A Call for Papers – Archives and Popular Culture

MARA Blog

Published: November 19, 2018 by Katie Kuryla 

One of the great things while we are working on our degrees, is the opportunities regarding writing papers for peer-reviewed journals, official publications, and even books. Recently, I saw a post for a #CallforPapers from View Journal looking for proposals for a special issue of Journal of Popular Culture. The Special Issue is Archives and Popular Culture.

Writing a paper for a peer-review journal could be scary but it is such a great opportunity. Is there a paper you would want to write? Personally, I’m all about the popular culture and pop culture is such a big thing nowadays and there is a lot of interest in preserving America’s Pop Culture. This issue explores the intricate relationship between archives and popular culture, how archives shape our understanding of “pop culture” and how diverse forms of popular culture shape conceptions and contents of archives. While both mainstream and unorthodox archives gain new lives in and through popular culture, they also challenge our contemporary conceptions of “popular culture” by revealing how the definitions of popular culture have changed, and how new genres of documentation have emerged and disappeared over time. With the profound transformation of the recording media and conceptions of literacy, these processes have reached an unprecedented speed. As more people have acquired access to recording, distribution, and preservation of written and visual texts with broad availability of high-speed Internet connections, the time difference between the moment of recording and the moment of historiography has shrunk beyond measure. The archive is still about the past, but the past may appear closer than ever to the present.

For this paper, if you want to write an abstract, here are the questions they would like to explore, but it is not limited to:

  • What is the role of the archive in defining what is popular?

  • Can archives be classified as products of popular culture? When and how do some archives become popular?

  • What would an archive of popularity look like?

  • How do archives reproduce or challenge our conceptions of the popular?

  • How does popular culture produce unorthodox archives?

  • How do artifacts of popular culture use archives to create continuity or difference between the past and the present?

  • How do archives of the popular shape the desires and imaginations of the future?

  • How do minoritarian producers of popular culture use or re-define archives of oppression and dominance? What prospects and limitations are involved in such endeavors?

  • What are the affective politics of archival praxis, and how do they unravel in the context of popular culture?

  • What has been the effect of the digital and mobile technologies on the relationship between the archive and popular culture?

It isn’t only papers that get into America’s pop culture.  Formation of repositories, in public and private, of materials created by individuals who lack epistemic authority has been of interest not only to historians looking for traces of their lives. Especially through diverse forms of popular culture—from books, photography, video, and music to statues and garments —archives have taken on new lives to become part of public culture.  There is a library at Bowling Green state University known as Browne Popular Culture Library which focuses on American Popular Culture.

Browne’s focus and mission is to acquire and preserve research materials on American Popular Culture (post 1876) for curricular and research use. Their collection strengths include research materials on popular fiction, popular entertainment, and the graphic arts. As an archive, their collection does not circulate, with the exception of our DVD collection.  A large part of our collection is searchable via the library catalog and we maintain research guides and finding aids for browsing the remainder of the collection.

So if you decide you want to write a paper for the Journal of Popular Culture, check out this information: http://www.journalofpopularculture.com/special-issue-archives-and-popular-culture/?fbclid=IwAR13KkLTKftlepj9eHj_JYjvREIWwQeLmE8aEMC-pOo0TA5XpcRpn4Z8k04

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