CfP: Mediated Intimacies

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Mediated Intimacies
Call for Papers: Special Issue of Journal of Gender Studies to be published in March 2017
edited by Feona Attwood, Jamie Hakim, Alison Winch
EXTENDED DEADLINE – 30th January 2016
In what ways does media convergence culture represent, intervene in, exploit and enable intimate relations? How is intimacy being reconfigured under neoliberalism?
On the one hand we are living in atomized and individualistic times where relationships are increasingly strategic and competitive. On the other the media has become, as Beverly Skeggs argues, intensely intimate. This special issue on mediated intimacies aims to explore how understandings of intimacy are (re)constructed and experienced, particularly in digital cultures. In addition, we are interested in the ways in which the apparently alienated entrepreneurial self is constructed through and by forging intimate connections and simultaneously how these networks are mined and monetized by corporate culture.

This special issue of Journal of Gender Studies is developed from a symposium held in July 2014 on Mediated Intimacies where the speakers explored, among other topics, girls’ online friendships, ‘expert’ sex advice in printed media, male seduction communities, and how pornography reconceptualises the very idea of intimacy itself.

Potential papers could explore the affective dimensions of intimate practices reflecting the pleasures and pains of life lived under neoliberalism, including how precarity and class impact on the ways in which intimacy is forged. Because digital culture is primarily corporate driven (Taylor 2014) we are interested in how user-generated media employs self-branding strategies. For example, in the refashioning of the body or gendered and sexual identities, or the ways in which intimacy can be a form of self-promotion.

Feminist and queer perspectives seek to expand the reach of what is constituted as belonging, love, connection and intimacy. Whereas recession culture has reestablished normative gender categories (Negra and Tasker 2014) contemporary digital cultures have the potential to challenge and rework gender and sexual identities (McGlotten 2013). This issue hopes to explore these productive tensions.

Potential papers could also explore how sexuality, sex, sexual knowledges and sexual pleasure function by looking, for example, at Do-It-Yourself porn, sexual subcultures and alternative sex practices. A final consideration underpinning this issue is how different intimacies intersect along axes of class, race, disability, age and geographical location.

Possible topics could include:
●      adapting and resisting gendered and sexed identities
●      forging new normative gendered identities
●      mediatised kinship (families, parenthood and fertility)
●      geolocation technology
●      dating and hook up apps, sex dating and relationship cultures
●      selfies
●      role of experts (e.g. sex advisors and agony aunts), including their changing meaning in peer-driven contexts
●      mediated romance
●      fitness apps and body culture
●      use of social networking sites, including instagram, Facebook, Twitter
●      self-branding
●      the mediation of friendship
●      rebranding feminism
●      pornography
●      monetization of intimacy, including big data, content generation and PR/advertising

Please send 7000 word completed essays by 30th January 2016 through Scholar One Manuscripts:
Please direct enquiries to Alison Winch, Feona Attwood and Jamie Hakim

Publication schedule:
30th January – deadline for submissions

February: Papers to peer reviewers

April: Comments to authors

September: Authors final revisions

December 2016: Final accepts