Call for Abstracts

The fifth Mapping the Magazine conference, to be held at Columbia College Chicago, July 25-27, 2018, invites submissions on the theme Magazines as Curated Communities.

The organizers seek proposals for individual papers on topics related to magazine research from many disciplines (Media and Communication, Journalism, Critical and Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Sociology, Linguistics, English, History, Visual Communication, and others). The 2018 conference seeks to explore questions including but not limited to:
  • Redefining magazines: Are podcasts, fashion and lifestyle blogs, Tumblr sites, online fan communities and other collections of content and audiences “magazines”? What are the arguments for and against expanding our notion of magazines?
  • Magazine production: What technological or industry trends are influencing changes in production? What business models work or will work in the future? (Ethnographic approaches to studying magazine production would be especially interesting here.)
  • The perseverance of print: How and why is the print medium currently being used by zines, little magazines, and other underground publications to resist hegemony and online trolling? How are custom(er) magazines using the print medium to convey exclusivity and luxury? How are mainstream consumer titles (re)marketing their print publications to digital natives? How are art magazines and literary magazines driving an interest in print?
  • Magazines as sites of advocacy and resistance: What has changed, if anything, in magazines’ tendency to take on issues of social justice? What campaigns work, and what don’t? How are these publications doing in these contentious times?
  • Trends in magazine content: What is considered newsworthy and storyworthy across generations, countries, and cultures? What is the balance of individualistic versus collectivistic values in different types of magazine content? What has changed over time? Are online news stories increasingly adopting some of the features of magazine content, and what does this mean for magazines? How have the constructions of race, gender, sexuality, disability and other group differences in magazine content changed over time?
  • Readership trends: Who reads what magazines—and why? What is changing and why? How do magazines affect their audiences? What roles do readers play in the evolution of magazines and their content on various platforms?
  • History of magazines: What can we learn from the past? What case studies inform our understanding of magazine media then and now?
  • Advertising trends: From advertorials to native advertising, how has the tension between editorial and advertising evolved? What are the ethical and commercial considerations? How do readers discern the differences? How well do magazines drive sales? What other revenue streams exist?

“Mapping the Magazine” is a series of conferences established by Tim Holmes of Cardiff University. Four conferences have run so far—in 2005, 2007, 2011, and 2016. The fifth conference will be sponsored by Columbia College Chicago, Northwestern University, and the Magazine Media Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

The MtM conferences aim to serve as intimate and meaningful gatherings of magazine scholars from many disciplines who are interested in exploring the current state of magazine research and possibly developing collaborative research projects. MtM5, like all of the preceding conferences, is open to all scholars working in the broad field of magazine research.

Abstracts of 400 words for 20-minute papers are due by December 27, 2017. Please submit abstracts via this form. For instructions or to confirm receipt of your abstract, contact speshkin@colum.edu. Successful applicants will be contacted by February 1, 2018, and full papers will be due to the conference organizers by May 1, 2018. As in the past, papers will be delivered sequentially over the three days, not concurrently in separate streams. Conference delegates are asked to commit to attending all papers.

Registration is free for all presenters and keynote speakers. General admission is $50, and discounted to $25 for students and members of the AEJMC Magazine Media Division.

The organizers are planning to have an edited collection or a special issue of the Journal of Magazine Media based on selected papers from the conference. Please email any questions to the members of the organizing committee: Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin (Columbia College Chicago, speshkin@colum.edu); Betsy Edgerton (Columbia College Chicago, bedgerton@colum.edu); Susan Currie Sivek (Linfield College, ssivek@linfield.edu); Kevin Lerner (Marist College, kevin.lerner@marist.edu); Tim Holmes (Cardiff University, holmesta@cardiff.ac.uk); Miglena Sternadori (Texas Tech University, miglena.sternadori@ttu.edu).
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