Black Creators of Legacy and Digital Media

deadline for submissions: 
May 15, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
McFarland and Company, Publishers, Inc.
contact email: 

Call for Abstracts!

Black Creators of Legacy and Digital Media

Collection Editors: Joshua K. Wright, Ph.D., Adria Y. Goldman, Ph.D., and Alexa Harris, Ph.D.

Digital technologies have significantly impacted the media landscape, from production practices and editing techniques to interactive viewing experiences. A notable potential of digital media is the opportunity for diverse and inclusive representation. For example, streaming services, social media influencers, and video-sharing websites have contributed to visibility for under- and misrepresented identities in media. Black creators, especially, have tapped into this potential by producing and consuming content representing Black people and their intersecting identities.

Historically, Black audiences have had a challenging relationship with all forms of media. While they have been heavy consumers of its content, the media has not represented genuine Black experiences. Stereotypical representations, tokenism in casting, and Black stories created and controlled by non-black people have resulted in inaccurate, one-dimensional, and unrelatable content for Black audiences. While legacy media–like television and film–have seen improvements over time in ownership, production, and representation, digital media have made substantial changes for Black representation at a faster rate. A Nielsen study found a growing interest in streaming services, social media, and podcasting within the Black community because of the access to more relatable content created by Black creators.

 McFarland & Company, Inc. has published several books about films and television and recently released books about digital media, such as The Age of Netflix (2017). Thus, the company has solicited a new collection that compares the work of Black creators and how they have used legacy (traditional) and digital media to challenge existing narratives, present "authentic" representations to like audiences, and create opportunities for themselves and others.  The project aims to feature an interdisciplinary collection of research and creative works from academic scholars, professional media practitioners, and public figures. Chapters in the collection will explore Black creators in film, TV, and digital media from 2000 to the present, including their professional journeys, creative projects, and cultural influence.

Interested parties are invited to submit an extended abstract (up to 1500 words) and author bio (50 words) as one Microsoft Word document to by May 15th. The abstract should provide an overview of the paper, including main arguments, necessary context, methodological choices, and existing findings. Selected writers will be notified in July.  Completed papers (15-20 pages) are due October 1st.

For this project, "Black Media Creators" include content creators, directors, producers, writers, or showrunners.  Contributors can blend the following sample topics to present a novel perspective.

     -Black Creators Shaping Media, Culture, and Society
     -Black Creators' Use of African American Rhetoric and Other Rhetorical Devices
     -Black Bodies in Historically White Spaces
     -Representations of Identity and Intersectionality by Black Creators
     -Black Diaspora in Media