Call for Papers
Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture
Deadline: 20th December 2008
Genre has undergone radical transformations since the advent of a media society, in which popular texts are not so much literary but visual. Narrative studies of genre, such as John Cawelti's Six-Gun Mystique (1970) and Darko Suvin's Metamorphoses of Science-Fiction (1979), were quickly overturned by an increasing interest in cinematic, televisual, visual and digital textualities. Studies of different and interrelated media superceded the structuralist interest in narrative. Increasingly generic identity was conceived of as modal, or adaptable between media, consumed and produced by differently situated groups of readers, cultures and audiences.
Genre became differentiated from within itself, no longer identical but constituted at the interface of various media and readers. It was assembled from other genres, a combination of overlapping, discontinuous tropes that played ironically with its own established forms. Postmodernism had broken with both the neo-classicism of the New Criticism and with a historically minded structuralism to produce a new critical view of genre, one that fostered the emergence of hybrid and self-conscious fictions between media. Its readers were no longer seen as isolated but, in their engagement with multiple practices of interpretation, were recognized in distinct communities. Studies like Janice Radway's Reading the Romance: Women, Romance and Popular Fiction (1991) and Henry Jenkins' Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture (1992) explored new ways of looking at popular texts within their contexts.
It is with a view to addressing these changes that this issue of Reconstruction will investigate the function of genre in theory and fictions alike. Papers are sought that address the fragmented state of genre theory, spread as it is across studies of new and old media, fan and reading communities, narrative and visual theory. We are interested in the function of genre in different medias, such as comics and games. Why has genre persisted in this age of multi-modal expressions? What makes it tick, travel across media, to return and coalesce in new and old forms of narrative, visuality and intertextuality?
We envisage papers covering a variety of theoretical / discursive positions, including:
- feminist theory
- queer theory
- postcolonial theory
- convergent/transformative media
- new cultural histories
Please send completed essays, multimedial performances, etc. to Helen Merrick and Darren Jorgensen at exp.genre_at_gmail.com by 20th December, 2008. We are happy to consider abstracts and proposals prior to this date. Publication is expected in the third quarter of 2009. Papers should be about 5,000 - 7,000 words and follow the Reconstruction guidelines for submission .
Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture (ISSN: 1547-4348) is an innovative online cultural studies journal dedicated to fostering an intellectual community composed of scholars and their audience, granting them all the ability to share thoughts and opinions on the most important and influential work in contemporary interdisciplinary studies. Reconstruction publishes one open issue and three themed issues quarterly. Reconstruction is indexed in the MLA International Bibliography.
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