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Call for Papers: The Velvet Light Trap, Issue #63, Spring 2009 ­ Censorship 
and Regulation

Though recent debates over YouTube and FCC regulations have brought 
censorship into the public light once again, these instances truly serve to 
underscore the manner in which our lived experience with media is in fact 
structured by acts of censorship and regulation. In theoretical engagements 
with censorship, broadly defined, media critics have increasingly abandoned 
romantic notions of the struggling artist and the institutional censor to 
embrace a more diffuse and complex understanding of power relations and 
production. Indeed, censorship has, and continues to function as a transfer 
point wherein power, politics, authorship, and reception overlap. The time 
has come for media studies to ask what “censorship” means in the current 
political and economic landscape of media production, to reinterrogate past 
instances of manifest censorship, to consider the productive qualities of 
censorship, and to uncover instances of “structural censorship” which upend 
the system itself.

Issue #63 of The Velvet Light Trap will explore the play between expression 
and control that censorship engenders, and how these moments are situated 
within cultural and sociopolitical matrices of power. We welcome fresh 
perspectives on previously interrogated modes of manifest censorship, such 
as American cinema’s Hays Code. Special consideration, however, will be 
given to those pieces which explore censorship within a global context or 
that trouble previously held distinctions between coherent text and censor. 
Additionally, the editors anticipate a wide variety of theoretical 
approaches to the subject, be they textual analyses, institutional 
criticism, political economy approaches, discourse analyses, or any number 
of viable critical frameworks.

Possible areas to explore in a broad-based definition of censorship and 
regulation include, but are not limited to:

Institutional regulation (censorship codes or direct government intervention)
Censorship as performance, spectacle, or public ritual
Market censorship
Film rating system and its enforcement
Cutbacks in government funding for controversial art
Boycotts and lawsuits
“Taste” or “high/low” hierarchies as legitimation/denigration
Regulation of identity and subculture through censorship
Pornography and “obscenity” regulation
Marginalization of artists according to race/gender/class/sexuality
Technologies of censorship (V-Chip, etc…)
“Unrated” and Direct-to-Video markets
Marketing marginality through censorship
Television ratings as a prohibiting mechanism
Delegitimation as censorship
“Media effects,” the vulnerable audience, and censorship
Censorship and regulation of video games
FCC regulation and enforcement
Transnational media flow and translation/alteration/censorship
Censoring as an act of (re)authorship/inscribing meaning
Internet censorship and regulation (YouTube, etc…)
Alternative modes of address created under censorship
Rhetorical investigations of censorship debates

Papers should be between 6,000 and 7,500 words (approximately 20-25 pages 
double-spaced), in MLA style with a cover page including the writer's name 
and contact information. Please send four copies of the paper (including a 
one-page abstract with each copy) in a format suitable to be sent to a 
reader anonymously. All submissions will be refereed by the journal's 
Editorial Advisory Board. For more information or questions, contact Andrew 
Scahill at [log in to unmask] Submissions are due January 30, 2008, 
and should be sent to:

The Velvet Light Trap, c/o The Department of Radio-Television-Film, 
University of Texas at Austin, CMA 6.118, Mail Code A0800, Austin, TX, 78712

The Velvet Light Trap is an academic, peer-reviewed journal of film and 
television studies. Issues are coordinated alternately by graduate students 
at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Texas-Austin. 
The Editorial Advisory Board includes such notable scholars as Charles 
Acland, Peter Bloom, David Desser, David Foster, Sean Griffin, Bambi 
Haggins, Charlie Keil, Michele Malach, Dan Marcus, Nina Martin, Joe 
McElhaney, Tara McPherson, Jason Mittell, James Morrison, Steve Neale, 
Karla Oeler, Lisa Parks, and Malcolm Turvey.


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