Call for Submissions for a Proposed Edited Volume: 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. (The book proposal will be submitted to Routledge.)
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:
- 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
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.
Biographical notes on editors
Red Chidgey (*1979) is a member of the Feminist Activist Forum in the UK, and publishes widely on feminist zines, riot grrrl and Ladyfest cultures. She received her MA in Critical Theory from the University of Sussex, where she re-trained as a Life History historian. She is currently involved in third wave media and feminist history projects.
Jenny Gunnarsson-Payne (*1976) completed her doctorate in Ethnology at the Department of Culture and Media, Umeå University, Sweden, and currently teaches Sociology at the University of Essex, UK. Her publications on ‘alternative media’ focus primarily on representations of gender and sexuality, and collective mobilisation, in Swedish feminist zines.
Elke Zobl (*1975) created the online resource site Grrrl Zine Network (www.grrrlzines.net) in 2001 and has been part of the Grrrl Zines A-Go-Go collective conducting zine workshops with girls and young women (www.gzagg.org). After pursuing postdoctoral studies at the University of California at San Diego, she is now continuing her research on “Young women as creators of new cultural spaces” at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria.