CFP Motley 2012 Redefining the Dominant Discourse of Popular Culture (1e avril 2012)


Motley 2012

Redefining the Dominant Discourse of Popular Culture

“Popular art is the dream of society; it does not examine itself.”

–Margaret Atwood

The Students of English Studies Association (SESA) of California State University, Fresno, in collaboration with Rasquache, and the Chicano Writers and Artists Association (CWAA), announces its call for papers for the 2011-2012 publication of Motley.

We welcome papers related to the theme:

Diversity/Redefining the Dominant Discourse of Popular Culture

In recent years, popular culture has come to be considered a valid and fruitful point of academic inquiry, helping to infuse more established disciplines, including English studies, with fresh life. Scholars have become increasingly aware of the broader implications of popular culture, which encompasses such diverse media as magazines, books, film, television, comic books/graphic novels, and internet content, for discourses mis/unrepresented or marginalized within the mainstream.

The mainstream, whatever ‘norms’ it actively portrays through popular culture, may perhaps be best described as an intricate matrix of discourses that corresponds to specific interests and that possesses varying types and amounts of sociopolitical agency. Some discourses are, for complex reasons, more socially influential or dominant than others and these discourses tend to govern culture as a whole from the vista of a certain ‘gaze’ that has more to do with the experience and values of that particular discourse community, and an attempt to preserve these values, than any effort toward true verisimilitude with the diverse experiences of individuals potentially outside or excluded from this governing group. We consciously and unconsciously function, as students, as scholars, as teachers, and as participants within this discourse, so that our writing and our self-expression is indefinitely engaged from a perspective that promises inclusion for all but often fails to recognize nuances in subjective experience along the lines of ethnic culture, spirituality, gender, sexuality, and language as relates to normalized popular narratives of belonging. So, what changes when such a gaze is shifted, when ownership and authority is (re)claimed by voices that have long been silenced or marginalized?

We invite academic papers and creative works on a variety of topics within this theme, including but not limited to:

*The role of popular media in the construction of cultures, identities, and place
*“Subversive” texts that generate space for previously silenced voices to speak
*Tensions, contradictions and conflicts of identity formation and social membership brought about by popular culture
*Analysis of popular or canon texts that speak to the marginalization or silencing of specific groups within literature.
*Responses/revisions to mis/representations of marginalized peoples in popular media texts (news, visual art/advertising, films/television, books, comics, etc.).
*Challenges we face in (re)defining academia and the literary canon and what methods we employ to subvert them
*Rhetorics used to challenge the dominant, interdependent gazes of pop culture and academia
*Ways in which the perspectives and/or presence of students from marginalized or underrepresented communities challenges and redefines academia.
*Our reflective processes in redirecting the gaze to consider ourselves as students and participants in a broader community of scholars
*Production and reproduction of cultural typing and stereotyping and implications thereof for mainstream culture
*How artistic expression can create a sense of belonging and validation for marginalized voices within the rigid and impenetrable, often markedly visual constructions of culture in art and media
*The complex intersections between our academic communities and popular culture, and how these elements work to (re)shape our pedagogies
*Pedagogies that reflect our perceived responsibilities to others largely underrepresented/misrepresented in pop culture and academia

We also welcome papers and creative works (creative writing, art/photography, video, short film) on relevant topics, not directly addressed above, that significantly engage disciplines other than English Studies and that have consequences for communities located outside of the academy.

Please e-mail submissions to by April 1st, 2012.

*Graduate and undergraduate students, as well as faculty, are encouraged to submit work to the journal.

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