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August 2016, Week 4


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Natalie Coulter <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 07:29:56 -0400
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Susan Driver (York University, Toronto) and Natalie Coulter (York 
University, Toronto) are inviting submissions for a proposed anthology 
exploring the intersections of youth cultures, affective relations and 
digital media.

In recent years, there has been a proliferation of academic and popular 
interest in the ways young people engage with digital media as a pervasive 
and integral part of their everyday lives. On the one hand celebratory 
approaches position youth as generational leaders with unique knowledge 
and skills to operate devices and mobilize applications. Alternately young 
people are positioned in passive ways as victims of corporate 
technological systems that shape their identities and delimit their social 
relations within narrow and normative boundaries. In both these framings 
young people are homogenized and fixed within dominant institutions of the 
digital political economy. Big data and overarching structures become 
primary sites of study losing touch with the voices, embodiments and 
practices of youth within their local contexts of learning, creativity and 

Alternatively, to hone in closely on young people has often proven to be 
invasive, bound up with moral evaluations that rigidly interpret the 
subjective and interpersonal lives of young people, negatively judging how 
they connect, play games, make profiles, text each other, upload images 
and gather information. And within this process it is striking how much 
interest gets loosely placed on the emotional and affective dimensions of 
young peoples? experiences. It is precisely the feelings and bodily 
encounters of young people that grip moral panics about the excess and 
dangers of online interactions: sharing too much information, immersing 
too fast and far within virtual realities, fictionalizing the self, taking 
sexual risks, becoming violent or addicted, and losing control. Yet in 
framing youth experience in terms of affectively charged relations that 
transgress rational and moral codes of meaning, youth are once again 
constructed in universalizing and naturalizing ways. What is lacking in 
this research are expansive critical, empirically detailed and ethically 
nuanced modes of theorizing the links between youth, affect and digital 

Scholars have begun to grapple with the affective contours of youth 
mediations using supple and complex interdisciplinary tools that recognize 
the historical and ideological stakes of their practice. Nancy Lesko?s 
deconstructive approach to modern normalizing conceptions of youth offers 
a brilliant starting point to reconsider how youth affect gets erased, 
reified and misrepresented. Feminist approaches to the study of girls? 
media engagements have been especially responsive to the creative 
emotional and symbolic negotiations of young people across a range of 
media formats (Angela McRobbie, Michelle Fine, Anita Harris, Jessica 
Ringrose, Jessalynn Keller, Anna Hickey-Moody, Emma Renolds).  Critical 
attention to youth sexualities have also turned toward the ways desire and 
power play out in a multitude of ways, against restrictive heteronormative 
expectations (Jack Halberstam, Susan Talburt, Whitney Monaghan, Kathryn 
Bond Stockton, Natasha Hurley, Jen Gilbert, Mary Louise Rasmussen). 
Focusing on how racial and national identities and embodiment  become 
articulated and resisted, scholars have elaborated research to considering 
how and why race matters across media  (Tricia Rose, Gwendolyn Pough, Greg 
Dimitriadis, Sunaina Marr Maira, Gayatri Gopinath).  These lists are in no 
way exhaustive but what is striking are the ways in which thinking through 
affects of joy, fear, desire, anxiety, hope, longing, anger, pleasure and 
grief (among many others), become central to the process of understanding 
young people?s mediated lives across a range of youth scholarship. 
Recognizing the interconnected embodied, affective, psychic, social, 
cultural, political worlds of young people becomes vital within research 
grappling with experiences of marginalization and inequality. 

These diverse and overlapping bodies of work are at the forefront of 
attending to the historically mediated and situated dynamics of young 
peoples affective lives and the conceptual mappings and discursive 
formations that make them thinkable and politically relevant. Our book 
aims to expand upon this emerging research, insisting upon theoretical 
applications and speculations that are simultaneously specific and 
historically grounded. Attending to the emerging networked publics and 
social media landscapes that elicit young people?s intense interest, we 
want to address changing intersections of technology, practice, 
representation and affective experiences. We are excited to explore how 
social movements including Black Lives Matter, Idle No More, Arab Spring 
and Occupy have been propelled through the affectively charged and nuanced 
participations that mobilize social movements by, for and about young 
people. We also want to attend to the detailed ways youth use and 
transform media technologies and platforms, at the level of their everyday 
worlds. With the popularity of sharing user-generated content on mobile 
devices through platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr, 
youth are telling stories, imaging themselves and forging connections in 
prolific ways that articulate relations between self and other, intimacy 
and community, creativity and politics that go beyond binary ways 
thinking. We value research that engages with the small data realms of 
young people through which ephemeral and fluid online interrelations 
become noticeable and meaningful, giving rise to new interpretive styles 
and methodologies that refuse totalization and closure. Against the often 
abstract tendencies of affect theory, we aim to gather research that is 
attentive to the changing mediated social conditions of the affective 
relations of young people across gender, sexual, racial, national and 
class differences.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

Affective mediations and globalization/diasporic youth engagements
Young peoples networked sexualities 
Gender affect and mediation
Affective dimensions of algorithms/digital surveillance 
Affective relations of race/mobilizations of anti-racist youth expressions 
and movements
Moral regulations/panics of young peoples affective relations
Affective formations of young people through platforms/apps/hardware 
Affective life of video games
Mediated embodiments
Neoliberal ideologies and the mediation of youth affect
Commodification/commercialization of affects

Please submit a 500-word abstract that includes a short list of 
references, and a brief bio, by Friday Sept. 15, 2016 to [log in to unmask] 
or [log in to unmask] .

We will notify successful submissions by Oct 1.  Full essays will be due 
by Dec. 1.


 Natalie Coulter, PhD  |  Assistant Professor  | Communication Studies |  
York University 

 | 3042 TEL Building  | 4700 Keele St.  | Toronto ON  | M3J 1P3  | Canada
 | (  416.736.2100 x 77849  | * [log in to unmask] 

My new book, Tweening the Girl, can be found here:

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