Call for Submissions – Feminist Grassroots Media in Europe: An anthology

This anthology will cover recent feminist history (since 1980).

Feminist Grassroots Media in Europe: An anthology
Edited by Red Chidgey (UK), Jenny Gunnarsson-Payne (Sweden) and Elke Zobl (Austria)

Women have always played an important role in movements for social justice. Using media to transport their messages, to disrupt social orders and spin novel social processes, feminists have long recognised the importance of self-managed media to forge resistant identities and build coalitions. In fact, as Annabelle Sreberny-Mohammadi has found, “almost by dint of their existence alone, autonomous  media controlled by women with women-defined output offer a challenge to existing hierarchies of power; when these media take up specific issues and campaigns, and align themselves with larger social movements, their political potential is significant” (1996:234).

Autonomous media cultures are currently gaining in critical attention. Over recent decades, scholars have developed conceptual frameworks such as ‘radical media’, ‘alternative media’, ‘activist media’, and ‘citizens’ media’ to help explain the unique characteristics and working models of grassroots media production – and to ask whether self-managed media can foster critical consciousness, aid in participatory democracy, and effect social change (Atton, 2002; Bailey, Cammaerts, and Carpentier, 2007; Byerly and Ross, 2006; Downing 1984, 2000; Rodriguez, 2001; Waltz, 2005).

Within this burgeoning field, however, few in-depth studies of grassroots media from a specifically cross-generational and European feminist perspective have been published.

The Feminist Grassroots Media in Europe anthology proposes to address this lack in research, bringing together activists and academics to re-evaluate existing theoretical frameworks and to portray activist projects in light of feminist media production. As such, the book will be of interest to a broad audience, such as activists and researchers within the fields of gender and media studies, and will serve as an undergraduate textbook for research on feminist ‘radical media’ praxis whilst delivering a much-needed archive of DIY media projects, networks and producers from the 1980s to the present day.[1]

The Book Project
The term ‘Media’ is employed broadly here to include traditional broadcasting channels (newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, films, photography) and non-traditional genres (zines, blogs, vlogs, websites, wikis, posters, burn stations, podcasts, textiles). ‘Grassroots’ refers to self-managed media, produced outside of a commercial agenda, by a collective and/or individuals working from a community or social movement perspective.

The editors seek a variety of submissions from throughout Europe. The anthology aims to represent feminists from a diversity of age cohorts, backgrounds, races, classes, genders, geo-social regions and political priorities. The book seeks to ask what possibilities, limitations and vulnerabilities – with attention to class, race, ethnicity, age, disability, sexuality and gender dynamics – feminist grassroots media projects currently engender, and to map the histories, successes and challenges of women-led grassroots media in the late twentieth century and beyond. The editors are also keen to explore the links and discontinuities between ‘second’ and ‘third wave’ feminist media production.

The call includes, but is not limited to, work which addresses the following topics:

European Feminist Grassroots Media and:
Aesthetics
Activism
Alternative Economies and Media Logics
Organisational Models, Structures and Processes
Comparative Analyses and Histories
Volatile Relationships to the Mainstream (culture, media, funding and the state)
Community Building and Mobilisation
Dissemination Networks and Archives
Alternative Public/Private Spheres
Empowered Feminist Subjects and Citizens
Consciousness-Raising Strategies and Social Movement Media

Contributions can include:
Academic essays (5,000- 7,000 words)
Reports/overviews from countries (2,000 – 5,000 words)
Comparisons of ‘second wave’ and ‘third wave’ media projects
Technology-based case-studies
Interviews with grassroots media producers or distributors
Examples from grassroots media (e.g. excerpts from grrrl zines)
Visual commentaries
Images

From these submissions, a free directory of grassroots media projects will be made accessible via the website Grassroots Feminism: A resource site for the feminist movement today
www.grassrootsfeminism.net (currently in planning)

Submission of Abstracts
Submissions (in English) are welcomed from feminist activists, community media producers, and scholars from a variety of disciplines. Potential contributors should submit:

A)    A 500 word abstract outlining the scope and themes of your proposed contribution, as well as possible inclusion of images.
B)     A brief author biography, indicating any particular institutional or group affiliation, and recent publications or projects
C)     Full contact details, including date of birth and nationality.

Deadline for Abstracts:
Abstracts should be submitted to book@grassrootsfeminism.net by Monday 17th March 2008.

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