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[ecrea] Abstracts for critical approaches to advertising book
Mon Feb 23 20:49:00 GMT 2015
CALL FOR CHAPTERS
Abstracts due 1 March 2015
Working book title: “Critical Studies in Advertising; Theory and Critique.”
Few other areas of communication research are as ripe for a critical
reassessment as is the critical study of advertising.
A good case can be made that current and impending practices of
advertising have exceeded the grasp of traditional modes of critique.
The culture-industry thesis developed by the Frankfurt School, the
mass-culture thesis of social criticism, theses of cultural imperialism,
of semiotic criticism, and of simulacra (to name just a few) emerged at
a time of and are premised upon advertising and media systems up through
the 1980s, which were comparatively highly centralized, professionalized
However, emergent advertising/media systems today increasingly exceed
such characterizations and the perspectives upon which they are
premised. These include:
• A growing and digitally-driven advertising ecosystem, which depends
more and more on marketing research to improve the efficiency and value
of ad spending.
• The practice of tracking consumer behavior across ubiquitous computing
environments to profile and personalize ad content, which is
reconfiguring the ad industry and its practices, with important social
• The expansion of advertising and promotion into increasingly broader
realms of society and experience.
• Data-driven targeting, marketing and consumer response, which raises
long-standing issues of privacy, autonomy, and the production of
individual experience to qualitatively different levels.
• The steady incorporation of user activity in the forms of mobile media
and social media, which renders less and less adequate binary
conceptions of rank manipulation by an elite or of the implications of
advertising as ones of false consciousness, misinformation, the
production of simulations/spectacle, and the like.
• Digital profiling and personalization based on tracking user content,
which may usher in new forms of manipulation and social discrimination
that current critical approaches are ill-equipped to address.
To address the need to develop greater theoretical purchase on existing
and imminent practices of advertising, this edited collection seeks to
historicize current critical approaches to advertising, as well as to
theorize resources for what a critical approach to advertising could
perhaps be. In doing so, it also seeks to critically interrogate
“advertising” itself, recognizing it not as a naturally occurring and
obvious thing, but as a concept and historical practice, and thus to
reconstruct how it might be made available for critique.
The impetus for this edited collection was a successful preconference at
ICA in 2013. We have already received expressions of interest from
acquisitions editors at major international publishers in the
media-studies field. We expect this collection to be a major
international compendium that will quickly become a key source for
critical students and scholars of advertising across the world.
While empirical evidence can often be useful in substantiating a case,
the focus of all chapters should not be empirical case studies. Rather,
all chapters should address primarily theoretical and philosophical
issues consonant with the focus sketched above.
As some examples, chapters can:
1. Trace historical, constitutive relationships between traditional
critiques of advertising and contexts of their emergence;
2. Compare and critique different critical perspectives;
3. Probe, discuss and evaluate recent and emergent theoretical resources;
4. Explore and assess new or neglected critical approaches to
We particularly encourage international and/or transnational
perspectives and arguments.
For full consideration, abstracts of 500 words (maximum) must be
received no later than 1 March 2015.
Please send abstracts along with complete contact information to both
editors listed below.
Tentative project timeline (subject to change):
• Completed, revised chapters due: 1 September 2015 • Edited collection
in final production: 1 November 2015
Direct questions as well as completed abstracts to either of the two
James F. Hamilton
Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication University of Georgia
(USA) (Hamilton /at/ grady.uga.edu)
Department of Communication and Media Studies Mount St. Joseph
University (USA) (robert_bodle /at/ mail.msj.edu)
James F. (Jay) Hamilton | Associate Professor | Josiah Meigs
Distinguished Teaching Professor | Grady College of Journalism and Mass
Communication | University of Georgia, 120 Hooper Street, Athens GA
30602-3018 | Tel 706-542-3556 | Fax 706-542-2183 |
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