CFP: Flow Volume 26 Special Issue: "New Faces, New Voices, New Bodies: Current Thoughts on Media Representations"

deadline for submissions: 
August 26, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Flow Journal

The summer of 2019 has seen a variety of news reports and stories announcing and celebrating the accomplishments of diversity, inclusivity, and socio-political progress across the entertainment industries. Examples include Ali Stroker’s monumental win at the Tony Awards (as the first wheelchair user to win an award); the casting of Halle Bailey in Disney’s live-adaptation of The Little Mermaid; Marvel Studios’ casting of Simu Liu, Salma Hayek, and Mahershala Ali in lead roles as well as the hiring of non-white and non-male directors for Phase 4 projects; the announcement that the 007 role in the James Bond franchise will now be played by Black woman, Lashana Lynch; the development and production of a queer-centered superhero television series in the upcoming Batwoman on The CW; and the critically-acclaimed and fan-lauded careers of musicians like Lil Nas X and Lizzo taking center stage in the music industry.


This inaugural issue of Flow’s twenty-sixth volume, “New Faces, New Voices, New Bodies: Current Thoughts on Media Representations,” asks cultural and media scholars to consider these recent developments from historical, industrial, political, economic, cultural, and national lenses. Arguably, this phenomenon has occurred before (to name a few, the ‘70s with Blaxploitation, socially “relevant” TV programming, and the popular embrace of funk and soul; the late ‘80s and early ‘90s with Hollywood’s New Black Wave, the flood of Black sitcoms on network television, and the mainstream success of hip-hop and rap; and the late ‘90s and early ‘00s with the rise of Latinx stars in pop music, “multiculti” ensemble casts, and the appearance of LGBTQ characters  in primetime). This special issue seeks to understand: What is new about this moment? How can we discuss these developments without losing sight of the economic motives of conglomerates? How can we define and discuss this current wave of diversity, inclusivity, and progressive action in the industries? And to what extent are these industry strategies of diversity and inclusivity sustainable? Possible topics include, but are by no means limited to:

  • LGBTQ identities in contemporary fiction and non-fiction media

  • Effects of trailblazing texts and figures on the media industry

  • Discourses of authenticity, sincerity, progress, and pandering

  • Late-night television, political comedy, and the Trump administration

  • Cultural and political responses to casting and production announcements

  • Genre-specific examinations of identity and representation

  • Comparative analyses of historical precedents and contemporary resurgences

  • Conglomeration, technology, and regulation as pressure points for diversity and inclusivity, particularly in corporate diversity initiatives and campaigns

  • Global perspectives of identity and representation

To be considered for this timely issue, please submit a completed short essay of 1200-1500 words, along with at least three images (.png), video, and/or new media files (GIFs, etc.), and a short bio, to Rusty Hatchell and Selena Dickey at by Monday, August 26th, 2019. The Special Issue will be published at on Monday, September 16th, 2019.