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[Commlist] Animation as Cultural Industry? Designing and Making Cartoons - RFSIC Special Issue
Wed May 22 23:20:18 GMT 2019
"Animation as Cultural Industry? Designing and Making Cartoons"
RFSIC Special Issue
Special Guest Editors: Marie Pruvost-Delaspre & Sébastien François
Submission Deadline Extended: July 15, 2019
Articles in English or French are welcome!
If you are a scholar studying the working conditions in the animation
sector, the economics of animation, or any subject related to the
production of animated contents, please consider submitting to this
special issue. Feel free to disseminate the CFP too!
Full details below or on the journal website:
RFSIC #18 Special Issue:
ANIMATION AS CULTURAL INDUSTRY? DESIGING AND MAKING CARTOONS
Special Guest Editors: Marie Pruvost-Delaspre & Sébastien François
Even though academic interest for the animated medium remains on the
fringe of media studies, it seems to have gained much importance during
in the last few decades (Crafton, 1982; Pilling, 1997; Lamarre, 2008;
Wells, 2012). Following the impetus of the thriving “animation studies”
in the English-speaking context and the pioneering work of the Society
for Animation Studies (SAS) founded in 1987, scientific research on
animation has started to spread across different linguistic areas and
countries. Nevertheless, animation as a field of research still appears
in a state of dispersal and fragmentation, marked by recurrent tropisms.
Indeed, due to their dependence to related scientific projects or
events, the works conducted on animation and its multiple formats and
techniques have been developed within different disciplinary fields,
such as film and media studies, communication studies, history or
sociology, but in a certain state of unawareness of one another
(Pilling, 1998; Denis, 2011). They also have been mainly focused on
aesthetics and contents –and to some extent on reception–, putting aside
the practical conditions of the making of animation.
A growing number of books, documentaries or DVD-bonuses may have already
offered some insights into what happens “behind-the-scene”, as did so
–more seriously– some general historical and theoretical works on
animation (Furniss, 2016), studies devoted to major studios like Disney
or Pixar (Wasko, 2001), or others focused on specialized television
channels (Hendershot, 2004). Nevertheless, the design and production
process of animated programs have rarely been systematically tackled by
social sciences, and socio-economical approaches of the animation market
appears almost non-existent. Those blind spots left by academia are
related the periodic illegitimacy of animation, which is clearly linked
to its reduction both to television programs and children products. In
this context, ethnographical studies like Ian Condry’s work on
/anime/ studios (Condry, 2013) or Dana Lemish’s on gender in animated
cartoons (Lemish, 2010), can be considered as pioneering. More recently,
the one-day symposium “La fabrique de l’animation” (“The making of
animation”), organized in June 2017 in Paris, which sought to raise
visibility on this type of research and to develop dialogue between
researchers, has rather been a first step than culmination. From the
perspective of countries, like France, where animation remains, despite
everything, a flourishing industry, with animation schools and young
professionals with international appeal (Mérijeau & Roffat, 2015), this
state of the art seems nothing but paradoxical.
This special issue consequently aims at highlighting the processes
through which animation projects are designed and put into production,
by bringing together contributions and researchers that engage with such
questions. Thus, an essential task is still to better document the
working conditions of animation professionals, whose occupations and
situations are so diverse. But how can we report the organization of
such production systems, in which many projects stop at their early
stages while the lucky ones take years to be completed? How to describe
and classify the multiple and complex “chains of cooperation” (Becker,
1982) of each one? Benefitting from the input of previous works
previously undertaken in diverse academic fields, the purpose of this
issue is indeed to discuss the potential approaches (theoretical and
empirical) that could be useful to comprehend the production of
animation, taken in its broadest sense, i.e. from the first steps of the
creation to the practical manufacturing and broadcasting moments. The
collection’s goal is therefore to question the specificity of animation
and its qualification as a cultural industry.
So as to initiate the discussions at stake, we invite contributors to
address the following (but not exhaustive) research directions:
ANIMATION AND ITS MODES OF COOPERATION
Following decisive works on cultural industries (Hesmondhalgh, 2012;
Johnson & al., 2014) and the recent rise of production studies (Mayer &
al., 2009; Arsenault & Perren, 2016), the work of animation
professionals and their daily practices should appear as a central
issue. Indeed, how can research follow up and document the multiple
stages of the animation production? How to analyze the diversity of
artistic professions (authors, animators, filmmakers, story-boarders,
voice actors…) as well as their skills and crafts, while some of them
remain particularly understudied? Existing research on the collective
nature of creation in the cinema industry (Caldwell, 2008; Rot & de
Verdalle, 2013) or on the role of cultural intermediaries (Maguire &
Matthews, 2014; Jeanpierre & Roueff, 2014) should be helpful to
understand how those professionals cooperate (Holian, 2015). In
particular, articles addressing the question of the existing tensions
within the animation industry –regarding gender, generations, schools of
thought, etc.– or technical antagonisms –craftsmanship vs. industry,
analogic vs. digital technology (Noesser, 2016)– are expected.
THE ANIMATION INDUSTRY: ORGANIZING, FINANCING & BROADCASTING
The production of animated series and feature films deeply relies on
specific financing and economic models (Creton, 2014) which
comprehension requires to conduct studies among animation producers.
Analyzing the specificity of animation production, in comparison to the
situation in the film or in other cultural industries, might also shed
some light on this subject. Thereby, papers dealing with the
institutional and political contexts, as well as the financing of
animation projects, will be highly appreciated: for instance, such works
could explain why the French and European animation have continued to
develop despite the powerful Japanese /anime/ and American cartoons
(Mousseau, 1982), but any other international perspective will be
considered. Moreover, it is essential to scientifically include
animation broadcasting, be it the film circulation through festivals,
the work done by cinema distributors, and of course the role played by
television channels which are indispensable in the financing and
production processes (Stabile & Harrison, 2003; Jost & Chambat-Houillon,
2003), since they have their own problematics. Finally, the moral and
regulation constraints which apply to audiovisual material may be also
examined. The institutions (e.g. the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel
in France), associations (e.g. the “Parents-Teachers Associations” in
Japan) or other entities (e.g. the “Standards and Practices” departments
in American television channels; see Cohen, 2004), which directly affect
professionals’ working conditions and attitudes could inspire very
ANIMATION AND MEDIA CIRCULATIONS
Looking more broadly into cultural industries and their boundaries
(Bouquillon & al., 2013), article proposals focusing on the circulation
of animated contents are expected. Animation often plays a central part
in contemporary media circulations and one can wonder to what extent the
industry has (or had) to adapt its production routines due to licensing
or cross/transmedia strategies (Johnson, 2013; Kinder, 1991; Steinberg,
2012). How then has been animation associated to other “new” media
(video games, Internet, apps) and what are the implications for
animation professionals? Interrogating such aspects of animation
circulation should contribute to the understanding of the interactions
between cultural industries, as well as the building of contemporary
fictional worlds (Brougère, 2008; Condry, 2013; Besson, 2015).
Submitted papers, of a maximum of 40,000 characters including spaces,
should be sent before July 15^th 2019 to the coordinators:
(sebastien.francois /at/ rocketmail.com)
<mailto:(sebastien.francois /at/ rocketmail.com)> and
(marie.pruvost-delaspre /at/ univ-paris8.fr)
<mailto:(marie.pruvost-delaspre /at/ univ-paris8.fr)>
They will then be peer-reviewed in a double-blind process by the
scientific committee. Instructions on format and citations may be found
The issue #18 is expected to be published by the end of 2019/beginning
BECKER Howard, 1982, /Art Worlds/, Berkeley, University of California
Press, 379 p.
BESSON Anne, 2015, /Constellations : Des mondes fictionnels dans
l’imaginaire contemporain/, Paris, CNRS, 560 p.
BOUQUILLION Philippe, MIEGE Bernard & MOEGLIN Pierre, 2013,
/L’Industrialisation des biens symboliques : Les industries créatives en
regard des industries culturelles/, Grenoble, PUG, 252 p.
CRAFTON Donald, /Before Mickey: The Animated Film, 1898-1928/, Boston,
MIT Press, 1982.
CRETON Laurent, 2014, /Économie du cinéma/, Paris, Armand Colin, 295 p.
CRETON Laurent, DEHEE Yannick, LAYERLE Sébastien & MOINE Caroline, 2011,
/Les Producteurs : Enjeux créatifs, enjeux financiers/, Paris, Nouveau
Monde Éditions, 392 p.
COHEN Karl, 2004, /Forbidden Animation. Censored Cartoons and
Blacklisted Animators in America/, Jefferson, McFarland, 230 p.
CONDRY Ian, 2013, /The Soul of Anime: Collaborative Creativity and
Japan’s Media Success Story/, Durham, Duke University Press, 241 p.
DENIS Sébastien, 2017, /Le Cinéma d’animation/, Paris, A. Colin (3^ème
éd.), 320 p.
FURNISS, Maureen, 2016, /A New History of Animation/, New York, Thames &
Hudson, 464 p.
HENDERSHOT Heather (ed.), 2004, /Nickelodeon Nation. The History,
Politics, and Economics of America’s Only TV Channel for Kids/, New
York, New York University Press, 304 p.
HESMONDHALGH David, 2012, /The Cultural Industries/, Londres, SAGE
Publications Ltd, 480 p.
HOLIAN Heather, 2013, « Art, Animation and the Collaborative Process »,
/Animation Studies Journal/, volume 8, available at
consulted on January, 11^th 2019.
JEANPIERRE Laurent & ROUEFF Olivier, 2014, /La Culture et ses
intermédiaires/, Paris, Archives contemporaines, 267 p.
JOHNSON Derek, 2013, /Media Franchising: Creative License and
Collaboration in the Culture Industries/, New York, New York University
Press, 300 p.
JOHNSON Derek, KOMPARE Derek & SANTO Avi, 2014, /Making Media Work:
Cultures of Management in the Entertainment Industries/, New York, New
York University Press, 336 p.
JOST François & CHAMBAT-HOUILLON Marie-France, 2003, « Parents-enfants :
regards croisés sur les dessins animés », /Informations sociales/, 111.
LAMARRE Thomas, 2008, « Animation Studies », /The Semiotic Review of
Books/, 17:3. 1‑5
LEMISH Dafna, 2010, /Screening Gender on Children’s Television: The
Views of Producers around the World/, Londres/New York, Routledge, 240 p.
MAGUIRE Jennifer Smith & MATTHEWS Julian, 2014, /The Cultural
Intermediaries Reader/, Londres/New York, SAGE Publications Ltd, 256 p.
DOI : 10.4135/9781473912281 <http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781473912281>
MAYER Vicky, BANKS Miranda & CALDWELL John Thornton (ed.), 2009,
/Production Studies: Cultural Studies of Media Industries/, New York,
Routledge, 255 p.
MERIJEAU Lucie & ROFFAT Sébastien (2015), « L’animation à l’université
française, un enseignement en quête d’identification », /Mise au point.
Cahiers de l’association française des enseignants et chercheurs en
cinéma et audiovisuel/, n^o 7, available at
https://journals.openedition.org/map/1972, consulted on January 11^th 2019.
MOUSSEAU Jacques, 1982, « Plaidoyer pour une industrie française du
dessin animé », /Communication et langages/, 52 :1. 82‑89.
DOI : 10.3406/colan.1982.1466 <http://dx.doi.org/10.3406/colan.1982.1466>
NOESSER Cécile, 2016, /La Résistible ascension du cinéma d’animation :
socio-genèse d’un cinéma-bis en France (1950-2010)/, Paris, L’Harmattan,
PILLING Jayne (ed.), 1997, /A Reader In Animation Studies/, Londres,
John Libbey Publishing, 283 p.
ROT Gwenaële & DE VERDALLE Laure (ed.), 2013, /Le Cinéma : travail et
organisation/, Paris, La Dispute, 236 p.
STABILE Carol & HARRISON Mark (ed.), 2003, /Prime Time Animation:
Television Animation and American Culture/, Londres/New York, Routledge,
STEINBERG Marc, 2012, /Anime’s Media Mix: Franchising Toys and
Characters in Japan/, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 314 p.
WASKO Janet, 2001, /Understanding Disney: The Manufacture of Fantasy/,
Cambridge, Polity, 261 p.
WELLS Paul, 2012, « Animation and the Animated Film », /Oxford
Bibliographies/, available at
consulted on January 11^th 2019.
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