The Vast World of Vast Narratives, Fandom and Participatory Culture

What makes a narrative vast, according to the contributors to the recent MIT volume Third Person? Based on the varied content, spread across multiple media, covered by the book, vast narratives receive their designation not only due to the interior nature of the narrative, which may span unusual lengths when measured in years, amount of content produced, number of media in which the world is present, among other features (Harrigan and Wardrip-Fruin 2). Yet the volume is also vast, as in catholic, given its broad interpretation of what constitutes a narrative: consider outsider artist/author Henry Darger's inclusion alongside other constructed worlds and universes of comic books (Ford and Jenkins), traditional paper and pen gaming (Laws), video games, television programs whose mythologies extend beyond the reach of traditional broadcast and into transmedia, such as in the case of Lost (Lavery). (In the interest of full disclosure: Lost is of particular interest to me at present, as I only discovered it last semester, watching five seasons on Netflix while I read about the show elsewhere.)

Call: History of the Present, a new journal of critical history

History of the Present, a Journal of Critical History is a new peer-reviewed journal published by the University of Illinois Press. The editors (Joan Wallach Scott, Andrew Aisenberg, Brian Connolly, Ben Kakfa, Sylvia Schafer and Mrinalini Sinha) invite submissions that approach history as a critical endeavor for publication in volume 2 number 1 (summer 2012).… Continue reading Call: History of the Present, a new journal of critical history

Asst. Professor of Media Studies, Department of Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison seeks applicants for a tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor in Media and Cultural Studies, to begin August 2011. Ph.D. in a related field required prior to start of appointment. Candidates will be expected to conduct research, develop and teach courses, and supervise… Continue reading Asst. Professor of Media Studies, Department of Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Media and Cultural Studies, Department of Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison seeks applicants at either the rank of Assistant Professor, tenure-track, or Associate Professor with tenure in Media and Cultural Studies, to begin August 2011.   Ph.D. in a related field required prior to start of appointment.  Tenure track candidates must show potential for excellence in scholarly research and… Continue reading Media and Cultural Studies, Department of Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison