Mediascape Spring 2011 Issue: Space in Cinema, Media, and Digital Culture

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Mediascape, UCLA's Online Journal for Film, Television, and Digital Media
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UCLA's online journal for film, television, and digital media, Mediascape, is now accepting submissions for its next issue. This journal, a place for articles pertaining to visual culture, is peer-reviewed and published bi-annually.

For this issue, Mediascape is considering the theme of space in cinema and media and visual culture. The deadline for submissions is 31 January 2011.



Space is constructed within the cinematic text, and the space of spectatorship is an ever-changing beast. As the spaces and methods of viewing media multiply, the issues surrounding both the construction of space both inside and outside of the text come to the forefront. Features is seeking articles that consider the themes and variations on the topic of space within all areas of media studies.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Production practices for new viewing platforms, e.g., How are media creators changing the scope of their work to be consumed on multiple platforms? Are the new devices governing stylistic choices made by the producers? How are distribution methods changing?
  • Media interpretation as dependent on viewing environment, e.g., How does the viewing platform and/or the viewing environment of media affect the way that we perceive on-screen actions?
  • How does the increasing proliferation of screens in everyday life change both production practices and viewing habits?
  • By creating new media specifically for new mobile media platforms, how much quality is being sacrificed? How are standards of quality being changed?
  • How does the formal construction of a film indicate the space in which it was meant to be viewed? Is there an iPhone, IMAX or television aesthetic?

Feature submissions should offer a new and unique perspective on film, television, and digital media, and are encouraged to address more than one area of moving image culture. Please direct feature section questions, proposals, and submissions to by January 31st, 2011.

For the purposes of confidentiality during the double blind peer review, please include both your bio and your personal contact information in the accompanying email only, rather than in the word document. Feature submissions should range from between 15 to 25 manuscript pages. Though articles should be of a high level of scholarly rigor, the journal will not be read exclusively by media scholars. Writing should therefore be readable enough to be enjoyed by those outside of the field of media studies and indeed outside of the academy altogether.


Reviews is seeking submissions which analyze discourses that complicate the notion of space in any medium. The object of review can be a film, a TV program, a website, an architectural design, a book, an artwork, an industry/trade report, an advertisement, a tourist brochure, a personal diary, a piece of hardware, a movie review, an academic conference, a film festival, a world expo, merchandise —anything. Because the scope of space as a theme encompasses a large spectrum of concepts, it is imperative to distinguish between, and specify, the different ways in which space may be theoretically operative. Subjects that may arise include:

  • Space and Film Theory- How has film theoretical discourse evolved with respect to its address of the narrative construction of space? E.g. Can psychoanalytic theories of spatial construction be applied to contemporary Hollywood cinema?
  • Space and Philosophy- Do phenomenological principles of embodiment occur immaterially or in specific spaces? E.g. How have modernist painting and sculpture reflected the fragmentation of the body via the fragmentation of space?
  • Space and Architecture- In architectural discourse, the blueprint often stands as the equivalent of the film script. How does the translation from a spatial plan, such as the blueprint, to the creation of the final product occur? E.g. Does the space traveled through in the film Inception (2010) correspond to the architectural designs laid out within the film's plotlines?
  • Space and Political Economy- What ways of thinking have extended, superceded, or contradicted Marxist political economic theory, and how have these addressed the issue of uneven development in global economy? E.g. Consider the ways many transnational media industries around the globe are both privately and nationally owned.
  • Space and Security- To what extent are the categories of public and private space blurry or distinct? Specifically, how malleable are these configurations, depending on cultures, political conditions, urban design, and social milieu? E.g. How do social interactions take shape differently in modes of transportation that are designed for public use – such as taxis, elevators, and airport lounges – but are often experienced privately?
  • Space and Geography- In what Hamid Naficy calls an accented cinema, exile and nomadism play significant roles in transforming the ways migrant interact in their everyday spaces. How are these narratives of transit represented, and what types of sociopolitical and socioeconomic challenges are encountered? E.g. How have the designs of travel brochures catered to and/or defined a specific category of "migrants"?
  • Space and Nationalism- How do "post-national" phenomenon, such as cosmopolitanism, transnationalism, and transculturation challenge the thesis of a singularly imagined community? E.g. Are the same types of nationalism described by Benedict Anderson operative in popular MMORPGs through cooperative groups such as "guilds?"
  • Space and History- How are multiple histories (memories, official narratives, media reports, folk narratives, autobiographical texts) embedded within single spaces, and do the spaces reflect any contradictions in the ways these histories are layered? E.g. What are the politics of Hollywood action films and contemporary video games staging narratives that feature the use of exotic locales imbued with the weight of History?

Reviews must be original, and creativity (in argumentation and/or style) is encouraged. Reviews should be a minimum of 2,500 words, although exceptions may be granted. The maximum page limit is 20 pages, and the work must be readable, structured, and visually appealing in the online format. Please direct reviews section questions, proposals, and submissions to Dennis Lo and Jessica Fowler at by January 31st, 2011.


More than any other genres, science fiction and fantasy explore unknown and inexplicable forces, fantastic places, and improbable settings. For this issue, Columns is seeking submissions with regards to the use of "space" in the science fiction and fantasy genres of film, television, digital and new medias. Of particular interest would be research in regards to spatiality and the examination of the relationship between diegetic space and outer space, and the ways in which the understanding of each informs the other. Papers should be short (800-1500 words, in MLA format) on the role of space in the larger critical context.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • The role of space as a means of configuring identity in science fiction film and television.
  • Spatiality/spaciality as a component of defining and undermining genre.
  • Issues of temporality and memory expressed through the construction of space in science fiction and/or fantasy.
  • How do formal techniques, i.e. special effects and sound, shape geographical imaginings and sense of space?
  • Relationships between space, identity, and difference that are produced and reproduced in various media forms.
  • How are ideas of "the other" and xenophobia expressed through space exploration and invasion?

Please submit columns and inquiries to Andrew Young at by January 31st, 2011.


Cinema and media scholarship often leaves unexamined questions about the practice of scholarship itself: how we formulate analysis and argument, why certain issues emerge to the fore, what new forms and expressions of media and cultural analysis enhance our understanding. The META section presents students and scholars of cinema and other media the opportunity to publish work that exemplifies scholastic self-awareness- papers and projects that contemplate academic methods, critique their implications and limitations, and propagate new approaches to media scholarship.

Given the video game industry's relatively young history, scholars and artists alike have had a unique opportunity to comment and theorize on the burgeoning field of game studies. META has decided to concentrate on game studies, with a particular focus on the multifaceted implications of 'space' in gaming and how popular scholarship has discussed it. 

META welcomes video submissions (experimental video is encouraged) as well as scholarly articles that contain a visual component (screenshots, videos, etc.). Topics may or may not involve:

  • Spaces of gaming (arcades, home consoles, handhelds, internet cafés, etc.)
  • Machinima (films that are made from game engines, such as Red vs. Blue)
  • Game design (understanding the design of games in a meta sense)
  • Game controllers and interfaces
  • Social gaming (casual gaming on Facebook, MMOGs, fantasy sports, etc.)
  • Alternate Reality Games (ARGs)
  • Agency in gaming (avatars, player-character relationships, etc.)
    The relationship of digital games and non-digital games (board games, etc.)
  • Video game archiving (Why is it important? How can it be done?)
  • Video games as remediation (video games remediating film, sports, etc.) or remediation of games in other media (film, sports, etc.)
    These are just a sampling of questions of interest to META for the next issue and we welcome you to present your own lines of inquiry in an original paper or project.

If you have questions about META submissions, or wish to submit a paper or project for consideration, please contact James Fleury at with the subject header "Mediascape META" by January 31st, 2011.

General Guidelines:

All submissions should follow MLA Style guidelines, employ endnote citations, and comply with the following formatting requirements:

  1. No cover page, with title instead centered at the top of the first page of the article
  2. Language of document set to English
  3. Double spaced paragraphs in 12 point font
  4. 1" Margins
  5. Endnotes rather than footnotes
  6. Images correctly sized outside of word (sizing them in word slows web editing process) and then placed within the word document's layout where they should appear at publication

Because of the peer review and editorial processes of the journal's different sections, it may take as long as eight to twelve weeks for decisions on submissions to reach the writers. General email inquiries can be sent to

Mediascape Copyright Policy:

Articles appearing in Mediascape are accepted on the basis that the material is the original, uncopied work of the author or authors. The ownership of manuscripts for publication in Mediascape shall reside with the author(s), though Mediascape reserves exclusive first rights of publication. This means that Mediascape alone may publish the article for the first time, and the author(s) may not publish the piece elsewhere for a period of 6 months following initial publication.

Following the 6 month first-rights period, the author will retain full rights and ownership to the material, and will be free to re-publish the manuscript elsewhere, provided that full and appropriate credit for first publication be given to Mediascape. In exchange for retaining author ownership rights post-publication, Mediascape requires that authors not submit their manuscripts simultaneously to other journals/publishers while under consideration for publication in Medisascape.


Note on images: Mediascape uses images by permission of the original creator(s), or under the parameters and protections afforded non-profit, educational use by the principles of Fair Use.