We put out a call a while back but haven't received many manuscripts.
We're now way late, but still eager to see this special issue happen. If
you have something of yours or a student's that you'd like to see
published in this collection, please email it immediately (by Friday!!) to
me and to http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/mcas
Thanks so much!
Mass Communication & Society Special Symposium
> DOCUMENTARY FILM:
> FORMS, FUNCTIONS, AND IMPACTS
> Mathew C. Nisbet & Patricia Aufderheide, Guest Editors
> School of Communication
> American University
> **Manuscripts due no later than January 12, 2009**
> Recent films such as Fahrenheit 9/11, Supersize Me, An Inconvenient
> Truth, and Expelled have generated attention to how documentaries
> can shape debates over social issues and policy questions.
> Documentaries are no longer conventionally perceived as a passive
> experience meant solely for informal learning or entertainment.
> Instead, with ever increasing frequency, these films are considered
> part of a larger effort to spark debate, mold public opinion, shape
> policy, and build activist networks.
> In addition to these new forms and uses, more traditional public
> media genres such as Frontline, Bill Moyers, or POV continue to be
> leading outlets for public affairs journalism and perspective. At
> the same time, documentaries are becoming an ever-more-valued
> commercial enterprise at for-profit cable television networks and a
> wildly popular amateur genre on Youtube.
> These quickly changing trends in documentary content, distribution,
> and reach generate a range of questions for media scholars to
> examine. In this special issue of Mass Communication & Society, we
> seek theoretically-driven and empirically-grounded manuscripts that
> investigate the forms, functions, and impacts of documentary film.
> We especially seek submissions that explore the subject in one or
> several of the following ways:
> Cultural production questions. What is the economic, social, and
> cultural context for documentary film? For example, how do changing
> structural and economic factors shape the content, goals, and reach
> of a documentary? In what ways do different sub-genres vary by
> convention, style, forms, and tone?
> Normative and ethical questions. Relative to society, how do
> different kinds of documentary filmmakers and producers identify
> their roles—for instance, as journalists, artists, storytellers,
> historians, satirists, or entertainers? How do publics and
> stakeholders perceive the authority, intentions, or objectivity of
> these film producers? Connected to these perceived professional
> norms and roles, what sort of ethical considerations and
> professional standards guide the production, content, and strategic
> use of a film?
> Influence and impact questions. How does media theory help us
> understand or measure the social impact of a documentary's release—
> not only in terms of direct audience effects but also for publics
> beyond those who actually watch the film? For example, what is the
> agenda-building and frame-building influence of a film on news
> coverage and/or policy decisions? For audiences, what influence can
> a film have on informal learning about a complex policy topic? From
> an evaluation standpoint, how can research in this area inform the
> design, distribution, and marketing of a film? What kind of metrics
> can be defined and observed?
> Civil society and democracy questions. How and when do
> documentaries function as vehicles to engage people not only as
> viewers but as members of affected publics and participants in the
> public sphere? In what ways can a film be used as a tool to sponsor
> or facilitate public deliberation? As documentaries become a highly
> valued commercial genre and/or a new form of campaign strategy,
> does their perceived and/or actual role shift?
> Edited by Matthew C. Nisbet and Patricia Aufderheide, both of
> American University's School of Communication, the special issue
> will appear at the end of 2009.
> Submitted papers should be no longer than 30 pages including tables
> and figure. For additional guidelines, go to http://aejmc.net/mcs/
Pat Aufderheide, Professor and Director
Center for Social Media, School of Communication
3201 New Mexico Av. NW, #330
Washington, DC 20016-8080
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"You know, I'm an eternal optimist. That doesn't mean I'm a sap."
--President Barack Obama