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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Mon, 12 Dec 2022 12:25:10 -0600
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We are Laura C. Brown and Luis Rivera-Figueroa, the Co-Lead Coordinating
Editors for The Velvet Light Trap Issue #93. We are pleased to announce
that we are accepting submissions for Issue #93, *“Reconsidering Mass
Media.”* In addition to responses to our themed issue, we welcome
submissions broadly related to the journal’s focus on critical,
theoretical, and historical approaches to film and media studies. *Submissions
are due January 31, 2023.*

Thank you for your consideration,

Laura & Luis


VLT #93: Reconsidering Mass Media

Summer 2022 saw Top Gun: Maverick gross $1 billion globally in its first
month of release; in Fall 2021, Squid Game became Netflix’s most popular
series, with 1.65 billion hours streamed in its first four weeks of
release; on May 6, 2022, Bad Bunny became the Spotify artist with the most
one-day streams globally, with 183 million streams; and TikTok has received
over 3.5 billion downloads since 2018. Additionally, streaming platforms
like Netflix and Amazon Prime have massive reach over international
audiences, despite their varied location-specific libraries. In terms of
reaching a large audience or consumer base, these instances fit historical
definitions of mass media. However, studying these phenomena require
conjunctural and complex analyses of mass media that highlight both
historical continuities and contemporary transformations of the concept
through industrial, textual, and audience lenses.

Scholars, commentators, journalists, and audiences have used the concept of
mass media to refer to media industries and companies with vast reach,
popular genre formulas, and widely-consumed media artifacts ranging from
consumer electronics to programming and content. More recently, assumptions
of the homogeneity and uniformity of “the mass” have been challenged by
industrial trends toward audience fragmentation and content
diversification. Trends beginning with the widespread introduction of cable
television in the United States in the 1970s through the present
ever-expanding online media landscape—including app-based, algorithm-driven
personalization of content—have resulted in the segmentation of audiences,
media industries, and content across gendered, racial, ethnic, sexual,
generational, and cultural lines. However, within segmented audiences,
networks of users, and local spaces, there are instances of broadly
disseminated and collectively shared mediated experiences. For example, we
have seen mass media phenomena occur within specific digital publics,
social cohorts, other groups, and spaces such as Black Twitter and Gay
Twitter, BookTok, or local news telecasts. Beyond the recognition of
internal heterogeneity of the mass and the fragmentation of audiences,
global media production, distribution, and consumption challenge and
reimagine the national boundaries as a privileged site of distinction. Even
as current scholarly and industrial discourses challenge the assumed
homogeneity and unity of mass media, many of these logics and tactics
continue to shape the media landscape.

The Velvet Light Trap #93 seeks a variety of topics and approaches to
reconsider mass media in both contemporary and historical contexts. We
welcome submissions that work to revisit, redefine, renegotiate,
complicate, or challenge previously-held notions of mass media through a
multitude of approaches, including (but not limited to) audience studies,
cultural geography, discourse analysis, distribution studies, global media
studies, localism, media industries studies, sports media studies, taste
cultures, and textual analysis. We welcome contemporary and historical
explorations of any of the following themes:


   Defining and understanding mass media and the notion of “the mass”

   Examining under- or unstated assumptions of gender, race, sexuality,
   and/or representation within mass media, both in terms of texts and

   Mass media and geo-cultural markets, distribution, and/or consumption

   Distinctions or intersections between mass media and popular media

   Reconsidering notions of “mass” in a global, multi-pronged media

   Mass media as a framework to describe texts that are made for mass

   Considering how methods of remediation, reevaluation, or revisitation
   may construct mass media

   Mass media and audience maximization

   Locating and negotiating mass media within niches (and vice versa)

   Reconsidering taste cultures as they have been assigned to mass media

   Complicating notions of nationality within mass media

   Highlighting instances of “unintended” mass media (e.g. sleeper

   Interrogating ideas of “going viral” and “viral media”

   Imaginations and constructions of the audiences privileged as “mass”


   Mass mediation as it pertains to data mining, surveillance capitalism,
   and machine learning

Open Call

The Velvet Light Trap is pleased to announce that, in addition to accepting
submissions that relate to the above theme, we will accept general
submissions broadly related to the journal’s focus on critical,
theoretical, and historical approaches to film and media studies. We aim to
create a new space for scholarship that enhances the journal’s overall
mission and work that continues the research conversations to which our
themed issues have contributed. We hope that scholars inspired by the work
published in our themed issues, past and present, will especially consider
submitting their work. Even as our themes will continue to change each
issue, we want to sustain ongoing investment in and investigation of the
questions each issue of The Velvet Light Trap poses.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be between 6,000 and 7,500 words, formatted in Chicago
Style. Please submit an electronic copy of the paper, along with a separate
one-page abstract, both saved as Microsoft Word files. Remove any
identifying information so that the submission is suitable for anonymous
review. Quotations not in English should be accompanied by translations.
Send electronic manuscripts and/or any questions to [log in to unmask] by
January 31, 2023.

About the Journal

The Velvet Light Trap is a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal of film,
television, and new media. The journal draws on a variety of theoretical
and historiographical approaches from the humanities and social sciences
and welcomes any effort that will help foster the ongoing processes of
evaluation and negotiation in media history and criticism. While TVLT maintains
its traditional commitment to the study of American film, it also expands
its scope to television and other media, to adjacent institutions, and to
other nations' media. The journal encourages both approaches and objects of
study that have been neglected or excluded in past scholarship.

Graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University
of Texas at Austin coordinate issues in alternation, and each issue is
devoted to a particular theme. The Velvet Light Trap’s Editorial Advisory
Board includes such notable scholars as Manuel Avilés-Santiago, Lauren S.
Berliner, Andre Brock, Dolores Inés Casillas, Aymar Jean Christian, Norma
Coates, Brian Fauteux, Allyson Nadia Field, Racquel Gates, Aniko Imre,
Deborah Jaramillo, Derek Kompare, Lori Morimoto, Ruben Ramírez-Sànchez,
Debra Ramsey, Bob Rehak, Samantha Noelle Sheppard, and Alyx Vesey. TVLT's
graduate student editors are assisted by their local faculty advisors: Mary
Beltrán, Ben Brewster, Jonathan Gray, Michele Hilmes (emeritus), Lea
Jacobs, Derek Johnson, Shanti Kumar, Charles Ramírez Berg, Thomas Schatz
(emeritus), and Janet Staiger (emeritus).
*Laura C. Brown *(she/her/hers) and *Luis Rivera-Figueroa* (he/him/his)
Lead Coordinating Editors, *The Velvet Light Trap* #93
*University of Texas at Austin*

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