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Call for papers: Visualizing Protest: Transnational Approaches to the Aesthetics of Dissent

Call for papers: Visualizing Protest: Transnational Approaches to the Aesthetics of Dissent

Issue 14, Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology 

Special Issue Editors: Dr. Veronika Novoselova, Dr. Ela Przybylo, and Dr. Sara Rodrigues

In this issue, we invite contributors to engage with how protest is visualized, that is, rendered visual in the form of iconography and through social media, and imagined as a utopian project of feminist, queer, and anti-racist worldmaking. Inviting scholarship and creative engagements from the overlapping perspectives of feminist media studies, transnational feminist theory, critical race studies, visual studies, and postcolonial digital humanities, this special issue examines the aesthetics of feminist protests in terms of their networked circulations—as well as their affective bonds and material contexts. Exploring the emerging modes of visibility, networked solidarity, and collaborative knowledge production, “Visualizing Protest” seeks to examine the relationships between the aesthetics of feminist transnational protest and digital revolt in a dynamic, polymedia context characterized by amateur remixing, instantaneous sharing, immaterial labour, corporate ownership of digital platforms, and institutionalized state surveillance of social media. 

This issue will look at the function of feminist symbols and signs in protests, and their importance for feminist transnational mobilizing. We are interested in explorations of key on- and offline fabrics of protest, including: intersectional and anti-racist signs and slogans; text-based art; pussy symbology, clothing, and protest gear; mobile apps for feminist activism; protest recruiting posters, memes, and tweets; emojis and Snapchat and Instagram filters; and craft activisms. We seek critical engagements with how aesthetics flow through transnational protest across polymedia environments and critical readings of feminist networked mobilizations worldwide. We are especially interested in intersectional, Indigenous, feminist, transgender, and queer scholarship attending to the changing roles of polymedia across global sites.

Questions and themes we invite our contributors to consider include:

Digital aesthetics of direct action: How are digital environments integral to the aesthetics of feminist protest and transnational feminist action today? How is the primacy of English-language digitalism utilized and critiqued in the symbology of transnational feminist activisms online? How are visual elements making feminist media sharable and clickable? How do visual media such as Instagram and Tumblr make possible appropriation, re-signification, and re-mixing of visual symbols of feminist movements, both historical and contemporary?

Mediated migrations and border-crossings:  In what ways do feminist networks preserve, challenge, and disturb a nation-state territoriality through feminist iconography? How do the visuals of feminist digital networks respond to and/or remain silent with regards to social and political events with transnational implications such as, for example, the global refugee crisis, Indigenous movements, anti-racist and Black Lives Matter protests against state violence and white supremacy, migrant rights protests, cross-national public health concerns, Brexit, and the 2016 U.S. Presidential election? What role do feminist visuals play in bringing together and maintaining digital diasporas?

Inclusivity and intersectionality: How do the visuals of interactive digital media participate in the epistemic production of liberal feminist narratives that universalize gender and reproduce neocolonial logics? To what extent do feminist media facilitate interactions of feminists from various locales and to what effects? How is feminist rhetoric made and remade through on- and offline engagements?

In keeping with Ada’s multimodality, we invite the submission of text-based, visual, filmic, and otherwise imagined pieces as part of the purview of protest. We especially invite submissions that make use of Ada’s multimodal platform and that feature film, images, audio clips, and other creative and digital means of engaging with visualizations of protest.

You can send your proposal as a .odt or .doc document. Please put “Visualizing Protest” in the subject line and include the following in the body of your message:

  • Your name and a short biography
  • An abstract of no more than 150 words
  • A list of five keywords/tags
  • Preferred email address and GPG public key (if applicable)
  • Citation style used (if applicable) (please note that any citation style can be used)

Complete submissions should be sent to editor@adanewmedia.org by January 12, 2018. Contributions should be no more than 3,000 words.

About Ada:

Ada is an online, open access, open source, peer-reviewed journal run by feminist media scholars. The journal’s first issue was published online in November 2012. Since that launch, Ada articles have received more than 330,000 page views. Ada operates a review process that combines feminist mentoring with the rigor of peer review.

We do not — and will never — charge fees for publishing your materials, and we will share those materials using a Creative Commons License.

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