In contemporary media environments, it is hard to tell what is true and what is not. A considerable amount of the ‘news’ that social media feeds us on a daily basis is either straightforward hoaxes or satirical takes on the deplorable state of current media journalism. With regards to the latter, Stephen Colbert has famously proposed the notion of ‘truthiness’ to draw attention to pundits’ reliance on affective alliances and gut reactions rather than factual truths. Yet despite the ontological and epistemological crises of mediated truth claims the true nevertheless echoes across media forms.
The Spring 2017 special section in NECSUS investigates the ring of the true in contemporary media. We are particularly interested in proposals that move beyond indexicality and the forensic qualities of media toward alternative activations and articulations of the true. At stake in this inquiry are issues of form, circulation, perceptual habits, affective assessments, and institutional framings pertaining to such diverse fields as documentary cinema, social media, television news, adaptations, and online video channels, to name just a few.
By leaving truth for the true we are proposing a transition from verifiability and value assessment to a relational sphere. For instance, in recent ‘true crime’ podcasts and television shows such as Serial or Making a Murderer serialisation allows for a continuous variation on what one holds to be true. The serial form falsifies old convictions and creates new beliefs; this challenges easy divisions between form and content and speaks directly to the ways in which the true is activated aesthetically and pragmatically. What rings true is what acts – what has an arc of action and is repeatable and circulatable.
We invite contributions on (but not limited to) the following topics:
# powers of the false and fabulation
# the form of the true
# social media and ‘truthiness’
# discourses and conventions of authenticity
# speculative realism
# ethics and new sincerity
# mockumentaries and fake news
# objectivity and the new materialisms
# seriality and transformation
# reframing, remixing, remaking
The guest editors for this special section are Ilona Hongisto (Macquarie University), Toni Pape (University of Amsterdam), and Alanna Thain (McGill University). We look forward to receiving abstracts of 300 words, 3-5 bibliographic references, and a short biography of 100 words by 30 June 2016 at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org. On the basis of selected abstracts writers will be invited to submit full manuscripts (5,000-7,000 words, revised abstract, 4-5 keywords) which will subsequently go through a double-blind peer review process.
NECSUS also accepts abstract submissions on a rolling basis throughout the year for a wide variety of articles on a number of themes related to media studies, in addition to proposals for festival, exhibition, and book reviews, as well as audiovisual essays. Please note that we do not accept full manuscripts for consideration without an invitation. Access our submission guidelines at https://www.necsus-ejms.org/test/guidelines-for-submission/.