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CFP: “Digital Distribution” Media Fields Issue 10

Deadline: October 24th

Details Below ___________________________________________________________________

As listed on the Media Fields website:

In the past few years, media studies scholars such as Alisa Perren, Stuart Cunningham, and Ramon Lobato, have persuasively made the case for the importance of studying distribution. No longer considered simply the “space between production and consumption,” distribution has quickly become a site of study in and of itself. In its myriad forms, distribution serves as the construction of difference, as the instantiation of hierarchies, and, as Sean Cubitt puts it, “the material ground of cultural dominance and political power.” Therefore, the study of distribution increasingly becomes a key locus from which to start our investigations into the cultural, political, and social ramifications of media.

Alongside this newfound attention to distribution, scholars have also begun to trace the rise and proliferation of digital technologies. Over a decade after the coining of the term Web 2.0, and fifteen years after the launch of Napster, the number of platforms and formats for the digital circulation of media has skyrocketed and, consequently, their ensuing communities have multiplied. Contemporary media studies has turned its attention not only to digital technologies themselves but also to the new media ecosystems emerging from these technologies.

By considering these two intertwined, burgeoning trends in media studies scholarship, this issue of Media Fields Journal will explore how the theorization and practice of distribution transforms in light of the digital. If distribution is the movement of things—information, commodities, values, etc.—through space, the digital has now complicated what each of these aspects constitutes. The types of things that can be distributed across media have changed; the ways these things move are different; even the space through which they move has shifted. Furthermore, what phenomena, technologies, and practices fall under the purview of distribution have become more varied and disparate.

For the Digital Distribution issue, Media Fields Journal seeks submissions that address questions about the role of distribution—as a practice, as a space, or as a process—in light of the digital. What are these new technologies and platforms, and how do they alter our relationships to media content? How are relations of power between producers and consumers restructured? How is geographical space itself reconfigured or reimagined? How is the exchange of values and affects facilitated by digital networks? How does the digital change the very metaphors used to discuss distribution, such as pipes, conduits, channels, networks, flow, etc.? In turn, how do these metaphors shape our projects and our theories of distribution?

We invite submission that engage with the interconnections between distribution, the digital, and space in relation to topics such as:

Geography: Geoblocking, International Censorship, Reformatting, Global Internet Penetration and Platform Availability, Satellite and Cable Infrastructure, Geographical Case Studies

Informal Distribution Practices: Piracy Practices and Networks, Do-It-Yourself Distribution, Cyber Underworlds and the “Darknet”

Social Space: Online Fan Practices, Social Networking, Cultures of Hacking, Social Apps

Regulation and Policy: Cloud Governance, Net Neutrality, Spectrum Management, Privacy Rights, Regulating E-Waste

Digital Platforms and Evolving Business Practices: Connected Viewing and Mobile Media, Content Flow and Windowing, Web TV, TV Everywhere, Format Theory, Digital Radio and Podcasting, Platform Interfaces and Design, Audience Segmentation and Metadata

Essay submissions are typically 1500-2500 words. We encourage submissions from any disciplinary approach relevant to media distribution. Scholarly or critical contributions in atypical formats are welcome. Along with your submission, please include a 50-word biographical statement in the body of your email or as a separate attachment. Email submissions or inquiries to issue editors Jennifer Hessler and Juan Llamas-Rodriguez at The deadline for submission is October 24, 2014.

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