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June 2021, Week 2


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Jennifer Moorman <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 9 Jun 2021 16:41:29 -0400
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Eds.: Jonathan Cohn, Jennifer Moorman, Samantha Noelle Sheppard

Abstracts/Proposals (300 words) due August 1st

Chapters (no longer than 6000 words) due Feb 1st

Send abstracts to [log in to unmask]

Whether watching a film, binging a series, playing a game, surfing the web,
or scrolling through social networks, genre profoundly shapes the
expectations, pleasures, and disappointments of media spectatorship. Yet,
genre has not been a central concern of media studies writ large since the
1990s and the early scholarship of the likes of Rick Altman, Thomas Cripps,
Carol Clover, Jane Feuer, Vivian Sobchack, and Linda Williams.  In some
areas of media studies (most notably video games and new media), serious
discussions of genre are almost non-existent.  Where it is present, it
is--with some important exceptions--typically Eurocentric. Media and genre
are often opposed to one another as two discrete forms of categorization
and the field has largely sided with media as the more helpful, productive,
and critical of the two.

In fetishizing media, our field has overlooked the possibility that often
when we say ‘media’, we really mean ‘genre.’  How many arguments over
whether or not TV as a medium turns you into a ‘couch potato,’  the
Internet makes you active, or VR makes you empathetic could be settled if
framed as an effect of particular genres instead? Genre may now be a more
helpful heuristic for the questions many of us currently ask.  The way we
engage with a piece may have far more to do with its genre than medium.
The way we consider and judge a piece’s depictions of our cultural,
economic, and political reality are also shaped first and foremost by
genre.  While discourses around media are typically interested in defining
clear distinctions between media, genre is valued for being a far looser
form of categorization that privileges connections, overlaps, and
hybridity. Genre is also transmedial and can readily help to show the
connections between media. These are just a few of the avenues that a more
fulsome discussion of genre could lead us down.

Starting from these provocations, we seek to revitalize discussions of
genre in media studies by providing a showcase for some of the most
exciting new work in the area. In this anthology, we ask the question of
whether organizing our field around media was a mistake. Would we have been
able to better confront and consider the many central debates and dead ends
of media studies over the last three decades if we had started by centering
on genre rather than media, or at least setting them up as equals? What
other potential difficulties and problems may have arisen instead? New
media has had its moment; now it’s time to consider what new genres can do.

We are especially seeking papers on the following or similar topics:


   New genres across media

   Genres of the Global South

   Genres of the dispossessed

   The culture, politics, and/or economics of genrification

   Forgotten and misunderstood genres

   Genre as embodiment and/or interactivity

   Genres, historicity, and historiography

Jennifer Moorman, PhD
Assistant Professor
Communication & Media Studies
Fordham University
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*Fordham College at Rose Hill is situated on Wappinger and Munsee Lenape
land. To learn more about whose land you occupy and what you can do to
support decolonization efforts, consult the Native Land Map
<> and the resources provided by the Manna-hatta
Fund <>. *

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