Archive for 2020

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[Commlist] CFP: Book Reviews and Beyond

Tue Mar 03 13:20:00 GMT 2020

*Call for Papers*
Book Reviews and Beyond
International Conference at Università IULM – Milano, Italy
3-5 June 2020

*Abstract submission deadline extended until 31 March 2020*

*Keynote speakers*
Laurel Brake, Birkbeck University of London
Silvia Contarini, Università di Udine
Sebastian Domsch, University in Greifswald
Ken Hyland, University of East Anglia
Alberto Pezzotta, Università IULM

Although unquestionably all-pervasive within the history of modern and
contemporary press, the ‘review form’ has been to present an
understudied practice. In fact, this multi-faceted, cross-disciplinary
form that has persistently accompanied the different phases in the
evolution of “print-capitalism” has hardly been analysed from a
theoretical perspective. This dismissal by the academic world is
certainly peculiar, if not manifestly contradictory; however, it
significantly testifies of the difficulty of investigating such a
slippery object of study critically.
The very ‘physiognomy’ of the book or film review, inherently wavering
between the duty to inform and the needs of the market, influenced as
it is by the definition of ‘taste’, makes this form difficult to
tackle with a sound methodological approach. Since the beginning of
the XVIII century, the book and film review has proved to be an
essential interface between cultural supply and demand, and it has
always been something more than a weapon to reach fame and
recognition. Depending of the position gained in the literary or film
fields, the review has often determined the success or failure of a
creative enterprise, of a name or reputation. This particular device
has been the yardstick of the most diverse sensibilities and tempers,
from the learned expert to the passionate amateur. In this, its
proliferation has foreshadowed the changes in the reception processes
of works no longer provided with an ‘aura’ and therefore prone to the
whims of a mass audience, whose judgments ultimately assessed their
For these reasons, it is hard to trace the evolution of the ‘review
form’ from a single point of view while focusing on the mechanisms
that have triggered its fortune. As a crucial touchstone of
intellectual production, the review still performs its essential
normative function, contributing to outlining the ever-evolving
“horizon of expectations” of its audiences, often identified with an
ideal corpus which should epitomise a shared canon. On the other hand,
as a social process, the review tends to keep track of the continuing
dialectics between mainstream aesthetic values and their renegotiation
in distinct contexts and/or communities of consumption.
In the light of the rapidly-changing scenario of media and
technologies, the conference “Book Reviews and Beyond” aims at
exploring this compelling area of research in accordance with the
interdisciplinary perspective of periodical studies, with particular
focus on the period from the eighteenth century to the turn of the new

The topics that will be discussed include, but are by no means limited to:
- the formats of the review and its relevant features;
- the history of the review in the modern and contemporary publishing industry;
- the types and subgenres of the review;
- art, comics, film, music, radio, television, theatre, videogame reviews;
- social media reviews;
- travel and tourism reviews;
- sport reviews;
- marketing and business reviews;
- science reviews;
- the symbolic status of the review;
- methods of analysis and theories of the review;
- appropriations and declinations of the ‘review form’ in different
disciplinary areas;
- the review and the building of the canon;
- the language of reviews (styles, lexical choices, discursive practices).

*Scientific Committee*
Paolo Giovannetti
Andrea Chiurato
Mara Logaldo

*Organizing Committee*
Dario Boemia
Stefano Locati
Laura Sica

*Deadline for submissions*
31 March, 2020
Please submit a 350-500 words abstract (with brief author bio and
affiliation, 100 words)  in English or Italian to
(beyondbookreview2020 /at/ The deadline for abstract submission
is extended until 31 March 2020.
Panel submissions are welcome. Panel proposals should include no more
than 4 papers in total, a short description (300 words) together with
abstracts for each of the papers (150-200 words each including details
of the contributor), and the name and contact details of the panel
proposer. The panel proposer should coordinate the submissions for
that panel as a single proposal.
Proposals will be read and evaluated by 7 April 2020. The time of
delivery for each paper should be no more than 20 minutes.
Details regarding the registration procedure for the accepted
proposals will be notified after the evaluation process.

The working languages of the conference are English and Italian but
all speakers are kindly requested to provide slides in English.
For information about the event, and other questions about the
conference program, please contact the Organizing Committee
((beyondbookreview2020 /at/
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