CFP: Post Weinstein: Gendered Power and Harassment in the Media Industries
Feminist Media Studies
Commentary & Criticism

In a post Weinstein world, in which there has been an unprecedented flood of public revelations regarding sexual abuse and harassment, it is crucial for feminist media scholars to newly interrogate gendered power relations in the media industries and their products. While the symbolic gesture of individual expulsion is significant (for example, Weinstein has been expelled from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and Kevin Spacey has been erased from Ridley Scott’s completed film All the Money in the World), there is a need for an in-depth, longer-term examination of how to tackle the systemic and intersectional structures of sexism, racism, and misogyny that enable and normalize sexual harassment and abuse in Hollywood – and beyond. Since the exposé, men in other media industries have come under scrutiny and some have lost their positions or been censured, including Terry Richardson (fashion photography), Leon Wieselter (literary editor, New Republic), James Toback (film director) and R. Kelly (musician). Notably, most of these men listed have not had to face any legally punitive consequences, even as the #metoo hashtag reveals what Lindy West calls ‘the staggering breadth and ubiquity of sexual predation’ (2017).

This issue of Commentary and Criticism invites essays that scrutinize the predatory cultures of toxic masculinity at work globally in the film and media industries in relation to, and in the wake of, the Weinstein exposé across three main areas: how the gendered power relations of harassment structure working conditions for creatives and practitioners; how a culture of harassment and abuse may shape or influence representations of gendered power relations in the media; and the role of networked media in constructing and spreading responses to the ongoing revelations.

We are particularly interested in submissions from beyond North America and the UK.

Possible paper topics include, but are certainly not limited to, the following:

- Sexual harassment and sexual abuse above and below the line, in and beyond Hollywood, in various national and international contexts

- The relationship between sexism and racism in media industry sexual harassment and abuse

- The need to contextualize the revelations in relation to a longer history of sexual harassment and endemic sexism in Hollywood and other media industries

- The role of social media platforms in spreading and constructing responses to the revelations of sexual abuse and harassment

- Solutions and strategies for dealing with cultures of misogyny in the film and media industries

- Industry responses to the revelations and action initiatives re: culture change

- The relationship between the treatment of female actors on and off-screen

- Intersectional approaches to safeguarding gay, lesbian, and trans individuals from sexual harassment and abuse in the film and media industries

- The politics of disclosure – the risks and the emotional labour of speaking out, the legality of non-disclosure agreements, and the debates about accusation without ‘trial’

- The role of gossip and rumour as forms of protection, information and knowledge

- Different national/cultural responses in the media to the revelations

- The relationship between who has power behind the camera and what appears on screen

- The role of celebrity in the revelations, the attention famous people have received and the post exposé responses

The Commentary and Criticism section of Feminist Media Studies aims to publish brief (~1000 words), timely responses to current issues in feminist media culture, for an international readership. Submissions may pose a provocation, describe work in progress, or propose areas for future study. We will also consider book and event reviews, as well as contributions that depart from traditional academic formats. We encourage all submissions to strategically mobilize critique to also offer a productive contribution to both feminist politics and media studies. Submissions must go beyond mere description in order to be considered for publication in Commentary and Criticism.

Please submit contributions by 2 January 2018, via email to both Shelley Cobb (s.cobb@soton.ac.uk) and Tanya Horeck at (tanya.horeck@anglia.ac.uk). Questions and expressions of interest can also be addressed to Dr Cobb and Dr Horeck in advance of the deadline.

Email submissions directly to both Shelley Cobb and Tanya Horeck, as submissions for Commentary and Criticism will not be correctly processed if submitted through the main Feminist Media Studies site.

Please be sure to follow the Feminist Media Studies style guide, which can be found at the following link: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/journal.asp?issn=1468-0777&linktype=44