CFP: MEDIASCAPE Journal of Film and Media Studies - "Urban Centers, Media Centers"

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Call For Papers - MEDIASCAPE - Spring 2013 – "Urban Centers, Media Centers"

MEDIASCAPE, UCLA's open-access peer reviewed journal for film, television, and digital media, is now accepting submissions for its next issue. This next issue considers the theme of History and Technology in Cinema, Media and Visual Culture. Guidelines for submissions to individual sections are below.

MEDIASCAPE is proud to publish high quality work that combines the cutting edge of critical and historical analysis with an impulse to explore the possibilities of digital publishing. We are eager to work closely with authors to publish high-quality work that embeds audio-visual content, video essays, and/or interactive applications. Our journal also publishes traditional scholarly essays, but we encourage all authors to consider graphic and video aids. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2013.

Our Winter 2012 issue, "Space," and our archive of past issues are available free online at

MEDIASCAPE is peer-reviewed and published annually. Andy Young and Matthias Stork, Co-Editors-in-Chief, welcome your queries, comments, and suggestions by email at

FEATURES - "Mediating Urban Spaces"

The Features section of Mediascape seeks submissions that account for the plurality of ways in which media centers and the films, television programs, video games, digital media, and other forms of media are understood, as well as how they create, represent, and structure certain understandings of urban spaces, and how urban spaces account for the presence of media centers.

We recognize that media does not flow in merely one direction. Indeed, as much as we are interested in studies of how the media centers of Los Angeles, New York -- or, more broadly, national and transnational media centers -- project certain ideas about the urban spaces around them, we are equally interested in work that analyzes how urban spaces absorb and represent the media centers which encapsulate, or run parallel to, them (such as how billboards, bus ads, and other forms use urban space to process the presence of these industries).

Beyond narrative feature filmmaking and mainstream television, we are also interested in approaching these far-reaching questions in a variety of media forms such as documentary, independent and government-funded productions, gaming, journalism and news discourse, and digital media.

Further, discussions of the relationship between urban centers and media centers need not be restricted to contemporary media. We are equally interested in historical explorations, such as visions of modernism in early 20th century cinema, as well as how historical urban centers have been reconstructed (such as Los Angeles in the films Chinatown and L.A. Confidential).

Features seeks submissions that account for the multiple, complex ways that urban and media centers and spaces interrelate, how they visualize and map each other, and how they make this space legible through their visual representations.

Topics may include but are not limited to...

- Urban spaces in 3D or animation
- How media work to re-fashion urban spaces (Inception and L.A.)
- Urban spaces as part of genre discourse (film noir, superhero films)
- Urban centers and fractured narratives (Nashville, Short Cuts)
- Historical re-imaginings of urban spaces (Gangs of New York, Chinatown)
- Urban centers as viewing centers (reception studies, self-reflexive programming)
- Do singular identities of "urban spaces" like New York City exist in a globalized media culture?
- Video games and explorations of urban spaces (L.A. Noire, Fallout, etc.)
- Mapping of urban spaces in different mediums.
- Journalism in new urban war zones (Arab Spring, media discourse on Egypt, etc.)
- National cinemas and varying representations of urban centers
- Interactivity between media producers and urban planners (Politics of location shooting, etc.)
- Distribution of urban, national, transnational markets

Feature submissions should offer new, unique perspectives on the mediation of urban spaces, and are encouraged to traverse multiple modes of thinking. Papers are accepted from both faculty and graduate students, and should be 15-25 pages in length, formatted with Chicago endnote citations, and include a brief biography of the author. Please direct feature section questions, proposals, and submissions to James Gilmore, Dennis Lo, Laura Swanbeck, and Daniel Langford at by January 15, 2013.
COLUMNS – "Urban Space, Media's Place"
The massive growth of both urban environments and media worldwide has created a new and unique area of scholarly interest across the humanities and social sciences. The proliferation of media, especially socially oriented iterations, across the urban landscape has affected people from both within these urban centers, as well as outside them. The aim of this issue is to address the ways that media has placed itself front and center in modern urban spaces. Of particular interest is research that comments on the use of "urban space" and "place" across media, especially incorporating social media.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

- In what ways does urban space make its impact felt on screen, and conversely how have screens made an impact within, and upon, urban space?
- How do concepts of urbanization, globalization, and transnational migration find their relevance in contemporary film and media?
- How has social media affected the aesthetics of the urban landscape?
- What are the intersections, overlaps, and commonalities between theories of cinema and media, and those of architecture and urban design?
- How does urban growth manifest itself in third-world cinema?
- How do video games in which players manage or navigate cities (such as in the SimCity or Grand Theft Auto series) reflect perceptions and assumptions regarding the urban environment?
Papers should be short (800-1500 words, in Chicago endnote format) and should focus on the intersection of "Urban Space and Place in Media". Please submit columns and inquiries to by January 15, 2013.
META – "Exploring Media Spatiality"
In a number of ways, contemporary media both inform and are informed by the sites (self-identified or otherwise) in which its texts are "set", produced, and even consumed. In this regard, reading media artifacts requires a clear knowledge not only of their cultural context, but of a more complex interpretation of their (inter)spatial characteristics as well. For this issue, the Meta section of MEDIASCAPE is looking for short essays, video essays, and/or digital projects that examine the wide range of topics that can bring together the variegated notions of space and production culture. Submissions may address subjects that include, but are not limited to:
New Media Space
In what way does social networking, particularly as a process of media production, construct its own sense of space? Do virtual environments reinforce or complicate the process of identifying their site of origination/production/consumption?

Constructing Spatial Identity
Though filmic environments are often built upon fictional spaces, in what ways do virtual environments operate to legitimize particular concepts of spatial identity (what constitutes a "real" media space)? For instance, to what extent does a film like Die Hard (1988) convey a different notion of Los Angeles, both historically and industrially, than The Player (1992)? For that matter, what about games such as Dead Rising (2006) that incorporate media production into the narrative and geography of its fictional urban landscape?

Media History/Historiography
There is no doubt that media plays an important role in communicating a shared vision of cultural history. This is particularly the case with media that are acutely sensitive to the conditions of historical narrativity. How, then, does a game such as L.A. Noire (2011) attempt to faithfully recreate late-1940s Los Angeles, while simultaneously dramatizing that history? And how do media texts like this purport historical accuracy regarding their treatment of production culture (such as 1940s Hollywood) while simultaneously recycling narrative tropes that are manufactured by media industries in order to frame discourse about themselves?

If you have questions about Meta submissions, or wish to submit a paper or project for consideration, please contact Alice Royer and Bryan Wuest at with the subject header "MEDIASCAPE META" by January 15, 2013.
REVIEWS – "Conceptualizing Urban Media Space"
As forms of representation, media texts and artifacts construct a complex spectrum of intersecting spaces, ranging from intra-textual realms, such as narrative and intertextuality, to extra-textual environments of production, exhibition, and reception, particularly in the increasingly mediatized urban landscape. For this issue, the Reviews section of MEDIASCAPE is looking for short submissions (800-2400 words) on works that explicitly engage with the way media space is created, disseminated, and discussed in relation to urban areas.
Topics may include but are not limited to:
- How do interactive media such as video games, online (non)fiction, and/or virtual environments represent urban space, and to what end? For instance, how do games such as LA Noire, Mafia, or Batman: Arkam City recreate historical, mythological, and/or narrative spaces?
- How do digital art installations reconfigure our notions of urban space, museum space, and/or public space and, more generally, how do they conceptualize space as a means of expression?
- How does production culture scholarship adopt space as a methodology to examine developments in the media industries? How do urban spaces enter into this discourse?
- How do generic texts, science-fiction in particular, utilize spatial constructions to model, transform, and distort our concept of real space?
- How is urban space appropriated as performance art? How is this practice portrayed in fictional and quasi-fictional texts such as Exit Through The Gift Shop?
- How do mainstream disaster films use urban space as a site of apocalyptic and dystopian spectacle? What type of discourses have these films engendered and how are they perceived?
- How do documentaries portray urban space and in which context? What role does Los Angeles play in Thom Andersen's Los Angeles Plays Itself, for instance?
- How do urban sceneries figure in anthology films such as Paris, Je t'aime or New York, I love you? Is the urban just a decorative backdrop or does it carry more connotative weight?
- How do television shows such as The Shield and 24 dramatize Los Angeles urban space as an action environment? What are the implications of urban specificity in a TV show's style, discourse, and reception (e.g. Baltimore and The Wire)?
REVIEWS is specifically interested in submissions that evaluate and critique such and similar texts. If you have any questions about REVIEWS submissions, or wish to submit a paper for consideration, please contact Diana Dill, Kevin Hall, and Olga Desyatnik at with the subject header REVIEWS Mediascape by January 15, 2013.