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[ecrea] Call for Lesson Plans on Critical Brand Studies for Teaching Media Quarterly

Thu Jul 23 06:51:57 GMT 2015

Call for Lesson Plans: Share your critical brand studies lessons and
classroom activities in Teaching Media Quarterly

“Critical Brand Studies” Teaching Media Quarterly 3(4): 2015

Deadline: 9/25/2015

Brands have long occupied a privileged place in the marketing of
products; they have designated the origin and identity of objects from
soap to oatmeal. In recent years, brands have become ubiquitous. We see
brands on our commutes to work or school and we fold branded objects
into our everyday routines. We form identities through our loyalties or
aversions to particular brands and can do so on branded social media
platforms. Branding has become a darling—not only of marketers—but of a
whole range of sectors of culture and society. Brands not only circulate
as symbols for the identities of firms, but also operate as economic
assets in their own right, blurring the boundary between media and
corporate practices. Brands have come to play a role in shaping markets,
managing economic production, and organizing everyday life (Lury 2004,
Arvidsson 2006, Moor 2007). Politics, religion, creativity, and even
selves have become subject to processes and strategies of branding
(Banet-Weiser 2012). We have seen the rise of city branding and the
branding of public space. We have seen how the contemporary employment
market, particularly post-Fordist work, comes together with increasing
pressures and opportunities to “self-brand” (Hearn 2008). And we have
seen how brands insert themselves as a platform and enabler of
pro-social possibilities in, for example, Dove’s promise of “free
self-esteem tools” (Banet-Weiser 2012)

Although critical scholarship has taken note of this trend, there remain
few teaching resources that tackle critical brand studies directly.
Teaching Media Quarterly would like to hear how instructors are teaching
about brands, branding, and brand culture from a critical perspective.
We seek lesson plan submissions that offer undergraduates critical tools
in well-developed lesson plans for thinking through the implications of
contemporary branding.

We are especially interested in lesson plans that are informed by the
following questions:

• How can the insights of critical brand studies be brought to bear on
the teaching of media? What can be gained by approaching media through
the conceptual apparatus of the brand?

• What kinds of possibilities (social justice, environmental, political,
culture, for example) are opened up by contemporary branding and what
are shut down?

• How can we understand contemporary brand culture historically? How can
a historical understanding of the practice of branding add to students’
critical toolboxes?

• How do brands come together with questions of citizenship and “the
public”? What is opened up and what is closed off as branding and
citizenship come together?

• How does contemporary branding come together with questions of race,
class, gender, sexuality, ability, place, and nation?

All submissions must include: 1) a title, 2) an overview and
comprehensive rationale (using accessible language explain the purpose
of the assignment(s), define key terms, and situate in relevant
literature) (250-500 words), 3) a general timeline, 4) a detailed lesson
plan and assignment instructions, 5) teaching materials (handouts,
rubrics, discussion prompts, viewing guides, etc.), 6) a full
bibliography of readings, links, and/or media examples, and 7) a short
biography (100-150 words). Please email all submissions using the
TMQ.Submission.Template (2)
in ONE Microsoft Word document to ( /at/
<mailto:( /at/>.


Teaching Media Quarterly Editorial Board

J. Hamilton

E. D. Hristova

R. Jurisz

H. Zimmerman

Heidi Zimmerman
Critical Media Studies
Department of Communication Studies
University of Minnesota

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