Call for Papers
“Free Speech in the City”
The Urban Communication Foundation (UCF) believes that an important measure of the health of a city is how well the city fosters and protects environments and rights supporting healthy, open, and robust communication. Such is the basis for democratic participatory societies, and that is fundamental to our values as a foundation. But open and robust communications sometimes pose challenges to other interests in cities and to the governments overseeing those cities. And governments may try to limit communication in response to such challenges. Some will do so more successfully than others, and some will focus on enhancing rather than controlling communication.
As the world appears to be increasingly contentious, the UCF is dedicating this year’s White Paper Program to an examination of urban communication freedom, regulation, and relevant government intervention and policy. We are particularly interested in soliciting proposals that will lead to the development of a white paper that discusses ways in which government regulation or policy, especially that made at the local city-level, can protect and enhance an open and robust marketplace of ideas that is characterized by democratic values of inclusion, reason, and courage. The locus of our concern is, of course, cities.
The following are but a few examples of research questions and topics that applicants might pursue. This list is not at all exhaustive, and novel and interesting research questions are encouraged.
- What regulatory mechanisms have been used to limit communication in urban contexts, and what can we learn from them that might strengthen efforts to limit the limits?
- Do cities have communication issues that lend themselves to particular regulatory attention?
- What are the best examples of how cities, perhaps in partnership with NGOs, have enhanced communication freedoms?
- How do the intersections of communication and infrastructure lend themselves to regulation? How might government policies encourage freer communication?
- How might the legitimate concerns of governments be addressed while best protecting democratic expression?
- What policies most effectively protect and enhance robust urban communication? What strategies enhance the likelihood of such policies being adopted?
- How can public/private partnerships enhance open democratic expression?
- What threats to privacy impact free expression and what government policies can address those threats?
- In what ways has the change in the channels/locus of urban communication – from town square to the Internet – changed the regulatory environment and the freedom of expression?
- What corporate policies and infrastructures impact freedom of expression and the governments’ ability to regulate it?
- How does zoning, broadly defined, impact communication freedom?
- What sorts of non-communication-focused regulations and policies have secondary impacts on communication freedom (for example, regulations pertaining to traffic, street furniture, public safety, etc.)?
- What municipal policies can enhance participatory government and access to municipal information?
Information about the Urban Communication Foundation’s White Paper Program
The UCF has been a leader in promoting scholarship in the general area of urban communication. The Foundation has funded dozens of research projects and acknowledged dozens of scholars that have advanced the field of study. Through this White Paper series, we extend this influence by focusing in on particular issues or areas of research and look to support the development of public research reports on issues that have a direct bearing on public policy and/or the everyday life for people within cities.
The final report should likely be between 8,000-12,000 words in length and present original research on the topic. The end product should aim to have some influence on policy makers, community leaders or researcher within an urban context and speak to basic research and practical solution. The author(s) of the top rated proposal will receive a grant of $10,000.
Guidelines for Submitting Proposals/Applications
- Proposals should not exceed 1,000 words (excluding references). Please include a cover page with the name, position, institution, and contact information for all authors. Proposals should identify the research focus and its potential for positively impacting freedom of expression in cities.
- Applications should include a short itemized budget and a concise statement providing a rationale for the expenses listed in the budget. Funds may be expended in a variety of ways (e.g., to hire a research assistant or for a course by-out), provided that it is clear how doing so will enable the researcher(s) to complete the proposed work. Funds may not be used to purchase computer hardware. Funds awarded by the UCF may be utilized to offset fringe costs (such as those often involved in hiring a research assistant), but the Foundation will not cover overhead expenses (i.e., indirect costs). In any case, the total amount of the award will not exceed $10,000, which will include costs associated with presentation of the research at a UCF session.
Funding may be dispersed in phases over the course of the project.
- Applicants should include one letter of recommendation. The referee should be able to assess the significance and viability of the project described in the proposal, as well as the qualifications of the applicant as they pertain to the proposed work.
- Proposals should be submitted to Harvey Jassem, at Jassem@hartford.edu, or Matthew Matsaganis, at email@example.com, no later than 1 November 2017. Funding decisions will be made by 31 December 2017. The final report must be completed and submitted to the UCF no later than 1 November 2018.
- The UCF reserves the right to publish and disseminate the completed White Paper.
- The primary author will be required to present his/her findings at a UCF panel.
- Upon selection as the UCF White Paper competition winner, the author(s) will be recognized as Urban Communication Foundation Fellow/s.
For more information on the Urban Communication Foundation, please go to https://www.facebook.com/UrbanCommunicationFoundation or https://urbancomm.org/.
Poetics: Journal of Empirical Research on Culture, the Media and the Arts
Special Issue on Global Tastes: The Transnational Spread of non-Anglo-American Culture
Deadline for abstracts: 15 September 2017
Guest editors: Simone Varriale (University of Warwick, UK), Noa Lavie (The Academic College of Tel-Aviv Yaffo, Israel)
Call for Papers
Globalization’s cultural effects have gained significant attention in the sociology of culture. Especially from the early 2000s, a growing literature on transnationally-connected cultural sectors has started exploring the asymmetries of economic and symbolic power between ‘centers’ and ‘peripheries’ of cultural production, the role of gatekeepers and organizations in mediating globalization processes, and the limits of cultural imperialism as an exhaustive framework for interpreting cultural globalization. Similarly, consumption studies have started focusing on preferences for globally spread cultural products, suggesting that theories of cultural hybridity need to pay more attention to how class and other inequalities influence practices of appropriation.
Despite these contributions, research on ‘global’ tastes and new, transnational forms of cultural capital remains limited to some cases of European high culture – like French literature – and to American and British popular culture. Consumption research has focused on the growing significance of Anglo-American pop music and television on a transnational scale, but it has paid little attention to other forms of global taste – e.g. Japanese anime and manga, South Korean cinema, Brazilian bossa nova, reggae music – and their role in different national and local contexts. Similarly, research on cultural production has considered mostly the American and European centers of well-established cultural sectors, like literature, television and popular music. It is evident, however, that other contexts, transnational connections and networks remain to be explored, and that the impact of globalization on other fields, sub-fields and genres – e.g. gaming, comics, hip hop, reality TV – is underresearched.
Since cultural sociology has dealt mostly with the consequences of Americanization, it remains difficult to construct a clear and precise definition of what ‘global taste’ is and what it contains, and to understand which actors and networks sustain these forms of distinction and, potentially, cultural capital. We provisionally define global taste as a taste for non-national cultural products and genres, one made possible by transnational networks of producers, mediators and consumers, as well as by cross-national connections between cultural fields, policy makers and/or political institutions. Likewise, we wish to adopt a broad, inclusive definition of global culture, one that moves cultural sociology beyond its focus on the US, the UK and West/North Europe, and which helps develop the concept of global taste beyond its Anglo- and Euro-centric premises.
This Call for Papers thus encourages original, empirically-based contributions that explore the production and global spread of African, Asian, Australasian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Latin American cultural forms, and their consumption, mediation and evaluation in a variety of national, regional and local contexts. Our definition of global taste also includes the cultural practices of migrant populations and their descendants, and we also welcome research about the transnational circulation of culture produced in peripheral and semi-peripheral European contexts – i.e. East and South European countries – as these remain underresearched in cultural sociology.
Lines of inquiry
We seek contributions focusing on the ways in which non-Anglo-American culture is produced, circulated, consumed and evaluated around the globe. Papers engaging with issues of cultural production, consumption, mediation and diffusion are hence welcome, and papers updating or revising established theories of cultural research – e.g. art worlds, field theory, neo-institutionalism, production of culture – are particularly encouraged. We are also interested in work that draws innovative connections between these established approaches and new areas of social theorizing, such as post-colonialism, decolonial theory, transnationalism and cosmopolitanism.
We welcome papers focusing on all actors, organizations and/or networks involved with the aforementioned processes, and analyzing the meanings, aesthetic values and boundaries of globally oriented tastes, including their relationship with cosmopolitan, nationalist and/or localist discourses, and with different social groups – in terms of class, gender and age, as well as nationality, ethnicity and race.
Instructions for authors
The deadline for proposals is 15 September 2017. We ask for a 1500-word abstract including the following: research questions, theoretical framing, and description of the paper’s methodology – including a specification of whether the data is already collected.
Please e-mail your abstracts to Simone Varriale (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Noa Lavie (email@example.com). Please also include your institutional affiliation and a brief biography (max 100 words). Complete manuscripts, if ready, can also be submitted at this stage.
Authors will be notified by mid-October. Proposals will be selected by the Special Issue’s editors – Dr Simone Varriale and Dr Noa Lavie – and by the editors of Poetics.
The deadline for submission of complete manuscripts is 15 April 2018. Papers will be subject to an internal and external round of peer-reviewing. The Special Issue is expected to be published in 2019.