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[ecrea] CFP The Velvet Light Trap Issue #78: Considering Kids’ Media

Fri Jul 31 11:02:05 GMT 2015

Call for Papers


Issue #78: “Considering Kids’ Media”

The Payne Fund studies of the 1920s and 1930s attempted to discover—with
questionable scientific rigor—whether attending the movies was
emotionally and physically harmful to children. Was it the case that
disturbing scenes and sensory reactions to light and sound caused
children to become nervous, agitated, and upset? Although the Payne
studies were controversial and inconclusive, they reflected a general
concern about the effect of films on children’s well-being that would
influence media regulation and discourse for years to come. Many popular
and academic conversations about kids and media are still dominated by
the belief that children are vulnerable, developing bodies in need of
constant oversight. David Buckingham famously defined these discourses
as "pedagogical" and "protectionist," and argued that they can limit the
study of kids’ media. Like Buckingham, we see potential pitfalls with
the pedagogical and protectionist approaches, including regressive views
of audiences; arbitrary boundaries between adult and child cultures; and
a neglect of formal analysis and historical inquiry. Significant work
has been done in a number of disciplines that seeks to address these
challenges and concerns, but there is more to add to the film and media
studies conversation that recognizes the complexity of children’s media
and the cultures surrounding them.

For this issue, THE VELVET LIGHT TRAP seeks historical and contemporary
studies of kids’ media: that is, media aimed exclusively at kids, media
produced with kids in mind as part of the larger audience, or media made
by kids themselves. Submissions should add to the study of kids’ media
as a creative, social, and cultural phenomenon by moving beyond the
protectionist and pedagogical binary. We welcome topics that reflect the
agency of young people, acknowledge the complexity of these media texts,
and expand film and media histories. We will consider papers that
concern people under the age of 18—teens, tweens, “young adults,”
infants, and everyone in between—and topics with a national, regional,
or international scope. The following subjects offer some topic areas,
though submissions are not limited to the following:

- Issues of gender, race, and the queering of childhood

- Children as producers of content, online and in film or TV narratives

- New research methodologies: issues when studying kids or using kids as

- Merchandising, toy culture, franchising, and paratexts of kids’ media

- Traditional kids’ media forms and genres—fairy tales, animation,
fantasy, etc.—and their boundaries and hybridity

- Child stars and the stars of children’s shows or films

- Sites of kid fandom and kids’ fan culture

- Age and age differentiation within the realm of kids’ media

- Texts with crossover appeal to multiple age demographics

- Industrial studies of kid-focused networks, studios, websites, etc.

- Children’s film festivals and other sites of exhibition

- Historiographic inquiries into the conditions affecting children’s
media: technological change, taste cultures, distribution and exhibition
practices, external censorship, self-regulation, etc.

- Institutional and educational media

Submission Guidelines:

Submissions should be between 8,000 and 10,000 words, formatted in
Chicago style. Please submit an electronic copy of the paper, along with
a one-page abstract, both saved as a Microsoft Word file. Remove any
identifying information so that the submission is suitable for anonymous
review. The entire essay, including block quotations and notes, should
be double-spaced. Quotations not in English should be accompanied by
translations. Photocopies of illustrations are sufficient for initial
review, but authors should be prepared to supply camera-ready
photographs on request. Illustrations will be sized by the publisher.
Permissions are the responsibility of the author.

Send electronic manuscripts and/or any questions to
(thevelvetlighttrap /at/ <mailto:(thevelvetlighttrap /at/>.
Submissions are due September 5, 2015.

About the Journal:

THE VELVET LIGHT TRAP is a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal of film,
television, and new media studies. Graduate students at the University
of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Texas-Austin coordinate
issues in alternation. Our Editorial Advisory Board includes such
notable scholars as Charles Acland, Richard Allen, Ben Aslinger, Harry
Benshoff, Mark Betz, Michael Curtin, Corey Creekmur, Kaye Dickinson,
Bambi Haggins, Lucas Hilderbrand, Scott Higgins, Mary Celeste Kearney,
Jon Kraszewski, Nicholas Sammond, Jacob Smith, Beretta Smith-Shomade,
Jonathan Sterne, Cristina Venegas, and Michael Williams. For more
information, please visit the journal’s website at

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