CFP: Fake News and its Narratives (7/1/06; collection)

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CFP: Fake News and its Narratives (7/01/06; collection)

Submissions are invited for a proposed collection theorizing fabricated news and
its narratives.

In the past twenty-five years, American journalism has been scandalized by a
series of sensational cases of journalistic fraud. Janet Cooke, Stephen Glass,
and Jayson Blair are only the most notorious examples of reporters who have
been caught inventing characters, making up quotations, plagiarizing details,
and, in the most outrageous cases, faking entire stories.

Revelations of journalistic fabrication are invariably followed by the agonized
self-scrutiny of the victim publications as they attempt to set the record
straight. Throughout the many texts this process generates (reports,
clarifications, corrections, apologies), fabrication is routinely described as
the "cardinal sin" of reporting and its perpetrators excoriated as journalistic
aberrations. But is this the whole story? To what extent do these aberrant
texts expose certain features which are most, rather than least, typical of
news? What can fabricated stories tell us, for example, about the patterns
which help construct news as an intelligible and credible discourse or about
the newsroom practices which support those patterns? In what ways does the
credibility of fabricated news arise from its deft faithfulness not to
"external" facts but rather to the generic and narrative patterns publishers,
editors, and readers expect, desire, and value in the news? To what degree do
these same expectations distort non-fabricated news?

While beginning with such questions, this collection seeks to explore the idea
of fabricated news in all of its textual aspects from editorial apologetics to
fabricators' memoirs to the stories told by a Washington Press Corps willing to
suspend disbelief and obligingly report official fictions as fact.

Other possible topics include:

News, Lies, and Market Culture
Phantom Sources
Fabrication and Form(ula)
Staging News
Fabrication and the Journalistic Archive
Pundit Payola
Satire and Fake News
Technology and Fabrication
News as Urban Myth
Fabrication and Editorial Desire
False Witnesses
"Jeff Gannon" and the Phenomenon of the Fake Reporter
Fabrication and Public Memory

This volume aims to engage current articulations of narrative and genre theory
with journalistic discourse, but submissions exploring all theoretical
approaches to the questions raised by fabricated news and its cognate texts are
welcome and encouraged. Submissions need not be restricted to American or print

Send 500-word proposals electronically (if sending as an attachment, submit in
*.rtf format) by July 1, 2006 to Robert Alexander (
Please include a brief CV and biographical statement.

Deadlines for accepted manuscripts (5500 - 8000 words) will be January 31, 2007.

Please use "Fake News" in the subject line of all electronic correspondence.

Hard copies may be mailed to

Robert Alexander
Department of English Language and Literature
Brock University
500 Glenridge Ave.
St. Catharines, Ontario
Canada L2S 3A1

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Received on Mon May 08 2006 - 08:42:47 EDT