Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pew Internet Releases Adults and Social Networks report

Pew Internet Releases Adults and Social Networks report

Today, the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project releases a new data memo titled Adults and Social Network Websites that looks at how adults use sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace. Among the main findings of the report:

The share of adult internet users who have a profile on an online social network site has more than quadrupled in the past four years -- from 8% in 2005 to 35% now, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project's December 2008 tracking survey.

While media coverage and policy attention focus heavily on how children and young adults use social network sites, adults still make up the bulk of the users of these websites. Adults make up a larger portion of the US population than teens, which is why the 35% number represents a larger number of users than the 65% of online teens who also use online social networks.

Still, younger online adults are much more likely than their older counterparts to use social networks, with 75% of adults 18-24 using these networks, compared to just 7% of adults 65 and older. At its core, use of online social networks is still a phenomenon of the young.

Overall, personal use of social networks seems to be more prevalent than professional use of networks, both in the orientation of the networks that adults choose to use as well as the reasons they give for using the applications. Most adults, like teens, are using online social networks to connect with people they already know.

When users do use social networks for professional and personal reasons, they will often maintain multiple profiles, generally on different sites.

Most, but not all adult social network users are privacy conscious; 60% of adult social network users restrict access to their profiles so that only their friends can see it, and 58% of adult social network users restrict access to certain content within their profile.

For the full report please visit:
http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/272/report_display.asp


About the Pew Internet & American Life Project: The Pew Internet Project is an initiative of the Pew Research Center, a nonprofit "fact tank" that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. Pew Internet explores the impact of the internet on children, families, communities, the work place, schools, health care and civic/political life. Support for the project is provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts. The project's Web site:
http://www.pewinternet.org/

Hypertext 2009 - Call for Papers

Hypertext 2009
Second Call For Papers
The Twentieth ACM Conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia
http://www.ht2009.org/

Torino, Italy, June 29 - July 1, 2009


SCOPE
The ACM Hypertext Conference is the main venue for high quality peer-reviewed research on "linking." The Web, the Semantic Web, the Web 2.0, and Social Networks are all manifestations of the success of the link. The Hypertext Conference provides the forum for all research concerning links: their semantics, their presentation, the applications, as well as the knowledge that can be derived from their analysis and their effects on society.

Hypertext 2008, held in Pittsburgh, was a real success. The number of submissions and attendees was up, a successful Student Research Competition took place, and a rejuvenated social linking track added new ideas and connections to the traditional core of the conference.


IMPORTANT DATES
* Technical tracks paper submission deadline: February 2nd, 2009
* Notification to authors: March 16th, 2009
* Camera-ready (final papers to ACM): April 6th, 2009


LOCATION AND DATES
Hypertext 2009 will be held from June 29th to July 1st at the Villa Gualino Convention Center, on the hills overlooking Torino.

The capital of the Piedmont region, Torino lies at the foot of the Alps, the majestic mountains that hosted the 2006 Winter Olympics. First the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, then one of the European centers of baroque, today Torino is a dynamic city known for its industry, art and culture, sports, research and education, and cuisine.

The timing of Hypertext 2009 provides an excellent opportunity to visit Italy in conjunction with the International Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation, and Personalization in Trento (UMAP 2009 - http://umap09.fbk.eu/), and the International Workshop and Conference on
Network Science in Venice (NetSci 2009 - http://www.netsci09.net/).


PROGRAM
Hypertext 2009 will feature two stellar keynote speakers: Lada Adamic (University of Michigan) is a noted scholar of social networking and the winner of the 2008 Engelbart Award; Ricardo Baeza-Yates is Vice-President of Yahoo! Research for Europe and Latin America, leading the labs in Spain, Chile, and Israel.

The attendees of Hypertext 2009 will also have a chance to experiment with applications mixing real-world data and on-line data. We will deploy active RFID tags in the badges of volunteers and run a data collection platform tracking the real-time relations of physical proximity between the attendees. The data collection and visualization systems will be provided by the SocioPatterns project (http://www.sociopatterns.org), and will expose API methods that allow developers to mash up real-world links between the attendees with other types of linking information from the Web.


In the conference technical program, professionals from academia, industry, and the media will present innovative ideas and tools exploiting the broad range of links increasingly connecting people, information, communities, and structures. Research topics will be organized into three tracks:

track 1. Information Structure and Presentation
(Chairs: Peter Brusilovsky and Cristina Gena)

track 2. People, Resources, and Annotations
(Chairs: Andreas Hotho and Vittorio Loreto)

track 3. Hypertext and Community
(Chairs: Mark Bernstein and Antonio Pizzo)


TRACK 1: INFORMATION STRUCTURE AND PRESENTATION
Chairs:
* Peter Brusilovsky, University of Pittsburgh (USA)
* Cristina Gena, University of Torino (Italy)

The information structure and presentation track represents a multitude of topics, which were traditionally represented at ACM Hypertext Conferences. The track program targets formal study of scholarly, structural, sculptural, spatial, open, dynamic and adaptive or any other type of hypertext (or Web-based Information System). This track also focuses on how hypertext approaches and technologies can be applied to structure and present information in diverse domains, and how hypertext techniques can be exploited in classical and advanced applications. The aim of this track is to bring researchers together to discuss models, architecture, applications, properties, or theory in general, about hypertext and hypermedia.

Topics for consideration include:

* Hypertext models

* Spatial hypertext

* Information structuring

* Hypertext and knowledge management

* Self-organized hypertext

* Personal information organization

* Intelligent hypertext and link generation

* Navigation support

* Open hypertext

* Web and hypertext link analysis

* Dynamic and adaptive hypertext

* Hypertext and web engineering

* Interfaces and interaction with hypertexts

* Faceted browsing

* Social navigation

* Hypertexts supporting Web-based collaboration

* Hypertext and recommender systems: the role of link in recommendations

* Hypertext applications in everyday devices (TV, mobile phone, on board car service, etc.)

* Educational hypertext and hypermedia

* User evaluations of hypertext application

* Hypertext and cultural heritage

* E-books, kiosks, e-commerce, e-tourism

* Hypertext application in medical and health systems


For additional information on the track and the Program Committee, please visit http://www.ht2009.org/track1.php


TRACK 2: PEOPLE, RESOURCES, AND ANNOTATIONS
Chairs:
* Andreas Hotho, University of Kassel (Germany)
* Vittorio Loreto, Sapienza University of Rome (Italy)

One of the most exciting recent developments in Web science is the rise of social annotation, by which users can easily markup other authors' resources via collaborative mechanisms such as tagging, filtering, voting, editing, classification, and rating. These social processes lead to the emergence of many types of links between texts, users, concepts, pages, articles, media, and so on. We welcome submissions on design, analysis, and modeling of information systems driven by social linking.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

* Applications to search, retrieval, recommendation, and navigation

* Explicit vs. inferred social links (e.g. mining query logs)

* Integration of different social networks (e.g. links between blogs and bookmarking systems)

* Socially induced measures of similarity, relatedness, or distance

* Co-evolution of social, information, and semantic networks

* Analysis of the structure and the dynamics of social information networks

* Behavioral patterns of social linking

* Linguistic analysis of social annotation spaces

* Formal and generative models of social annotation

* Unstructured vs. structured social knowledge representations

* Implementation and scalability of social link representations

* Automatic and user-based evaluation

* Emergent semantics in social networks

* Robustness against spam and other forms of social abuse

* Design of collaborative annotation mechanisms

* Critical mass and incentives of social participation (e.g. games)

* User interfaces for collaborative annotation

For additional information on the track and the Program Committee, please visit http://www.ht2009.org/track2.php


TRACK 3: HYPERTEXT AND COMMUNITY
Chairs:
* Mark Bernstein, Eastgate Systems, Inc. (UK)
* Antonio Pizzo, University of Torino (Italy)

The Hypertext and Community track will explore, examine, and reflect upon social cyberculture in electronic media, ranging from literary fiction and creative scholarship to blog and microblog networks, social sites, games, auctions, and markets. Topics will include:

* Hypertext literature

* Theory and practice of expression in wikis, weblogs, and social spaces

* Personal journals, weblogs, and social media

* Net art, literary hypertext, interactive fiction, and games

* Behavioral patterns of social linking

For additional information on the track and the Program Committee, please visit http://www.ht2009.org/track3.php


SUBMISSIONS
Papers must report new results substantiated by experimentation, simulation, analysis, or application. Authors are invited to submit papers presenting original, not previously published works. Submission categories may include regular research papers (max 10 pages) discussing mature work, and short papers (max 5 pages) describing preliminary results of on-going work or novel thought-provoking ideas.

All submissions should be formatted according to the official ACM SIG proceedings template
(http://www.acm.org/sigs/publications/proceedings-templates) and submitted via EasyChair
(http://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=ht2009). Accepted papers will appear in the Hypertext 2009 Conference Proceedings and also be available through the ACM Digital Library.


DEMOS AND INDUSTRIAL SESSION
Technical demonstration of new tools and innovative applications of hypertext are solicited. One-page demo descriptions, including a list of any required supporting equipment, should be sent to by e-mail to Giancarlo Ruffo, Demo Chair (ruffo@di.unito.it).

Important Demos Dates:

* March 30th, 2009: Submission of proposals
* April 15th, 2009: Notification to proposers
* June 29th, 2009: Demo day


WORKSHOPS
ACM Hypertext 2009 will be running at least two workshops, taking place on the 29th of June before the start of the main conference. The purpose of the workshops is to provide a more informal setting where participants can exchange ideas on a focused topic and suggest directions for future research. As such, they also offer a good opportunity for (young) researchers to present their work and to obtain feedback from an interested community. Further information on accepted workshops will be found on the conference website.


ORGANIZATION

GENERAL CO-CHAIRS:
Ciro Cattuto (ISI Foundation, Torino) and Giancarlo Ruffo (University of Torino)

PROGRAM CHAIR:
Filippo Menczer (Indiana University)

WORKSHOPS CO-CHAIRS:
Santo Fortunato (ISI Foundation, Torino) and Rossano Schifanella (University of Torino)

TREASURER:
Roberto Palermo (ISI Foundation, Torino)

Living Cultures - Contemporary Ethnographies of Culture

The Institute of Communications Studies (ICS) and the Media Industries Research Centre (MIRC http://ics.leeds.ac.uk/sub1.cfm?pbcrumb=MIRC) at the University of Leeds invite papers for a 1½-day conference:

Living Cultures - Contemporary Ethnographies of Culture


Date: Monday March 30 (pm) 2009, Tuesday March 31 (full day) 2009

Location: The University of Leeds, UK


Keynote speakers:
Professor Les Back (Professor, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths College, University of London), author of The Art of Listening (2007) and New Ethnicities and Urban Culture: Racisms and Multiculture in Young Lives (1996)

Professor Georgina Born (Professor of Sociology, Anthropology and Music, University of Cambridge), author of Uncertain Vision: Birt, Dyke and the Reinvention of the BBC (2004) and Rationalizing Culture: IRCAM, Boulez, and the Institutionalization of the Musical Avant-Garde (1995)


Conference theme:
The ever-increasing importance of the cultural to the social brings with it a vital need to investigate the processes implicated in contemporary meaning making, symbolic consumption, production and mediation. Recent scholarship from across the social sciences has sought to take up this challenge by examining the multifariousness of cultural materials-in-use, continuities and ruptures in the production/consumption of culture, the expanded purview of cultural policy and the effects of an expanding 'cultural economy'.

Through its careful attention to the irreducibility of human experience, ethnography has revealed an enduring ability to usefully intervene in debates within these arenas, making explorations into culture and cultural practice a quasi-specialism of ethnographic study. Yet how might 21st century ethnography better attune itself to the opportunities and challenges implied by attempts to understand contemporary culture and cultural experience 'from the inside'? Indeed, what limitations or boundaries are implied by efforts to study different cultural practices through ethnography and what might this mean for ethnography's contribution to social theory?

Contributions are invited from ethnographers willing to reflect on such questions and to share the methodological, substantive and theoretical insights gleaned, as well as the problems encountered, in the course of their own ethnographies of culture.

The conference should be of interest to scholars and particularly ethnographers from within sociology and social policy, media and communications studies, cultural studies, social/cultural anthropology and other allied disciplines.

Proposal deadline: abstracts (250 words max) should be sent, by Tuesday 20th January 2009, to the organising committee at:

email: ics-conferences@leeds.ac.uk
or mail to: Dr Eleri Pound, Living Cultures Conference, Institute of Communications Studies, 16 Clarendon Place, The University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK

Organising committee: Dr Mark Rimmer (convenor), Professor David Hesmondhalgh, Dr Chris Paterson, Dr Eleri Pound, Anna Zoellner, all of the Media Industries Research Centre, University of Leeds.

"Translating Media" 2009 USC Graduate Student Conference - call for papers

TRANSLATING MEDIA - A Graduate Student Conference
co-hosted by the Department of Critical Studies and the Media Arts and Practice PhD (iMAP) Program
School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California

April 3-4, 2009

CALL FOR PAPERS
Deadline for submissions: Extended to January 23th, 2009.

Keynote Speaker:
Lisa Parks, Chair and Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara. She is the author of Cultures in Orbit: Satellite and the Televisual, co-editor of Planet TV: A Global Television Reader, and is working on two new books entitled Coverage: Media Spaces and Security after 911 (forthcoming, Routledge) and Mixed Signals: Media Infrastructures and Cultural Geographies. She is also the producer and co-producer of an array of media arts projects such as Experiments in Satellite Media Arts (w/ Ursula Biemann), Loom (w/ Miha Vipotnik), Postwar Footprints and Roaming.

Artist’s Talk by: To Be Announced


The graduate students in the Department of Critical Studies and the Media Arts and Practice (iMAP) PhD program in the School of Cinematic Arts seek conference papers and creative presentations from graduate students addressing the theme of "Translating Media."

“Translation” has gained a renewed valence within the fields of media study and arts practice. As theoretical and creative inquiry shifts toward transmedia, transnational and transdisciplinary approaches and renderings of the current global audiovisual landscape, translation means more than just a linguistic exercise. Rather, the term increasingly lends itself as a productive conceptual lens and metaphor for the interlaced and often contradictory set of transformative processes at work when media objects, policies, and economies traffic across geographic borders, cultural institutions, and technological platforms. The widespread global, regional and local shifts in cultural media practices that arise from these traversals undoubtedly call for transdisciplinary methodologies.

To address these issues, Media Studies has sought to exchange and translate critical vocabularies among Cultural Studies, Global Critical Race Feminism/Critical Race Theory, Ethnic Studies, Queer Theory, History, Art History, Mass Communications, American Studies, Post Colonial Theory, and Visual and Performance Studies. And, as many media studies scholars seek to produce more than just textual representations of their research, the translation of theory into audiovisual practice has more frequently become an alternative mode of scholarship.

We thus feel that translation is a critical keyword that speaks in diverse ways to media cultures, Media Studies and a growing body of scholar-practitioners who both thematize translation in their media art and seek for new translative possibilities in their creative processes. We have chosen “Translating Media” as the title for the conference to foreground media’s translation as an ongoing process. And we believe the expansive deployment of the term will invite an exciting array of creative interpretations and theoretical positions.

We invite submissions for 20-minute papers, 20-minute creative project presentations, or pre-constituted panels of no more than four presenters that consider the stakes of ‘translating media’ from diverse methodological, disciplinary and creative approaches. Panels that include both critical and creative presentations or that enact a productive dialogue of theory and practice are especially encouraged.


Topics to explore may include, but are not restricted to:

- the various implications of media and cultural convergence

- how media policies translate into labor relations and practices

- the problems that arise when incorporating media theory into media art practice, and translating a media art project into a gallery space, social space, institutional space, etc.

- the rise of transmedia storytelling and media that are experienced on multiple platforms including mobile devices, urban screens, game environments, etc.

- ongoing tensions around the status of narrative in linear vs. interactive media and the problems of translation between games and cinema

- ideological concerns around the rise of runaway productions, co- and omnibus productions, and transnational remakes within global film industries

- the traffic of global television ‘formats’ and/or ‘canned shows’ across national borders and media systems

- issues pertaining to linguistic translations through subtitling and dubbing

- questions pertaining to the archive: how translation between film, analog, digital and textual media affect archival institutions; what kinds of issues do we still face with archival research, especially if that archive is in a different language?

- the translation of programming languages and code into critical theories of media, and vice versa

- the difficulties and possibilities presented when media scholarship travels and converses across the Humanities


Selected papers will be included in a special conference-themed issue of Spectator, the University of Southern California's Journal of Film and Television Criticism, and selected media projects may also be included on the School of Cinematic Arts website.

For individual submissions, please send abstracts or project descriptions of 300 words or less and a brief biographical or artist statement. Links to images or media files are encouraged but not required. For panels, please submit a 300-word panel description and a 300-word abstract for each panelist's paper. Please do not send large media files as e-mail attachments. Presentations requiring special technological setup will be considered on a case-by-case basis; these technological needs should be detailed in the proposal.
Send all submissions to usc.translating.media@gmail.com

Please feel free to address any questions or comments to Patty Ahn at
pahn@usc.edu.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Video: History of the Internet

Video: History of the Internet

"History of the Internet" is an animated documentary explaining the inventions from time-sharing to filesharing, from Arpanet to Internet.

The history is told using the PICOL icons on http://www.picol.org, which are available for download soon. On http://blog.picol.org you can get news about this project.

You can see the credits for this movie on
http://lonja.de/motion/mo_history_internet.html


Monday, January 12, 2009

Visual Culture in/and Radio Studies - Call for Proposals

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Visual Culture in/and Radio Studies (deadline for abstracts: 1/26)

The Radio Conference: A Transnational Forum
Location: York University, Toronto, Canada,
Dates: July 27-30th, 2009

We are soliciting paper proposals for a proposed panel on the role of visual culture in/and radio studies.

The areas of Visual Studies and Visual Culture have received growing academic support and legitimacy over the past decade; in response, an area called Sounds Studies is making inroads through initiatives such as the Sound Studies interest group within the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.

Where does Radio Studies fit into this? We seek papers that challenge the easy categorization of Radio Studies as a subset of Sound Studies by exploring the relationships between visual culture (broadly understood) and radio. How has radio history been shaped by visual culture, or vice-versa? What relationships between radio sound and visual culture can we identify, and what implications do these intersections have for our understanding of radio and the disciplinary structures through which we study it?

Possible subjects include studies of the relationship between radio and reading; analyses of programs that aired in both radio and television versions; comparison of radio and television broadcasts of sporting events; radio art education programs; cinema’s relationship to broadcasting; and intersections between theoretical approaches to visual and auditory culture.

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words by Jan. 26 to Bill Kirkpatrick at mwkirkpa@gmail.com or Michael Stamm at stamm@msu.edu.

For more information about the conference, see http://theradioconference2009.apps01.yorku.ca

Virtual Worlds: Libraries, Education and Museums Conference - Call for Papers

The second annual "Virtual Worlds: Libraries, Education, and Museums (VW LEM)"
Call for Presentation and Paper Proposals and Topics
Conference will be held in Second Life on Friday and Saturday, April 24 & 25, 2009.



Purpose of the Conference:

To provide a gathering place for librarians, information professionals, educators, museologists, and others to learn about and discuss the educational, informational, and cultural opportunities of virtual worlds.

Please note: Although the conference will be held in the virtual world Second Life, presentation and paper proposals about LEM developments in other virtual worlds are encouraged.

Possible Topics for Presentations, Papers, and Participatory Events:

· Virtual world events and exhibits as the drivers of attendance and engagement

· Immersive learning environments

· Reference service possibilities and practicalities in virtual worlds

· Corporate and special librarianship in virtual worlds

· Educational tools and resources

· Enterprise uses of virtual worlds

· Tours of LEM locations in Second Life

· Gaming and virtual worlds

· VW LEM opportunities for children, tweens, and teens

· Dreams and visions for LEM activities in virtual worlds

· Assessing LEM initiatives in virtual worlds

· Sustainability issues and opportunities for LEM activities in virtual worlds

Other topics pertinent to the broad topic of LEM activities in virtual worlds are welcome! Send us your innovative proposals! If you have a topic you really would like to see addressed at this conference but don't know of a speaker who can address the topic, please send us the topic and we'll try to find a speaker.


Proposal Guidelines and Deadlines:

· Each session will be 45 minutes long.

· All sessions will begin on the hour.

· All proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. SLT on Saturday, February 28, 2009.

· Please send proposals to Tom Peters (tpeters@tapinformation.com) with "VW LEM proposal" in the subject line.

· For presentations, please send a paragraph about your proposed presentation, the intended audience, and any pertinent URLs or SLURLs.

· For papers, please send an abstract of your paper.

· Notification of acceptance will be sent by Friday, March, 2009.

· Proposals from students and general citizens are welcome. You do not need to be a member of the LEM professions to present at this conference.


Conference Schedule (tentative):

· Friday, April 24, 2009, from noon to 4:00 p.m. Second Life Time (U.S. Pacific Time):
- noon to 12:45 p.m.: Keynote Panel (no conflict)
- 1:00 to 1:45 p.m.: First group of sessions
- 2:00 to 2:45 p.m.: Second group of sessions
- 3:00 to 3:45 p.m.: Third group of sessions
- 4:00 to 4:45 p.m.: Social event

· Saturday, April 25, 2009 from 8:00 a.m. to noon Second Life Time (U.S. Pacific Time):
- 8:00 to 8:45 a.m.: Keynote Panel (no conflict)
- 9:00 to 9:45 a.m.: First group of sessions
- 10:00 to 10:45 a.m.: Second group of sessions
- 11:00 to 11:45 a.m.: Third group of sessions

· Note: Pre- and Post-Conference conversations, announcements, and documents will be available in the "Virtual Words: Libraries, Education and Museums" group in Facebook.


Conference Sponsors:

· Alliance Library System (http://www.alliancelibrarysystem.com/)
· Talking Communities (http://www.learningtimes.net)
· TAP Information Services (http://www.tapinformation.com)


Conference Organizers:

· Lori Bell (Lorelei Junot in Second Life) from the Alliance Library System: lbell@alliancelibrarysystem.com
· John Walber (Wilbur Wood in Second Life) from Talking Communities:
john@learningtimes.net

· Hope Kandel (Rye Checchinato in Second Life) from Talking Communities: hope@learningtimes.net

· Tom Peters (Maxito Ricardo in Second Life) from TAP Information Services: tpeters@tapinformation.com

e-Politics:the role of the Internet in designing political practices - ECPR General Conference

5th ECPR General Conference, Potsdam
10 - 12 September, 2009
Detailed info: http://www.ecpr.org.uk/potsdam/


Call for paper for Panel
“E-Politics: the role of the Internet in designing political practices”
Section: Internet and Politics



Link to the panel: http://www.ecpr.org.uk/potsdam/panel_details.asp?panelID=253


PANEL CHAIR
Name: Andrea Calderaro
Institution: European University Institute
Email: andrea.calderaro AT eui.eu

PANEL DISCUSSANT
Name: W. Lance Bennett
Institution: University of Washington


ABSTRACT
So far, the Internet has been hailed as an instrument useful for facilitating political participation. A classic question arises: is this confirmed today? and if it is, how does this occur? This panel aims to address these questions, reflecting upon how the Internet is used to practice politics. The panel will propose empirical examples to investigate how the Internet both facilitates existing forms of political engagement and how it promotes new forms.

HOW TO SUBMIT A PROPOSAL
http://www.ecpr.org.uk/potsdam/howtosubmit.asp

Paper proposal should include:
Title /Abstract (max 300 words) / Keywords (select 3)
Author: name / institution / email

DEADLINE
1 February 2009

Velvet Light Trap Issue on Celebrity - Call for Papers

Call for Papers: The Velvet Light Trap, Issue #65, Spring 2010 – Celebrity!


Stars are dead! Long live... celebrity?! It has been nearly two decades since Richard Dyer's influential Stars reinvented our theoretical approaches to film stardom. In his text, Dyer interrogated the social meanings we attach to screen icons and demonstrated how those meanings contribute to our understanding of ourselves and others. While his project remains central to star studies today, its exclusive focus on Hollywood stands at odds with a media environment in which the cinema's role in circulating the star image has been increasingly marginalized. In the years since Dyer's original publication, we have witnessed the emergence of a global paparazzi culture that revels in the conflation between traditional notions of stardom and a more ambiguous obsession with "fame for fame's sake". It is time to investigate this awkward tension and consider the ramifications it holds for the field of star studies. Does our current celebrity culture amount to a new epoch in the evolution of "the star" or is it simply more of the same?

Issue #65 of The Velvet Light Trap will explore our contemporary understandings of celebrity. While the editors maintain a very broad definition of this phenomenon, special attention will be given to contributions that consider celebrity’s present manifestations in tabloid culture, online gossip, and scandal or rethink previous engagements with stardom from fresh perspectives. Whether papers approach celebrity as a discursive category, a commercial commodity, and/or an object of consumption, the editors anticipate submissions that connect these strategies to the historical, industrial, political, and cultural impetuses that underpin a society's values.


Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

- Coming to terms with stardom and celebrity”

- Race, nation, class, gender, sexuality, and celebrity

- Transnationalism and celebrity

- Post-race ideology and celebrity

- Athletics and celebrity

- Spectacle and celebrity

- Politics and celebrity

- Fandom, fan production, and celebrity

- Celebrity weddings

- Celebrity death

- Celebrity children

- Celebrity adoptions

- Celebrity news (e.g. TMZ, E!)

- Tabloid culture

- Online gossip

- Scandal and infamy

- Reality television, aka “Celebreality”

- Sex tapes

- Paparazzi


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. The journal's Editorial Advisory Board will referee all submissions.

For more information or questions, contact Andrew Scahill at
adscahill_at_mail.utexas.edu. Submissions are due January 30, 2009, 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. Graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Texas-Austin alternately coordinate issues. The Editorial Advisory Board includes such notable scholars as Charlie Keil, Dan Marcus, David Desser, David Foster, Michele Malach, Joe McElhaney, Bambi Haggins, Jason Mittell, Malcolm Turvey, Nina Martin, James Morrison, Karla Oeler, Tara McPherson, Steve Neale, Aswin Punathambekar, Peter Bloom, Sean Griffin, and Michael Williams.