CFP: Popular Culture in a New Media Age: Trends and Transitions

Special Issue of
Popular Culture and New Media
The Politics of Circulation
Guest Editors: Dr. Despoina Feleki, Dr. Otilia Cusa
Stichtag: 06.09.2019

If it doesn’t spread, it’s dead: this is the new modus operandi of the emerging media landscape that allows for media content to circulate from top down to bottom up, from grassroots to commercial, as argued by Henry Jenkins et al. (2013). Conversely, Cory Doctorow’s “think like a dandelion” metaphor suggests a radically novel interaction between writers and readers, media producers and consumers. Practically, these new media artifacts are like dandelions spreading in the air, not at all contagiously, but rather consciously and autonomously. By continuously shifting our attention from user-generated material to user-circulated content, we are shaping a more accurate idea of what popular culture stands for today.

What is more, the affordances of new media revisit well-established tenets of language socialization research as socialization through the use of language (the acquisition of proper use of language to acquire social competence) and socialization to use language (language as a medium or tool in the socialization process) within popular cultural production and, in particular, in the case of digital fandoms.  The rise of popular culture studies and the inclusion of popular courses in universities and school curricula testify to the need for further investigation into the changing faces of the 21st century popular culture.

This special issue aims to participate in a dialogue regarding new trends and transitions in popular culture studies and answers the need for repositioning the issue. We welcome papers on popular works intended for the big screen, TV, and/or other printed or digital editions. Some of the questions raised can address, but are not limited to, the following:

  • How do new media textualities inform visualizations, representations, and narratives in present-day mass-mediated popular culture?
  • Can the popularity of new media content be put down only to increased visibility of media and social networking sites?
  • How can visual and linguistic modes of meaning forge social bonds between viewers and characters in the digital fan communities?
  • How are popular products reconfiguring Western Culture?
  • Are other markets (Asian) making it into the American and European market (and vice versa)?

Contributors can also investigate how latest authorial, editorial, and reading practices of popular production are readjusted both in print and in new media environments.

Possible topics could include among others:

  • Comics and graphic novels
  • Superhero movies and the formation of identity: What is the future of the superhero narrative?
  • Superheroes and science fiction
  • Pedagogical approaches to teaching popular content (graphic novels, comics, webcomics, videogames)
  • Adapting graphic novels for the big screen
  • Horror stories: Do they continue to rise in popularity?
  • Linguistic mapping of digital fanship and fandom
  • Socialization through language and/or technology in online fan communities
  • Youth language use in fandom and online communities
  • Gender and language play in online fandom forums
  • Popular Gothic in art and fiction
  • Film adaptations and cultural influences
  • TV programmes, reality shows, spectatorship
  • Televisual fan research: fans, anti-fans, non-fans
  • Videogames: An art form or a new medium?
  • More than gaming: Videogames and their storytelling potential
  • Produced by/producing for the industry. How is the industry adjusting/ informing the popular product in a globalized world?
  • Transmedia storytelling
  • Pop art reception: Consumer consciousness
  • Fan fiction: Investigations into fan practices
  • Comics studies and film studies
  • Indie markets and their role
  • Images of America in pop culture

All abstracts must be received by the deadline of Friday September 6, 2019.

The length of the abstract should be between 150-180 words.

Your abstract submission should include:

  • title
  • author(s)
  • author contact information
  • affiliated institution
  • keywords (4-5)

Please send your emails to: Dr. Despoina Feleki ( and Dr. Otilia Cusa (

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