British Association for American Studies


CFP: The Apollonian, Special Issue on Troubled Identity and the Continuing Relevance of Cultural Studies

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CFP: The Apollonian, Special Issue on Troubled Identity and the Continuing Relevance of Cultural Studies

June 1, 2017

The Apollonian Vol. 4, Issue 3 (September 2017) Special Issue on Troubled Identity and the Continuing Relevance of Cultural Studies
Deadline: 1 June 2017
Guest edited by Jonathan Wright and Susan Flynn (London College of Communication, University of the Arts, London)
Our increased attention with new forms of citizenship, changing social landscapes and emergent sets of social relations suggest that Cultural Studies and its analyses of cultural products must rapidly evolve in order to stay relevant.  Our visions of the future seem to be replete with fears of new social realities; new media technologies call us to question privacy, location, marginality, the ability to relate meaningfully with others, and the unequal distribution of material wealth. Are Cultural Studies equipped to deal with the theorization of these new realities?
Popular culture would have us believe that traditional identity categories are undergoing profound changes; gendered norms are called into question, the structure of the conventional nuclear family is no more and patterns of work and leisure are no longer clearly delineated. In a highly mediated world, it is interesting to return to Hall’s question “who needs identity?” because now more than ever, “the question, and the theorization of identity is a matter of considerable political significance, and is only likely to be advanced when both the necessity and the ‘impossibility’ of identities, and the suturing of the psychic and the discursive in their construction, are fully and unambiguously acknowledged” (2000: 29).
This edition seeks to engage with current media culture and mediated identity, in particular we wish to investigate current troubled identity narratives which reoccur across various media platforms. Characters’ struggles with elements of identity which are currently screened such as LGBT, transsexuality, crisis masculinity, slut-shaming, aggressive femininity, troubled parenting, etc. are of interest. In particular we are interested in television and film instances of troubled or troubling identity and how this relates to our cultural moment vis-à-vis changing social structures.
Interpreting media forms as diverse as reality television, popular film, fiction and advertising, contributors are invited to reveal the cultural weight of narratives that recur across media forms and provide a meaningful critique of the identities therein. We are interested in analyses of the images which various identities incur or eschew and we wish to engage with a diverse range of contemporary perspectives on the formation and maintenance of identity. By acknowledging the contradictions between lived realities and popular culture, this edition wishes to make sense of our particular cultural moment and the continuing relevance of Cultural Studies.
We seek platform papers and original critical articles which address these concerns from a variety of perspectives. Themes may include, but are not limited to:

  • New modulations of ‘the gaze’
  • Performance of identity
  • Financial crisis and identity
  • Social problems and identity
  • Parenting and family roles
  • Different geographical and political contexts of identity
  • LGBT culture on screen and/or in advertising
  • Identity and technicity

Abstracts of up to 350 words are requested by January 10th, 2017 and should be directed to Dr. Jonathan Wright (Course leader; BA Contemporary Media Cultures) and Dr. Susan Flynn (Lecturer; BA Contemporary Media Cultures) at London College of Communication, University of the Arts, London at j.c.wright@lcc.arts.ac.uk  and s.flynn@lcc.arts.ac.uk.
Papers of up to 8000 words using MLA referencing style, accompanied by an abstract within 300 words, must be submitted using the online submission interface on the journal’s submission page by the 1st June 2017. Please note that the Word file must be named “Submission-Sept 17-Author Name” e.g. Submission-Sept 17-John Smith to avoid confusion. Before submitting, please prepare your manuscript following the journal’s guidelines which can be found here: http://theapollonian.in/index.php/submission-guidelines/. Revised submissions should be sent by 1st Aug 2017 for the September 2017 edition.


June 1, 2017
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