Climate, Creatures and COVID-19: Environment and Animals in Twenty-First Century Media Discourse
Vol. 14 No. 2 (2021)
This special issue of Networking Knowledge features much-needed contributions to discussions about environment and ecology, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the increasing urgency of the climate crisis, changed ways of working, communicating, and thinking and being in the world. These interventions are provided by postgraduate and early-career researchers from a range of disciplines and cover a range of subjects, all relevant to reflecting on the pre-COVID-19 world and what we might still perceive as a ‘normal’ to be returned to or reconfigured, the events of the pandemic and lockdown, and/or constructions of the future, and the kind of recovery that is desirable and achievable. Maki Eguchi analyses a Japanese TV drama and its portrayal of pre-pandemic dairy farming, while Catherine Price considers genetically modified animals and the rhetorical construction of monstrosity. Lynda M Korimboccus asks us to consider animals in children’s television, and the hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance of ham sandwiches in Peppa Pig lunchboxes. Xin Zhao questions how the notion of ‘public’ is constructed in the reporting of environmental justice policy in China, and Callum Bateson describes how the stories of Máiréad Ní Mhionacháin can help us to think about the importance of environmental belonging and the impact of colonialism in the Anthropocene. Tayler Zavitz and Corie Kielbiski juxtapose Bong Joon Ho’s Okja (2017) and Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (2013) to analyse the power of entertainment media in creating attitudes about animal rights and welfare activism. Nivedita Tuli and Azam Danish show the role of Instagram in environmental justice, and how the platform can distort and appropriate environmental and animal rights and welfare campaigns into personal celebrity, marketing and other political agendas. Jack Buchanan offers an analysis of ecological practice and worldhood in the work of Welsh filmmaker Scott Barley, while Nikki E. Bennett and Elizabeth Johnson talk Tiger King, and the impact the series has (or hasn’t) had on public engagement with, and attitudes to, the ownership of big cats for human entertainment. Theoretical work from critical animal studies, posthumanism, the environmental humanities and media studies is brought to bear on subjects that are relevant to how we have navigated (or failed to navigate) interspecies relationships and the entanglement of humans and ecology in the past, and how the pandemic period might offer us an opportunity to reconsider and change direction.
Edited by Rebecca Jones
#TogetherApart: Mediatization, (Inter)subjectivity and Sociality at a Time of Pandemic
Vol. 14 No. 1 (2021)
This special issue features 12 contributions by early career scholars and artists dealing with the role of mediatization in the COVID-19 pandemic conjuncture. Themes such as mediated intimacy and sociality, pandemic ideology, politicians’ curated authenticity and discursive constructions of self, and playbour and resistance in digital games are examined in five original articles, while three autoethnographic contributions explore the concepts of mediated presence, collectivity, contemplative community, loneliness and relationality. The autoethnographies – in the form of short film, collage and poetry vignettes, respectively – add a personal experiential layer to the broader themes. To generate (mediated) interpersonal dialogue, two artists/academics engage deeply with the autoethographies, further reflecting on the themes explored therein. The issue concludes with an interview with Professor Andreas Hepp, of the University of Bremen, who comments on the contributions and reflects on the role of “deep mediatization” in the pandemic world.
Edited by Bissie Anderson and Santhosh kumar Putta
"Let the distance be physical", by Cristina Estanislao on Unsplash. Submitted for United Nations Global Call Out To Creatives - help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Vol. 13 No. 2 (2020)
This standard issue features six contributions from postgraduate and early career scholars, exploring a breadth of topics around a shared focus on time – the genealogy of sound in digital games, the use of social networking sites by expats, the impact of digital technology on education, the social construction of reality in a mediated world, temporalities in broadcast journalism, and the micro-narrative structures of romantic comedies. The articles present a good mix of empirical research and conceptual development, questioning, expanding, developing and testing theoretical constructs, and proposing innovative tools and approaches for examining their objects of study, thus driving forward theoretical debates in the fields of media, communications, sociology, and technoculture, and the cross-disciplinary spaces in between.
Vol. 12 No. 2 (2019)
In contrast to previous themed and conference-based issues of the journal, the papers in this standard issue are diverse in their exploration of themes and modes of enquiry. Their themes range from health communication to protest, and from queer narratives to search for home. Significantly, the papers engage with different forms, platforms, and means of mass media, communications, and culture, including community-based communication, forms of political communication, strategies of lobbying, and creative cultural resistance. At the same time, the research contexts of these authors are also varied, with case studies drawn from the EU, Israel, Kenya, and India. However, it is in the diverse nature of these papers that a unique standpoint is offered, bringing together global perspectives on culture, people, and organisations, and their complex interactions with and understandings of media and forms of communications.
MeCCSA PGN 2018 Conference: Contemporary News Discourse Around the Globe
Vol. 12 No. 1 (2019)
The papers presented in this special issue were submitted as part of the Best Paper competition at MeCCSA’s Postgraduate Network conference in 2018. The conference took place on 5th and 6th July 2018 at Canterbury Christ Church University and was organised by Nicholas Furze, Aurora Patera and Emma Kaylee Graves. As there were several high-quality papers submitted for the competition, it was decided that the 2018 conference would have two special issues in Networking Knowledge, instead of the usual one. This issue therefore compliments the previous issue of the journal: MeCCSA Postgraduate Network 2018 Conference Special Issue: Communities and the Media Around the Globe. While the first special issue had a very broad scope in terms of the topics covered by the authors, the current special issue has a more specialised focus on analyses of news discourse.
MeCCSA Postgraduate Network 2018 Conference Special Issue: Communities and the Media Around the Globe
Vol. 11 No. 2 (2018)
On 5th and 6th July 2018, MeCCSA’s Postgraduate Network held their annual conference at Canterbury Christ Church University. The event was organised by Nicholas Furze, Aurora Patera and Emma Kaylee Graves, all of whom have contributed to the creation of this special issue. The papers presented in this special issue are each based upon presentations given by attendees of this conference. With the inclusive theme of media, community and culture, the conference saw a wide variety of scholarship from contributors based in the UK and beyond. As a result, the four papers that make up this issue vary greatly, but are all related in that they each consider communities’ relationships to the media around the globe.
Exploring the Intersections of Fashion, Film, and Media
Vol. 11 No. 1 (2018)
Since the turn of the twentieth century, the film industry has played a key role in the promotion and representation of fashion. Likewise, fashion’s mediated character through newsreels, television, newspapers, magazines, photography, and even paintings has facilitated the study of costume and dress history. Film scholars have dedicated efforts to the study of fashion, film, and media, focusing mostly but not exclusively on matters of representation through costume design. Significant contributions from scholars like Jane Gaines, Stella Bruzzi, Tamar Jeffers McDonald, and Adrienne Munich among others have paved the way for an interdisciplinary approach to study fashion from a film and media perspective and shaped a multitude of intercultural links between cinema and other media practices. Far from being an exhausted topic, however, the intersections between the fashion and film industries offer a vast potential that is increasingly becoming of interest to early career scholars around the globe. This special issue seeks to widen the existing research network, presenting articles from postgraduate students and early career researchers from different background with a dedicated interest in researching the intersections between fashion, film, and media. These papers provide an overview of the ways in which these areas of study overlap and intertwine.
Guest Edited by Elizabeth Castaldo Lunden
Cover image by Lucian Savluc shared under CC BY-ND 2.0 Image title: “Fashion in the Age of Social Media.” Available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/luciansavluc/6877192150
Sex and Sexualities in Popular Culture
Vol. 10 No. 3 (2017)
In November 2015, we held a symposium on the theme of Sex & Sexualities in Popular Culture at the Watershed, Bristol. Having met at a conference on popular music fandom and the public sphere, earlier that year, the symposium was a result of our shared interest in, and work on, sex and sexualities in popular culture. Bethan has worked extensively on antifandom of Fifty Shades of Grey and the moral panics surrounding the ‘irrational’ behavior of One Direction and Twilight fans. Milena’s research focuses on sexual consent in erotic fan fiction, and they have a keen interest in how media and culture interact with the discursive construction of sex, sexualities, and consent. Through the symposium, then, we wanted to afford a platform for postgraduate researchers and creative practitioners exploring the nuances of sex and sexualities within popular culture to meet and share ideas. Of course, the terms ‘sex’, ‘sexualities’ and ‘popular culture’ are not fixed or immutable and while we included suggestions for what papers might examine, the abstracts we received covered a range of topics, from literature and computer games to social media and fan fiction, and advertising to social activism. The symposium was well received both in person and online. We encouraged attendees to live tweet using the hashtag #popsex15, and discussions took place both at the Watershed and on Twitter about consent, the normative depictions of sex and relationships in popular culture, misogynistic hate speech and intersex characters in literature. The amount of engagement with the ideas and themes coming out of the symposium suggested that a deeper analysis was needed, and this special issue of Networking Knowledge - Journal of the MeCCSA-PGN attempts to engage in more detail with some of these.
Guest Edited by Milena Popova and Bethan Jones
Gender and the Screenplay: Processes, Practices, Perspectives
Vol. 10 No. 2 (2017)
In presenting this special issue, the editors acknowledge the skew toward female and feminist gendered concerns in screenwriting practice, representative of the response to the call for papers. The proposals received also indicated that the study of gender in screenwriting and screenplays may be underexplored (as distinct from gendered perspectives and representations on screen, for which we received many submissions, useful and interesting analyses in and of themselves, but not directly contributing to a special issue focused upon the page). The editors are also aware of the almost exclusive focus upon film (over television, gaming and online screenwriting for example) and, most regrettably, the absence of transgendered, intersexed or gender non-conforming perspectives. We hope this special issue might begin a conversation about gendered screenwriting (practices, processes and perspectives) beyond the binary.
Guest Edited by Louise Sawtell and Stayci Taylor.
Ageing in a Networking Society
Vol. 10 No. 1 (2017)
Edited by Liliana Vale Costa and Hannah Grist
This special issue aims to explore the role of ICTs in encouraging the development of networked older adults. Specifically, the following papers give a noteworthy contribution to the challenges posed by an increasingly ageing and networked society. This special issue is edited by colleagues whose disciplines are not naturally symbiotic – one from Information and Communication studies and the other from Ageing studies. As such, this special issue posed an interesting set of challenges for the editors as they explored their shared understandings of what it means to grow old or be old in a network society. The editors would therefore like to thank the authors for their receptiveness to ageing studies theory and for challenging their own assumptions about what it means to be old. This special issue acts, in some ways, as a stepping stone or a bridge between more information technological based notions of what it is to grow older and cultural gerontological constructions of older age.
Cover Image: Liliana Vale Costa.
Together While Apart: Mediating Relationships and Intimacy
Vol. 9 No. 6 (2016)
Edited by Patricia Prieto-Blanco and Maria Schreiber
This special issue of Networking Knowledge seeks to explore how interpersonal relationships are mediated in contemporary contexts. Digital technologies and practices associated with them enable us to interact with our social network of support in a seemingly easy way: we just need to use the touch of a finger to show that we care. However, it also takes the same effort and the same fingertips to demonstrate hate.
Interrogating the pragmatics of mediated affection and disaffect has become a necessity. In mediated interpersonal relationships, the intimate and the emotional are often subjected to a set of infrastructures, somewhere else called affordances (Chemero, 2003; Wright and Parchoma, 2011), as well as to set of practices (Couldry, 2002). The contributions that make up Together While Apart? highlight the emotive dimension of mediated communication. The common thread of all contributions to this issue is the focus on how relationships, intimacy and (dis)affect are constituted and negotiated through media.
Cover Image: Carolina Cambre.
Fortress Europe: Media, Migration and Borders
Vol. 9 No. 4 (2016)
Edited by Sara Marino & Simon Dawes
Cover image: “The thrill of political power” by Adriano Galasso
Make, Mistake, Journey: Practice-led research and ways of learning
Vol. 9 No. 3 (2016)
Edited by Alice Clough and Anna Piper
Student Studying by Ian L
Audiences and their Musics: New Approaches
Vol. 9 No. 2 (2016)
Edited by Rafal Zaborowski
Unknown (1920) Club holds radio dance wearing earphones
MeCCSA-PGN Conference 2015
Vol. 9 No. 1 (2016)
This special issue is devoted to the papers that were given at the MeCCSA-PGN Annual Conference at Coventry University in July 2015. Based around the theme of ‘Transformative Practice and Theory: Where We Stand Today', the issue is edited by the conference organisers, Francien Broekhuizen, Danai Mikelli and Poppy Wilde, and the journal editor, Simon Dawes.
Be Your Selfie: Identity, Aesthetics and Power in Digital Self-Representation
Vol. 8 No. 6 (2015)
Edited by Laura Busetta and Valerio Coladonato
Cover image used with permission from iandcameron https://www.instagram.com/p/vwaCydFKoR/
Reframing Cinematic Space and Audience Practice in the Digital Age
Vol. 8 No. 5 (2015)
Edited by Dario Llinares and Sarah Arnold
Cosmopolis (2005) Maurice Benayoun's Giant Virtual Reality Interactive Installation
CC BY 3.0
Vol. 8 No. 4 (2015)
Guest edited by Daniel Merlin Goodbrey and Jayms Clifford Nichols
“Digital Comics” by Daniel Merlin Goodbrey
Vol. 8 No. 3 (2015)
Edited by Simon Dawes
MeCCSA-PGN Conference 2014
Vol. 8 No. 1 (2015)
Edited by Andreas Rauh Ortega & Simon Dawes
All About Oscar; Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Academy Awards
Vol. 7 No. 4 (2014)
Guest edited by Liam Heffernan
Photo by Davidlohr Bueso
CC BY 2.0
Othering Race and Ethnicity in Media and Popular Culture
Vol. 7 No. 3 (2014)
Guest edited by Ruth Sanz Sabido