Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pirates and Piracy - Call for Papers

Special Issue - Call for Papers: Pirates and Piracy in History, Literature
and Theory

darkmatter Journal -

Once consigned to the romance of film and literature, the figure of the pirate has a renewed cultural presence. From solicitous debates around intellectual property to the recent maritime hijackings off the Horn of Africa, piracy looms large in the twenty-first century.

This special issue of darkmatter seeks to engage critically with the politics of piracy. As in the 17th and 18th centuries, piracy today is an activity that often takes place at the so-called periphery of metropolitan capitalism. Piracy challenges the primitive accumulation and wage labour discipline of capitalism at large, while recapitulating and amplifying its violence.

This special issue is interested in work that explores how and why modern piracy emerges against the backdrop of neo/colonial relations of production.

Possible topics might include:

* Piracy as the expression/outside of global capitalism

* Piracy and inter/transnational law, property rights and human rights

* Piracy and the War on Terror

* Media piracy and the geopolitics of the culture industry

* The pirate as a celebrated and reviled figure of rebellion and neo/colonial resistance

* Outlaws, pirates and poachers in media studies, cultural studies and philosophy

* Freebooters, pirates and buccaneers, and their place in capitalist and neo/colonial relations of production

* The cultural politics of race, digital reproduction and p2p file-sharing technologies

* Racialized representations and performativity of the pirate and piracy in film, animation, art and literature

* The pirate as a figure of trangressive dis/ability

Articles between 1,500 - 8,000 words are welcome, as are alternative format submissions such as commentaries, reviews, audio, visual and digital contributions. Please submit an 300 - 500 word abstract if you are interested.

For darkmatter's editorial policy and online submission information:

For inquiries about the 'Pirates and Piracy' special issue,
email Andrew Opitz (Guest Editor):

Deadline for Abstracts: 1 May 2009
Deadline for Articles: 1 Sept 2009
Publication date: Nov 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Call for papers: Asian Pop Culture

The edited volume looks for contributors who can write on different aspects of Asian Popular Culture. For those who are interested, please contact Anthony Fung at or email him an abstract by March 20, 2009

Asian Popular Culture: The Global Cultural (Dis)connection

edited by Anthony Fung
published by Routledge

Summary of the volume

This edited volume is a medium level textbook as well as a reference of Asian popular culture. Each chapter will be an in-depth concrete study of a particular phenomenon or process of popular culture in a city/ an area/ a country in Asia and all the chapters are connected by the common theme "The Global Cultural (Dis)connection." To serve as a textbook for senior undergraduate in classes (e.g. international communication, globalization and communication, popular culture, Asian media, etc), authors in the book provide thick description of the background and context of the places where the cultural phenomenon is popular, and illustrate the concepts with examples, case study and empirical studies. In other words, different from elementary textbooks which explicate popular culture using point-by-point or concept-by-concept format, this book grounds all the analysis in real historical and cultural contexts with a comparative perspective.

Also as a reference book, the entire volume sheds light on the theme of globalization of Asian popular culture. Among those popular cultures in the region, there are of course cultural icons, symbols, and images that are unique to Asia. However, the origin and the mechanism of how these cultures are disseminated and reproduced in Asia is not entirely local: similar to popular culture in other parts of the world, the flows, import and export of cultural products and commodities in Asia are equally calculated, manipulated and driven commercially by transnational, regional and local media corporations and politically by the government or semi-official bodies which control the media.

The reception and consumption of such Asian "foreign" culture by local audiences can also be systematically categorized as patterns of reception, decoding and interpretations, which then have significant implication for other globalizing cultures in Asia. With this set of phenomena as its core emphasis, the book addresses two seemingly contradictory and yet parallel process in the circulation of Asian pop culture: the interconnectedness between the Asian popular culture and western culture in an era of cultural globalization, and the local derivatives and versions of global culture that are necessarily disconnected from their origins in order to cater for the local market.

The book thereby presents a collective argument that, whilst local social formations, and patterns of consumption and participation in Asia are still very much dependent on global culture developments and the phenomena of modernity (a discourse of cultural connection), yet such dependence is often concretized, reshaped and distorted by the local media to cater for the local market. This is a practical and business concern which tends to result in cultural disconnection between product and consumer.

The essays in this volume document variations to and cases of such cultural connection as well as of disjuncture in global culture in Asian settings. These cases could be good cases of reference. These cases all provoke students to engage in academic discussion of globalization/Asian media. Familiar cases range from pop music (e.g. hip hop), fashion magazines (e.g. Esquire and Cosmopolitan), Hollywood movies and television formats (e.g. reality TV such as Pop Idol), to cultural brands such as Disneyland and mediated icons like. Harry Potter.

Different contributors approach the problematic of cultural connection/ disconnection on different levels and through different disciplinary approaches, from political-economic analysis to cultural analysis and studies of audience and consumption. On the production level, the decentered locale enables local fashion, music and theme park managers to take a post-Fordist and neo-institutionalist logic to select, modify and distort the global culture for the local audience. While global cultural artifacts, icons, images and brands have a strong appeal to the
local Asian consumers who aspire to "catch up" with global trends and modernity, on the consumption side, their down-to-earth consumption and reception often in practice requires a local adaptation and distortion of the global ideas. This then is the cultural disconnection to which local distributors and producers aspire. The tensions, ambivalence and conflicts between the global and the local are best revealed in the concrete analysis of cultural production and consumption.

Full-time Research studentships - Westminster University

Twenty fully-funded studentships, covering tuition fees and carrying a £15,000 p.a. stipend, in a wide range of subject areas, commencing October 2009

Westminster is a leading modern university, with an outstanding record of achievement in research. We pride ourselves on our record of excellence - confirmed in the Research Assessment Exercise 2008 where more than three quarters of our research across twenty subject areas was rated as internationally recognised or better, with significant areas achieving world leading and internationally excellent status.

We have a rich and diverse profile of activity across a broad range of subjects and as highly as we value pure academic research, we are equally committed to ensuring that our knowledge delivers real-world benefits, through knowledge transfer and applied research.

We are now consolidating this success with a major investment for the further development of our work. Through a rolling programme of research studentships, we seek to realise our vision of excellence in research that makes a difference in the real world and of providing a high quality training and research environment to build the next generation of researchers.

Up to twenty-fully funded full-time studentships in ten broad subject areas are currently available for commencement in October 2009. Applicants should hold (or expect to be awarded by October 2009), a 2.1 Honours degree or above and preferably a Masters degree. They should also, where relevant, demonstrate English Language competence of at least IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. The closing date for the receipt of applications: 5pm, Tuesday 3 March 2009.

If you are a well-qualified and motivated researcher interested in contributing to our mission of excellence in research that makes a difference, and if you would like to find out more, please visit

CAMRI Research Scholarships in Media and Communication - University of Westminster

The Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI) based in the School of Media, Arts and Design at the University of Westminster is rated the UK’s top research centre for Media and Communication in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise and has an international reputation in media policy and economics, media history and media audiences.

The Institute hosts the University’s China Media Centre and Arab Media Centre. It is developing work in media audiences and identities, new media, and Indian and African media. We currently have an opportunity for two students to undertake an MPhil/PhD in media and communication on a subject of their choice.

In recognition of the scholarship you will also be required to undertake teaching or research assistant duties not exceeding 6 hours per week. To be eligible to apply you will need to hold an Upper Second Class Honours first degree in a relevant subject and a Master’s degree, or equivalent postgraduate standing.

Prospective students wishing to informally discuss an application informally may contact Dr Anthony McNicholas (

For further information on CAMRI visit their web page at

Please download the CAMRI Scholarships Form here. Please ensure that you clearly mark your application CAMRI Scholarship. Your application form should be returned to

Closing date for receipt of applications: 10 March 2009.

NB Please note that the closing date for the CAMRI Scholarships differs from the closing date for the University of Westminster Research Studentships 2009 which are also currently being advertised on this site, the closing date for which is 3 March 2009.

Applications for University Studentships arriving after this date will not be considered.

Interviews will be held in March and early April and the successful candidates will be required to attend enrolment/induction in September. The scholarships will commence in October 2009.

Monday, March 2, 2009

ECREA events, workshops, seminars, etc.

Here's a informative list of events that ECREA's thematic sections and networks are (co-)organising. Please find the information on the 2009 ECREA events below. Further events are being planned for 2009.
For further information about all these events, please visit

The workshop “Narrative Fact and Fiction: Patterns of narrative construction in media stories and differential effects”, to be held at the University of Vienna on 4-5 April 2009, is organised by the Narrative Network, the Department of Communication of the University of Vienna and the ECREA Audience and Reception Studies Section.

The deadline for submissions has expired on 8 February 2009.

The Second International Workshop on “Global Internet Governance: An Interdisciplinary Research Field in Construction”, to be held in Brussels on 11 May 2009 is organized by the Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet) in cooperation with three thematic sections of the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA): International and Intercultural Communication, Communication and Democracy, Communication, Law and Policy Sections.

The deadline for submissions is 20 March 2009.

The conference panel on “Green Lifestyle TV”, to be held at the University of Brighton on 29-31 May 2009 is organised by the ECREA Science and Environment Communication Section in cooperation with the The Big Reveal II: Lifestyle TV conference team.

The deadline for submissions is 1 March 2009.

The workshop “Strategic and Organizational Communication in firms: Crisis as Opportunity?” is organised by the ECREA Organisational and Strategic Communication Section and will be held at the University of Toulouse on 9 June 2009.

The deadline for submissions is 30 March 2009.

The ECREA European Media and Communication Doctoral Summer School 2009 to be held at the Institute of Journalism and Communication, University of Tartu, Estonia, on 2-15 August 2009 is organised by the ECREA Young Scholars Network and suppported by Socrates Erasmus IP project funding, the European Communication Research and Education Association, the Institute of Journalism and Communication, University of Tartu, and a consortium of 22 partners universities. The main objective of the Summer School is to provide high-quality feedback on a diversity of PhD projects.

Deadline for submissions: 20 April 2009

The conference on “Mediated Citizenship: Political Information and Participation in Europe” to be held at the Institute of Communications Studies, University of Leeds on 17-18 September 2009 is organised by the ECREA Political Communication Section and the Institute of Communications Studies, University of Leeds

The deadline for submissions is 15 May 2009

The 1st Autumn Conference of “Interpersonal Communication and Social Interaction” to be held in Tampere, Finland, on 21-23 October 2009 is organised by the ECREA Interpersonal Communication and Social Interaction Section.

The deadline for submissions is 30 April 2009

The international conference “Journalism Research in the Public Interest”, to be held in Zürich and Winterthur on 19-21 November 2009, is co-hosted by ZHAW Zurich Universities of Applied Sciences and the University of Zurich, and a joint effort of the ECREA Journalism Studies Section in cooperation with the Swiss Association of Communication and Media Research (SGKM) and the German Communication Association (DGPuK), with the support of the Journalism Studies Division, International Communication Association (ICA) and Journalism Research and Education Section, International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR).

The deadline for submissions is 1 April 2009.

The “Digital Media Technologies Revisited: Theorising social relations, interactions and communication” conference, to be held at the University of the Arts (UdK), Berlin, Germany on 20-21 November 2009 is organised by the ECREA Digital Culture & Communication (DCC) section, University of the Arts (UdK), Germany, University of Sussex, UK, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain, with the support of the DGPuK Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) section and DGPuK Media Sociology (MS) section, Centre for Material Digital Culture (DMDC) at the University of Sussex, COST 298: Participation in the Broadband Society network.

The deadline for submissions is 31 May 2009.

The conference “Gender in European academia: difference and discrimination in communication research”, to be held at the Centre for Intercultural Studies (CEI), Instituto Superior de Contabilidade e Administração, Oporto Polytechnic Institute, Portugal, on 25 November 2009, is organised by the ECREA Women’s Network.

Deadline for submissions to be announced.