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Call for Papers

The Velvet Light Trap #66

"New Media in the Majority World"


New media technologies are rapidly transforming cultures and media products throughout the "majority world". This term, advocated by Bangladeshi photographer Shahidul Alam, describes "developing" countries in a way that underscores a central paradox; while decision-making power largely falls to "Group of Eight" countries, those outside this power structure comprise the bulk of the world's population. Nations, regions and communities in the majority world, including India, China, the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa all engage with locally-specific, yet globally-inflected forms of production, exhibition, distribution, and reception that chart new courses for new media technologies and suggest the possible rise of "majority media."


This issue of The Velvet Light Trap will examine the majority world in light of changes brought about by digital communications technologies, including digital production software, Internet media, DVD, digital video, satellite television, and mobile phones. Majority world cultures are being reshaped through new opportunities for media production, distribution and consumption. Examples include: the creation of a new Arab public sphere through web-based media, SMS-centered activism in Uganda, the use of digital video in Iranian cinema, the Nigerian trade in Bollywood videos, the global circulation of the telenovela bolstered by satellite television, and the use of cell phone footage in Middle Eastern documentary.


This issue will privilege studies that investigate, through primary research and concrete analysis, how the production, content, and reception of non-Western film, television, and digital media have been affected by the rise of new media technologies. While this issue focuses on the changes brought about by global interactions and new technologies, essays that argue for continuities from older media and contexts in the face of such changes are also welcome. Ultimately, this issue will prioritize those submissions that attempt to sketch out the industrial and cultural forces behind these mediascapes despite their at times radically politicized contexts.

Beyond the subjects suggested above, possible topics addressing new media in the majority world (especially in the Middle East, India, China, Africa and Latin America) include, but are not limited to:

    * how institutional contexts (i.e. ones influenced by particular legislation, policies, or flows of capital) have facilitated the use of new media
    * locally based reception studies that investigate how the majority world interacts with new media
    * aesthetic choices confronting majority world filmmakers using digital technology
    * the role of new media in shaping or re-invigorating locally specific narrative content
    * how new media is affecting media distribution and/or marketing in the majority world
    * locally based studies of the economics of new media in the majority world
    * locally based studies of majority world news media
    * how new media technologies are being integrated into established production practices and/or how they are paving the way for new ones
    * the role of new media practices in globalizing local media forms and production

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 John Powers ([log in to unmask]), Nick Marx ([log in to unmask]), Liz Ellcessor ([log in to unmask] ), or Colin Burnett ([log in to unmask]). Submissions are due September 15, 2009, and should be sent to:


The Velvet Light Trap
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Department of Communication Arts
821 University Avenue
Madison, WI USA 53706-1497


"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 Henry Benshoff, Peter Bloom, David Desser, Radhika Gajjala, Sean Griffin, Bambi Haggins, Nina Martin, Joe McElhaney, Tara McPherson, Jason Mittell, James Morrison, Steve Neale, Michael Newman, Karla Oeler, Aswin Punathambekar, Beretta E. Smith-Shomade, Malcolm Turvey, and Michael Williams.


http://www.utexas.edu/utpress/journals/jvlt.html

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Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite
http://www.ScreenSite.org