M/C - Media and Culture Home

Information For Authors

Interested in submitting to this journal? We recommend that you review the About the Journal page for the journal's section policies, as well as the Author Guidelines. Authors need to register with the journal prior to submitting, or if already registered can simply log in and begin the 5 step process.

 

Upcoming Issues


 
Title Issue Editors Submission Date Release Date
'taste'
Adele Wessell and Donna Lee Brien
17 Jan. 2014
19 Mar. 2014
'cute'
James Meese and Ramon Lobato
28 Feb. 2014
30 Apr. 2014
'persona'
P. David Marshall, Christopher Moore, and Kim Barbour
25 Apr. 2014
25 June 2014
'gothic'
Lorna Piatti-Farnell and Erin Mercer
20 June 2014
20 Aug. 2014
'illegitimate'
Helen Vella Bonavita and Lelia Green
15 Aug. 2014
15 Oct. 2014
'counterculture'
Rob Garbutt, Jacqueline Dutton, and Johanna Kijas
10 Oct. 2014
10 Dec. 2014

'taste'

Taste can refer to both aesthetic sensibilities as well as a gustatory sense. While inquiry about taste has tended to evoke its role in making judgements about what is good, proper and beautiful it also refers to the experience of flavours and preference. Questions about whether organic food tastes better, how to change children's food choices, the impact of food branding on taste preferences or the way geography and climate impart certain qualities to food are often raised in contemporary debates and controversies around food as a means of addressing serious political, social, economic, ethical and environmental concerns. Taste can also function as a tool of social distinction and through its association with consumption also has a political dimension. Since it varies over time and across different groups taste is clearly open to change. Who gets to define standards and preferences and the processes for this, however, is open to debate.

This issue of M/C Journal seeks to explore taste in the broadest sense of the word. Areas of investigation may include, but are not limited to:

  • Food and flavour
  • Taste and eating behaviours
  • Good taste
  • Bad taste
  • Choice and patterns of preference
  • Aesthetics
  • Social taste
  • Taste and consumption
  • Tastescapes
  • Taste and the senses
  • Wine tasting, tasting plates and degustation menus
  • Taste as a title in publishing
  • Physiology
  • Taste as a mode of knowing
  • Styles and manners of taste
  • Terroir
  • Taste as a metaphor
  • Identities and taste preferences

And questions such as:

  • How is taste implicated in social relations?
  • How does taste change over time?
  • What is the relationship between taste and consumption?

Prospective contributors should email an abstract of 100-250 words and a brief biography to the issue editors. Abstracts should include the article title and should describe your research question, approach, and argument. Biographies should be about three sentences (maximum 75 words) and should include your institutional affiliation and research interests. Articles should be 3000 words (plus bibliography). All articles will be refereed and must adhere to MLA style (6th edition).

Details

  • Article deadline: 17 Jan. 2014
  • Release date: 19 Mar. 2014
  • Editors: Adele Wessell and Donna Lee Brien

Please submit articles through this Website. Send any enquiries to taste@journal.media-culture.org.au.


'cute'

Cute content is a fundamental but under-researched component of the Internet economy. Millions of people around the world start their day with videos of kittens, puppies and meerkats. Recent years have seen the rise of global animal brands, such as Maru and Grumpy Cat, along with new talent agencies for this purpose. Online portal I Can Haz Cheezburger has received millions of dollars in venture capital funding, becoming a diversified media business in its own right. YouTube channels, Twitter hashtags and blog rolls form an infrastructure across which a vast amount of cute-themed user-generated content, as well as an increasing amount of commercially produced and branded material, now circulates.

Cute content can also be understood as an aesthetic tradition. Tracing the history of animal imagery leads us to a range of practices - kitsch portraiture, stock photography, greeting card imagery - as well as newer online spaces, such as the 4chan message boards, which have resignified the captioned cat pic as a geek subcultural practice. Approaching cute content as a sphere of contemporary cultural production raises a number of questions for analysis. How can we contextualise digital cute content within a longer history of mediated human-animal interactions? What is the nature of animal celebrity and stardom? What textual forms does online cute imagery take in different national and regional contexts?

This issue of M/C Journal invites contributions interested in exploring 'cute' as a mode of textual production and as a sector of the Internet economy. Possible topics to be addressed include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Histories of animal imagery in digital and pre-digital contexts
  • The specificity of particular national and regional cute cultures
  • Authorship and genre in cute content
  • The political economy of cute content
  • Intellectual property and attribution disputes
  • Case studies of animal celebrities, memes, and cute portals
  • Comparative perspectives on cute cultures

Prospective contributors should email an abstract of 100-250 words and a brief biography to the issue editors. Abstracts should include the article title and should describe your research question, approach, and argument. Biographies should be about three sentences (maximum 75 words) and should include your institutional affiliation and research interests. Articles should be 3000 words (plus bibliography). All articles will be refereed and must adhere to MLA style (6th edition).

Details

  • Article deadline: 28 Feb. 2014
  • Release date: 30 Apr. 2014
  • Editors: James Meese and Ramon Lobato

Please submit articles through this Website. Send any enquiries to cute@journal.media-culture.org.au.


'persona'

In the contemporary moment where aspects of our lives are rendered visible for display, circulation and exchange via our involvement in online cultures, investigating the concept of persona and the production of the networked self is critical to understanding the patterns and flows of everyday and extraordinary public identities. Persona is usually perceived as a mask of identity, something that clouds and occludes a truer or raw version of ourselves, or thought of in a Goffman-like way as a form of "role-playing" and "impression management". The production of persona can therefore be seen as something strategic, something essential to the modern experience, and ultimately something that is filled with affect and agency as the individual both constructs and inhabits these public identity formations. Persona inhabits a space between the fictive and the real and has been explored as constitutive of what it means to be human/citizen (Cicero), what constitutes consistency of character (literary persona), what allows a public figure to negotiate a surveilled life (celebrity persona or an artistic persona), and even what kind of avatar/identity and presentation of the self is presented in play and the broader structures of social interaction and participation in game cultures (gamer persona) and fandoms. Circulating through the meaning of persona are some utopian ideals of reputation, recognition, value, and integrity that have moved to higher prominence in the contemporary moment where culture has been both individualised and personalised.

This issue of M/C Journal explores all aspects of the concept of persona. It invites articles that explore it both from a contemporary context but also those informed by the formation of persona historically. Authors are encouraged to apply the concept of persona and work through examples in a variety of areas. Some of those areas might be the following:

  • Social networks and reputation
  • Serial persona - how media construct their public identities
  • Performance and Persona
  • Political persona
  • Business persona
  • Portfolio culture and looking-for-work persona
  • Professional persona
  • The formation of reputation and persona
  • Damaged or toxic persona
  • Relationship between celebrity and persona
  • The meanings and dangers of the academic persona/the public intellectual persona
  • Constructing an aggregate persona: online monetisation and commodification of the self
  • Persona as brand
  • Institutions as personas
  • The technological persona
  • Fandom and participatory persona
  • Geek culture and the geek persona
  • Gender and persona
  • Persona in artistic and cultural practice
  • Migration, immigration and persona
  • Temporary/discardable persona
  • Gamer persona
  • Persona and publics
  • Character and persona
  • Mapping, charting or visualising online persona
  • Sport and persona

Prospective contributors should email an abstract of 100-250 words and a brief biography to the issue editors. Abstracts should include the article title and should describe your research question, approach, and argument. Biographies should be about three sentences (maximum 75 words) and should include your institutional affiliation and research interests. Articles should be 3000 words (plus bibliography). All articles will be refereed and must adhere to MLA style (6th edition).

Details

  • Article deadline: 25 Apr. 2014
  • Release date: 25 June 2014
  • Editors: P. David Marshall, Christopher Moore, and Kim Barbour

Please submit articles through this Website. Send any enquiries to persona@journal.media-culture.org.au.


'gothic'

In recent years, Gothic Studies has evolved into a solid field of enquiry. 'Gothic' as a critical term has the potential to bring together perspectives from many areas within the cultural studies umbrella, including literature, film, music, fashion, and architecture. Numerous incarnations of the Gothic mode and its genres can be found all over the world, showing multiple forms and nuances. Ranging in nature from cultural phenomena such as the 'Gothic romances' of literature, to the re-invented lines of 'cyber-Gothic' in game design, these different manifestations are not only typical of the geographical region in which they originate, but also provide proof of the interdisciplinary nature of the Gothic itself.

This issue of M/C Journal seeks to explore 'Gothic' in the broadest sense of the word. Areas of investigation may include, but are not limited to:

  • Gothic fiction and poetry
  • Gothic cinema
  • Gothic genres and sub-genres
  • Gothic food/domesticity
  • Gothic television/Gothic shows
  • Gothic creatures
  • Horror
  • Gothic and gender
  • Postcolonial Gothic
  • The Gothic in anime and manga
  • The Gothic in comics and graphic novels
  • Gothic histories
  • Gothic designs
  • Gothic architecture
  • Gothic music
  • Gothic fashion
  • Gothic spirituality
  • The Uncanny
  • Goth sub-cultures
  • Gothic geographies
  • The Gothic in videogames
  • Gothic technologies
  • Gothic narratives

Prospective contributors should email an abstract of 100-250 words and a brief biography to the issue editors. Abstracts should include the article title and should describe your research question, approach, and argument. Biographies should be about three sentences (maximum 75 words) and should include your institutional affiliation and research interests. Articles should be 3000 words (plus bibliography). All articles will be refereed and must adhere to MLA style (6th edition).

 

Details

  • Article deadline: 20 June 2014
  • Release date: 20 Aug. 2014
  • Editors: Lorna Piatti-Farnell and Erin Mercer

Please submit articles through this Website. Send any enquiries to gothic@journal.media-culture.org.au.


'illegitimate'

"I love bastards! I am bastard begot, bastard instructed, bastard in mind, bastard in valor, in everything illegitimate." (Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida)

As demonstrated above, 'illegitimate' is a value judgement with almost universal application, far beyond simple issues of birth and wedlock. In the present as much as Shakespeare's day, almost all social structures and institutions - families, communities (virtual or otherwise), exchange systems, governance and media - can be defined as legitimate or illegitimate depending on the context in which they exist. Criticism of such entities is legitimate or illegitimate depending upon an individual's perspective: Facebook facilitates legitimate or illegitimate social networks, depending on the country and political system within which it is accessed. In exploring different forms of illegitimacy, we are at the same time exploring how we define and contain what we think of as the legitimate, and how we categorise ourselves and those around us. Illegitimacy is harnessed as a potent method of social, media and familial control, enabling authority figures within society, the family and the nation to set the boundaries for what is and is not licit or acceptable.

And the illegitimate might even be seen to be a more legitimate outcome than the conventional alternative; consider Jon Snow of Game of Thrones fame, whose illegitimacy and consequent liminal status distance him from the political corruption and violence which ravage his legitimate siblings. While the series is as yet unfinished, it is tempting to speculate that Jon Snow's acknowledged illegitimacy will enable him to redeem a political system and society that has become morally, if not openly, itself illegitimate. The bastard in nineteenth-century fiction can be a redemptive figure such as Esther of Bleak House, whose innocence highlights the moral bankruptcy of the religious, social and political systems that marginalise her.

From this perspective the very existence of the illegitimate provides a transgressive and at times invigorating alternative to the mainstream. Bastards in fiction can be vindictive or redemptive; illegitimacy serves as metaphor for emotional conditions and desires that cannot be legitimately expressed. They can be criminal, but can also be 'jokers'; wildcards who succeed precisely because they exist outside normal conventions. Illegitimate texts, children, language, rulers, nationalities, boundaries, coins and governments all exist alongside their legitimate counterparts; illegitimacy enabling us to define what is and is not 'legitimate'. Examining the deployment of illegitimacy as a discourse in fiction, in media and in governance might help us to reconsider how we draw lines, establish borders and define ourselves. This issue invites authors to explore the liminal, the illegal and the illegitimate. Possible topics might include:

  • What makes a bastard?
  • Bastards and pseudo-bastards in literature and media
  • Illegitimate narratives
  • Illegitimacy and emotions
  • Romantic bastards
  • Modern bastards
  • Attractive bastards
  • (Ill)egitimacy and politics
  • Illegitimacy and the Other
  • Illegitimacy and citizenship
  • Illegitimacy and identity
  • Anxious fathers and doubtful sons

Prospective contributors should email an abstract of 100-250 words and a brief biography to the issue editors. Abstracts should include the article title and should describe your research question, approach, and argument. Biographies should be about three sentences (maximum 75 words) and should include your institutional affiliation and research interests. Articles should be 3000 words (plus bibliography). All articles will be refereed and must adhere to MLA style (6th edition).

Details

  • Article deadline: 15 Aug. 2014
  • Release date: 15 Oct. 2014
  • Editors: Helen Vella Bonavita and Lelia Green

Please submit articles through this Website. Send any enquiries to illegitimate@journal.media-culture.org.au.


'counterculture'

The seeds of the global counterculture sprouted in the 1960s, flourished into the 1970s and for some the counterculture continues to frame their daily lives. Its challenge to the functionalist culture characterised by formal education, career, marriage and mortgage yielded a range of experiments, some failures and short-lived and others long-lasting and now almost mainstream. Whatever the outcome, the intent was not one possible future for one's life but a future of possibilities, along with a commitment to social and environmental sustainability. The counterculture was, therefore, intensely biopolitical in the sense that it was and is a politics of life, one's own life and life on planet earth more generally.

The counterculture was also contested from the beginning. The "counter" has been absorbed into consumer culture and commodified with ease. The love of transgression often saw the politics of power-relations overlooked. And despite being "counter", a relationship with the "mainstream" has always been necessary.

In the 1970s and 80s, the counterculture was alive in academic discussions, but recently it has been relatively dormant. This issue is designed to stimulate reflection and discussion of the counterculture in Australia and beyond. Areas of investigation may include, but are not limited to:

  • indigenous peoples and the counterculture
  • urban and rural countercultures
  • countercultural festivals
  • back to the land movements
  • utopian experiments
  • media and the counterculture
  • alternative: food, medicine, energy, architecture, childbirth, spirituality, sexuality, lifestyles …
  • the mainstream and the counterculture
  • contemporary manifestations of the counterculture
  • intentional communities
  • the counterculture and consumption
  • competition, cooperation and the counterculture
  • global and peripheral countercultures
  • the "counter" in counterculture
  • the counterculture and environmental movements
  • hippies

Prospective contributors should email an abstract of 100-250 words and a brief biography to the issue editors. Abstracts should include the article title and should describe your research question, approach, and argument. Biographies should be about three sentences (maximum 75 words) and should include your institutional affiliation and research interests. Articles should be 3000 words (plus bibliography). All articles will be refereed and must adhere to MLA style (6th edition).

 

Details

  • Article deadline: 10 Oct. 2014
  • Release date: 10 Dec. 2014
  • Editors: Rob Garbutt, Jacqueline Dutton, and Johanna Kijas

Please submit articles through this Website. Send any enquiries to counterculture@journal.media-culture.org.au.