Axel Bruns on 3 Oct 2000 01:25:07 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] M/C Calls for Contributors for issues through to the end of 2001

                   M/C - A Journal of Media and Culture

                          Call for Contributors

The University of Queensland's award-winning journal of media and culture,
M/C, is looking for new contributors. M/C is a crossover journal between
the popular and the academic, and a blind- and peer-reviewed journal.

To see what M/C is all about, check out our Website, which contains all the
issues released so far, at <>. To find out
how and in what format to contribute your work, visit

Below, you'll find the issue topics we're planning for the rest of 2000
and 2001, along with the article submission and issue release deadlines.
Take the topic descriptions as a guideline only: if you've got a different
approach to the topic, we'd love to see your article!

Please spread this call far and wide, and remember to archive it for future

   article deadline: 13 Nov. 2000
   issue release date: 13 Dec. 2000

M/C is turning three. Well, not quite, but we're at the finish of our
third volume, and that's a good time to pause and take stock of what and
where we are and what we want the future to hold for us. The M/C operation
is going through a number of changes at the end of 2000 -- editorial
collective members are stepping down from their jobs, others are taking up
the challenge --, and this infusion of fresh blood is bound to renew our
impetus. To mark this changeover, we're getting the band back together,
with articles from the original contributors of M/C 1.1 ('new').

But the 'renew' issue is not about self-congratulary navel-gazing. Our
outlook in this issue is to the future, not to the past -- to the ongoing
study of media and culture rather than the contributions we've been able
to make in our own brief existence. At M/C, we've always seen ourselves as
part of a wider movement towards the crossover between the popular and the

To that end, we're also inviting your contributions to 'renew'. How does
renewal take place -- for individuals as well as for groups, institutions,
or whole societies? What causes renewal, what hinders it? Where is renewal
most needed, and how may it be brought about? To be part of the renewed
M/C, send us your articles...

   article deadline: 22 Jan. 2001
   issue release date: 21 Feb. 2001

Simple two-syllable word, defined in its most rudimentary sense as
apologetic, remorseful and humbled.  Yet its application is often diverse,
contradictory and complicated by contextual, political and historical
factors.  To say 'I'm sorry' as opposed to 'I apologise' is to make a
small but significant distinction between degrees of ownership to guilt
and responsibility.  Perhaps the problematic of using 'sorry' then in
contemporary culture is best understood by being reflexive about the
power, politics and practices of being sorry or being represented as
sorry.  For example, in Australia, there is a performative tension between
the ideological requirements of National Sorry Day and the associated need
for contemporary Australian governments to consider on National Sorry Day
the question of respondent 'sorriness' -- too often, though, the
government of the time does not advocate being 'sorry' -- it does not
perform a sense of sorriness.  From an analyst's position, if we place
ourselves between these positions of being sorry and not being sorry (is
this possible?), can we discern a method of sorriness?  What is the
relationship, on a national or cultural level, between political
subjectivities in power and the repressed imaginations that seek a
acknowledgement being sorry from them?  What is the relationship, on an
individual or personal level between determining being sorry or
apologetic?  At which point does a sense of responsibility advocate a
degree of sorriness?

   article deadline: 19 March 2001
   issue release date: 18 April 2001

To mix is to transform, combine or blend to create something new.  Within
this transformation process, there is breakdown, renovation,
reinvigoration, novelty and often strangeness.  Flour, water, butter, and
sugar in their original forms lack sufficient engagement -- yet, when
located within methods of food preparation, can produce shortbread,
biscuits and scones.  Here, the uniqueness of these elements is in their
combination, in their placement within something greater as a whole -- the
final product can be distinguished as unique in style, texture and taste
from the materials that make it.  Yet to alter one element changes the mix
-- to alter the regime of the preparation transforms the result.  In what
other ways might the idea of 'mix' work this transformative power through
the tapestry of worlds?

'Mix' can be applied to many goings-on in media and culture -- from
visual and fictional representations of racial and gendered mixtures, to
the mixing of music, the combining of literary genres, and the creating of
multimedia.  'Mix' can also be subject to various desires and political
uses, and can be observed as a deep cultural process guiding
interpretations of change, transformation, components of social movement,
and ethnic mixtures within nations.  Think of a mix you would like to
unravel: What kind of mixes challenge established forms of media and
culture? How do ideas of the 'global melting pot' make their way into
media and culture, and what is their impact?  How is the rhetoric of the
multicultural mix used and produced?  What beliefs do these uses of 'mix'
foster and encourage? Is this 'fusion' or 'hybridity' full of constructive
and creative potential, or can it be destructive and sterile?

This issue will get amongst the mix and look at what is being mixed, and
how, and what this is doing to boundaries within media and culture.  We
invite articles that delve into the mix and write about its methods,
meanings and products.  Put together your words and ideas and create
something for the mix...

   article deadline: 14 May 2001
   issue release date: 13 June 2001

I'm sick
You're sick
That's sick

'Sick' connotes: disease. Extreme disapproval. Commendation.
Colloquially, even admiration.

To be sick is to be biologically compromised, physically disrupted. To be
sick is to pass beyond the limits of sanctioned discourse.

In this issue of M/C we choose 'sick' as a site to investigate the
complexities inherent in the passage beyond the cultural and ideological
pale. If you want to be part of the sickness, send us your articles.

   article deadline: 9 July 2001
   issue release date: 8 August 2001

Creators 'act' -- they position and produce through processes of
transformation.  Within religious systems, creators are perceived to exist
in an extra-discursive real outside perceived natural systems -- they are
supernatural, capable of commandeering creations that break laws of
nature.  In other more scientific settings, creators are supra (above)
natural, in that they are positioned at the top of nature, able to call
forth, like a great commander-in-chief, epic acts that manipulate the laws
of nature in novel ways while maintaining their coherency.  Many schools,
in a religious context, debate over the preferred interpretation of the
act of creation, from theistic-evolutionists to creationists.  But
creators in religious and other contexts too (such as a worker of the
arts) are, it can be argued, still subject to the cultural systems which
represent them -- is there no real creator apart from what is perceived
that way?  Religious and spiritual innovation can be closely related in
this manner with the production, combination and utilisation of selected
images of a creator.  Yet within the expanded definition that creator
might indicate one who creates and practices acts of creation, questions
of power and desire in creation inevitably connect with questions of
public accountability and the material effects of creation.  Depending on
one's subjective relation to an idea of creator, do some creators appear
more 'real' or carry greater cultural meaning than others?

   article deadline: 3 September 2001
   issue release date: 3 October 2001

'Colour', in its basic form, emits or reflects light, but when it is
thrown into media and culture, it emits and reflects so much more.

In visual and media culture, colour is a primary source to communicate
thought and feeling.  Colour is used for its connotations, its
connections, its effects on the viewer.  And colour is also used in word-
based media and culture -- literary representations of race rely on it,
mood and imagery is enhanced by it.  Colours blend and slide, and meanings
attached to colour can follow suit, changing with both time and place.
Colour is used to invoke fear and comfort, represent change and stability,
signify belonging or alienness.  And in current racial theory the
achromatic nature of whiteness is challenged, while the meanings of
blackness are analysed.

Colour is so often used as a metaphor in visual and literary
representations -- what is it about colour that makes it so loaded with
meaning? What are your thoughts on colour in media and culture?  How is
the media "coloured"?  What colours culture?  Send to M/C your (colourful)
article that throws light on the colours of media and culture.

   article deadline: 29 October 2001
   issue release date: 28 November 2001

In the bad old days, people lived to work: to produce enough food, to
make enough money just to get by was hard enough, and there was no time to
waste on the finer things in life. Things are so much better now -- or are
they? Do we really work to live now, doing our work only to sustain and
support our pursuits outside the workplace? Does the divide even apply any
more -- in the days of teleworking, flexitime, and plug'n'play computing
in the home office, where does work stop, and recreation start? What is
the future of the workplace if neither the location of that place nor the
activities of work can be pinned down with any accuracy? And what becomes
of the worker, in both the general and the specific meaning of the term:
if everyone's an information worker, does the working class become extinct
(or is it simply pushed to the geopolitical outskirts of the Western

Perhaps these questions aren't even as recent as they appear to be.
Consider 'work', the noun: it describes both the activity and its outcome -
- so if you love (or hate) your work, do you mean the work you do or the
work you've created in doing your work (which in turn may indicate that
you love having finished your work and being ready to play)? And speaking
of creativity, what about the artwork: is it work, is it art, can it be
both? Where (in analogy to the work/play divide above) does work stop and
art begin (a question of significant legal implications, as recent cases
around the copyrighting of software as artworks have shown)?

So, get to work on these and other ideas. Articles on the past and future
of work and play, on individual works (of art, or otherwise), on the
concept of work itself, and other labours of love are gratefully accepted
for this issue of M/C. If they work for us (and our hard-working
referees), we'll publish them.

We're looking forward to your articles !

                                                          Axel Bruns

M/C - A Journal of Media and Culture        
The University of Queensland      

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