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Irony as a cultural form has two main requirements: first, that there is a shared social language, and second that the shared language can and should be violated for the purposes of socio-cultural evolution

Call for Papers—Special Issue of Electronic Journal of Communication

Irony and Politics: User-Producers, Parody, and Digital Publics

Deadline: November 1, 2007

 

Irony as a cultural form has two main requirements: first, that there is a shared social language, and second that the shared language can and should be violated for the purposes of socio-cultural evolution.  Irony is therefore posed almost always in distinction (if not direct opposition) to dominant rhetoric, discourse, and politics.  This is not, as theorists such as Linda Hutcheon have reminded us, always a progressive or emancipatory shift, but it does reframe language and community outside of accepted pathways of behavior.  Although commodity and advertising corporations have co-opted irony as a tactic of capital, it has retained the ability to become the focus and reason for controversy and (potentially subversive) subculture identities, particularly as internet communities such as YouTube and MySpace have flourished. 

 

This special issue will chart instances of irony throughout the past few years of U.S. media culture, specifically with an eye to: (a) how irony, political satire, and parody have been popularized particularly as forms of expression in the wake of political repression since September 11, 2001; and (b) how the web-based convergence of traditional print and broadcast with digital media help crystallize oppositional discussion and a new digital publics based on the fragmentation and reframing of discourses with an intent to change the political landscape.  Drawing from but providing crucial new elements to the work of theorists such as Guy Debord, Raymond Williams, Gilles Deleuze, Claire Colebrook, Manuel Castells, and Michel de Certeau we seek locations in which old and new media collide in order to form emergent, nomadic communities that rely on the shared and shifting language of irony. 

 

We encourage the submission of a broad variety of theoretical and methodological approaches, including historical analyses, literature reviews, and ethnographic studies.  “New media” should be understood broadly as both internet-based media (including the community and interactive functions of Web 2.0) and the connections between such media and more residual forms of communication such as newspapers, comic strips, and lectures (Stephen Colbert’s appearance at the 2006 White House Correspondent’s Dinner being one of the best known examples). 

 

Possible topics include:

 

Flash Animation

Blogs

Vice Magazine

The Onion

Michael Moore

South Park

The Simpsons

YouTube

MySpace

The Daily Show

The Colbert Report

The Chappelle Show

Political Cartoons

The Boondocks

 

 

The special issue is scheduled for publication in July 2008. Deadline for completed manuscripts November 1, 2007. Submissions should be electronic (.doc or .rtf format only) and should follow MLA formatting guidelines; mss. length from 5000-7500 words . Authors should take care to include images only when they do not violate intellectual property guidelines, and are responsible for gaining permission for image use.  Inquiries about possible topics are welcome. Submissions and inquiries should be directed to:

 

Megan Boler                                                                Ted Gournelos

University of Toronto                                                    University of Illinois

mboler@oise.utoronto.ca                                              gournelo@uiuc.edu