders and transcend boundaries in such an important manner as current transgender concerns, and although there has been scholarly attention on trans communities, there has been little attention given to the intersection of trans identities and broader contemporary culture.
We are seeking 200-400 word abstracts for book chapters (18-20 pages with end notes) exploring the theme of what exists within and beyond the binaries that were, upon a time, never questioned or examined, especially as expressed through a transgender lens and in popular culture.
Any solid methodological approach will be considered. We are particularly interested in projects that question or redefine gender and transgender identities beyond the expectations of binary codes, be it language, media portrayals, and historical considerations, such as but not limited to:
- Transgender presence in cinema
- Transgender identities in music
- Transgender culture and fashion
- International perspectives on transgender visibility and perspectives
- Social media representations of trans identities
- Transgender presences in video games
This collected work will explore numerous aspects of transgender identity from a scholarly perspective while at the same time using transgender as a lens to investigate cultural practices and constructions. It will be multidisciplinary and well researched, but also accessible to a non-scholarly audience. The book would be organized in three major sections roughly corresponding to the past, present, and future of the transgender presence and movement.
By May 15, please submit for consideration a chapter abstract or a completed book chapter and brief bio to Dr. John Lamothe, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, at email@example.com.
Our current timeframe is:
May 15, 2018—Deadline for chapter proposals
May 2018 – Put out 2nd CFP to round out any chapters we’re missing.
September 2018 – Deadline for completed chapters.
November 2018 – Deadline for final chapter revisions.
December 2018 – Submit final manuscript to publisher.
Spring/Sum 2019 – Final book goes to press.
The Ministers’ War: John W. Mears, the Oneida Community, and the Crusade for Public Morality. By Michael Doyle. Syracuse University Press. 2018.
Antebellum activism is often refracted through an abolitionist lens, though few Northern evangelicals compartmentalized reform. Protestant ministers spearheading change could be found among any of a number of reform groups. In this regard, the subject of Michael Doyle’s fascinating study, the Rev. John W. Mears (1825-1881), was typical of men from the rising Northern middle class whose passions were inflamed by the religious revivals of the Second Great Awakening, which reached their height in the 1830s. There wasn’t much that Mears didn’t see as a sin in need of extirpation: prostitution, birth control literature, Mormonism, water pollution, Roman Catholicism, Valentine’s Day cards, obscenity…. The last of these, obscenity, really distressed Mears who was, as Doyle, a Washington, DC-based reporter, puts it, a “virtuous man (44).”
Battles over obscenity often stumble over its definition and parameters. As Doyle suggests, this was Mears’ problem. In the crucial decades before the Civil War, virtue was generally synonymous with the values of the middle class, but it took Mears some time to direct his prodigious energies at the targets that consumed him: John Humphrey Noyes (1811-1886) and the Oneida Community. On the surface, the Oneida Community was what we’d today call a “soft target.” It was, after all, rooted in ideals located far from the banks of the mainstream, the least controversial of which was shared property and living arrangements rooted in spiritual communism. Members also practiced a system of “complex marriage” in which all men and women could (in theory) have carnal relations with each other. Moreover, Noyes equated unwanted pregnancy as enslavement of women, hence the keystone practice of “male continence.” More shocking still, young men learned this discipline through intercourse with postmenopausal women. Noyes himself was a bail jumper who escaped Putney, Vermont, and a possible jail term for adultery back in 1847. So why did it take Mears and the other ministers he recruited until 1881 to force the dissolution of the Oneida Community?
One of the many merits of Doyle’s book is that he captures aspects of the nineteenth-century Zeitgeist in just 172 briskly written pages. Mears shared commonality with others emboldened by the Second Great Awakening, but as Paul Johnson and others have demonstrated, conversion in Western New York State’s “burned-over district” was weighted heavily toward the middle class. Most locals were farmers and artisans. Although they disapproved of Oneida Community practices, most were also intrigued (possibly titillated) by them, found the group to be good neighbors, and were willing to live and let live. This adds an under-examined class dimension to the crusade against Oneida.
It is important to note that neither Mears nor Noyes should be viewed through modern eyes. The Presbyterian Mears was meddlesome, but he was not akin to contemporary moralists. Northern evangelists were not fundamentalists—the concept barely existed then. Mears studied theology at Yale, revered Immanuel Kant, and was an exacting professor of moral philosophy at Hamilton College. Nor was Noyes a proto-hippie free lover; the Dartmouth/Andover Seminary-educated Noyes based community sexual practices in conceptions of primitive Christianity and a belief in moral perfectionism, the latter a key element of Second Great Awakening thought. In one of the books many concise summaries, Doyle details ways in which Mears and Noyes were quite similar in many respects. The sexual practices gap, though, was simply too wide for the stern Mears to bridge.
Mears prevailed—sort of; Oneida disbanded in 1881, but Mears expired that same year. One is tempted to draw parallels between the minister’s campaign against Oneida and today’s culture wars but, again, Doyle’s objective is to shed light on the nineteenth century, not our own time. Oneida was an endlessly intoxicating experiment about which much has been written. The dissolution narrative generally ends with the incorporation of the community’s chief source of income, its flatware manufactory. Doyle deftly illumines the lesser-known details of the organized opposition that forced the community’s hand. Metaphorically, Noyes represents the utopian impulse and Mears what Robert Wiebe famously dubbed “the search for order.” Doyle’s small gem of a book should prove invaluable in facilitating discussions of ante- and postbellum America. Undergraduates will appreciate its clarity and brevity; general readers will find it fascinating.
Robert E. Weir
University of Massachusetts
Knickerbocker: The Myth Behind New York. By Elizabeth L. Bradley. Rutgers University Press, 2009, 151+ pp.
In his 1963 breakthrough novel Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. coined the term granfalloon to describe hollow collectives to which one accidentally belongs. For instance, if you live in California you are a “Californian” until the day you move to Vermont and become a “Vermonter.” Such identities are intrinsically meaningless—unless they mutate. Elizabeth Bradley’s fascinating study of the Knickerbocker identity suggests that more is afoot when we look at how such terms are created, recreated, and appropriated over time. Her book was originally published in 2009, but is back Rutgers University Press is promoting it anew at a time in which the larger “American” identity is weakening and Balkanization is ascendant.
Most regional identity terms follow simple grammar rules as they move from noun to adjective. It doesn’t require much mental effort to associate an Iowan with Iowa or a Mainer with Maine. It’s trickier when the adjectives are endonyms, terms used almost entirely by those within a region. Perhaps you can work it out that a “Toner” resides in Washington State, but you probably need to live in South Carolina to identify with Sandlapper, or follow sports to think of Cornhuskers, Tar Heels, and Hawkeyes in the same breath as Nebraska, North Carolina, and Iowa, as none of those terms are officially recognized collective pronouns. Sometimes insider terms become official—Buckeye (Ohio), Hoosier (Indiana), Nutmegger (Connecticut), or Yankee (New England)—but all such unusual adjectives are called demonyms and, as often as not, their Ur usage is obscure and spawn theories ranging from logical to fanciful.
Knickerbocker is rare in that we know its precise origins. It was the pseudonym used by Washington Irving (1783-1859) to perpetuate a great literary hoax. Irving appropriated the surname of a Rensselaer County Dutch family to invent Diedrich Knickerbocker, a deadbeat historian whose manuscript Irving “discovered” in a New York City hotel room from which Knickerbocker fled before settling his accounts. Irving fashioned a brilliant publicity campaign to go with h
is literary invention; he took out ads stating his intention to publish Knickerbocker’s manuscript unless he came forth to claim it. Not surprisingly, Kickerbocker was a no-show and, in 1809, the struggling Irving made his early reputation with A History of New York from the Beginnings of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty.
You could learn a lot of this by wasting a few hours on the Internet. What you’d not learn, though, is the social history and contemporary sociology associated with Irving’s ruse. Also in Cat’s Cradle, Vonnegut introduced the karass, an intentional network of people connected in significant ways. Though she does not reference Vonnegut, Bradley shows how the Knickerbocker has been appropriated in identity-forming ways. Direct Dutch control over its New Amster
dam colony officially ended in 1665, but the transfer to English control did not change the fact that the colony’s white population was predominately Dutch. Nor did the American Revolution and the passage of 144 years alter the fact that those of Dutch surnames and ancestry were disproportionately distributed among New York’s wealthy families, politicians, and taste arbiters. Many New Yorkers were amused by Irving’s trickery, but not all got the joke; some saw the Knickerbocker icon as confirmation of their assumed social and cultural superiority. Irving’s purpose, of course, was the opposite; he lampooned Dutch calcification specifically and social airs in general, but Diedrich Knickerbocker unleashed proved an infinitely malleable demonym.
Bradley titles her chapters “The Picture of Knickerbocker,” “Inheriting Knickerbocker,” “Fashioning a Knickerboracy,” and “Knickerbocker in a New Century.” Bradley breezily transforms the Knickerbocker into a synecdoche for two hundred years of New York history, politics, culture, commerce, and identity. In effect, one can draw a straight line from the boastful Diedrick Knickerbocker to the insouciant swagger of today’s New York City dwellers. That is, the Knickerbocker became New York City’s brand. No wonder those in the 19th century associated it with everything from bread and buses to “nostalgia and nativism” (59). And let’s not forget Santa Claus. Through time, the Knickerbocker lost some of its Dutch ethnicity in the American melting pot, but there were always Roosevelts, Van Rensselaers, and Vanderbilts to drop hints; German and Dutch brewers to lubricate myths; and basketball heroes, place names, and the mystique of the Big Apple to suggest that Gotham speaks a Dutch dialect. Moreover, as Bradley reminds us, no city comes close to New York in capturing imaginings of the essence of the United States. Never mind that little of this looks like the frontispiece from Irving’s 1809 satire; myths have enormous power even when their veracity is in doubt—just as an intentional karass is generally more empowering than an accidental granfalloon.
University of Massachusetts Amherst
For its thirtieth issue, InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture invites scholarly articles and creative works that address the poetics and politics of video games.
20 years ago Janet H. Murray’s Hamlet on the Holodeck and Espen Aarseth’s Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature began a conversation to theorize the aesthetics of video games. Since these foundational texts, game studies has sustained an interrogation of political questions concerning games, such as issues of representation and the configuration of online game spaces. Video games intersect with industrial practices, embodied experiences, as well as visual and ludic designs, all of which have specific political implications. For this issue we encourage contributors to consider two or more of these factors together, exploring “how games make complex meanings across history, bodies, hardware, and code.” (1)
This issue of InVisible Culture takes a cultural studies approach toward video games in that the formal aesthetics always register aspects of the culture that they emerge from. We think of games as an open category that includes a broad range of media, from mainstream AAA games to art installations; complex “hardcore” games as well as casual mobile apps; visually rich to text-based interactions—cutting across a range of experiences, from the banality of playing an app to the singularity of wearing a VR headset. We take gaming aesthetics to mean not only the system of visual, aural, ludic, and narrative configurations of (a) given game(s) but also the manipulation of these systems: modding, updating, streaming, etc. We are also interested in what surrounds games, such as to what degree games afford community building and collaboration between players.
Possible topics of exploration include, but are not limited to:
– Games and Representation, Games and Subjectivity
– Games and Affect, Multisensory Encounters with Games
– Ordinariness/Everydayness of Games, Gamification of Everyday Life
– Materiality/Tactility of Gaming Devices, Embodied Engagements with Games
– Queer/Feminist Approaches to Video Games
– Games and the Politics of Race, Gender, and (Dis)Ability
– DIY Approaches to Games and Game Making
– Games and Activism
– Genre studies
– Platform Studies
– Games and Sound
– Remediation of Video Game Aesthetics
– Games and/as Contemporary Art, Games in Museums/Galleries
– Games in the Archive, Games as Archive, Preservation
– Game Communities and Fandom
– Fan-made “How To” and “Let’s Play” Videos, Live Streams
– Character Creation Systems and their Politics (Liberatory vs. Constraining)
– The Economy of Games, Microtransactions, Loot crates
Please send completed papers (with references following the guidelines from the Chicago Manual of Style) of between 4,000 and 10,000 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 30th, 2018. Inquiries should be sent to the same address.
In addition to written materials, InVisible Culture is accepting works in other media (video, photography, drawing, code) that reflect upon the theme as it is outlined above. Please submit creative or artistic works along with an artist statement of no more than two pages to email@example.com. For questions or more details concerning acceptable formats, go to http://ivc.lib.rochester.edu/contributeor contact the same address.
InVisible Culture is also currently seeking submissions for book, exhibition, and film reviews (600-1,000 words). For this issue we particularly encourage authors to submit reviews of games or other forms of interactive media. To submit a review proposal, go to http://ivc.lib.rochester.edu/contribute or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The journal also invites submissions to its Dialogues page, which will accommodate more immediate responses to the topic of the current issue. For further details, please contact us at email@example.com with the subject heading “Dialogues submission.”
* InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture (IVC) is a student-run interdisciplinary journal published online twice a year in an open access format. Through peer reviewed articles, creative works, and reviews of books, films, and exhibitions, our issues explore changing themes in visual culture. Fostering a global and current dialog across fields, IVC investigates the power and limits of vision.
You can find this annoucement and more information about InVisible Culture here.
(1) Aubrey Anable, Playing with Feelings: Video Games and Affect (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2018), xi
InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture (IVC) is a student-run interdisciplinary journal published online twice a year in an open access format. Through peer reviewed articles, creative works, and reviews of books, films, and exhibitions, our issues explore changing themes in visual culture. Fostering a global and current dialog across fields, IVC investigates the power and limits of vision.