Listicles, explainers, memes, infographics, GIFs, Vines and many other novel digital genres and formats are now commonplace on the Internet. Despite their popularity, these vernacular modes of writing are often greeted with disdain within the hallowed halls of academe. Yet there is a long history of great thinkers making use of vernacular modes of expression to communicate serious ideas in popular ways, from the bawdy turns of Rabelais, to editorial cartoons, to the pamphlets of the 18th century. Moreover, many contemporary styles which may seem new, such as the listicle, have a long historical legacy.
Introducing: Buzzademia: Scholarship in the Internet Vernacular
This forthcoming edited collection will present a cross-section of international scholars using these new digital genres to articulate their ideas to undergraduate and general audiences. We describe this activity as Buzzademia, which we define as scholarship in the vernacular of the Internet. Consisting of a print book and digital companion, the collection will offer an archive of digital artifacts that represent the best of Buzzademia. Our aim is to contribute to the ongoing reimagining of the ways in which scholars and philosophers convey their ideas.
We welcome submissions of a wide range of digital artifacts, including but not limited to the following forms:
- Vlogs; Vines; GIFs; Internet video genres (e.g., “unboxings”)
- Twitter accounts; hashtags; bots; Storified tweets
- Online quizzes
- Selfies; Snapchats
- Casual games; Twine stories
- Infographics; web comics
- Remixes; reboots; mash-ups
- Cat pictures
Submissions may seek to explain existing scholarly ideas or theorists, or articulate original scholarly arguments (however, they should aim to be accessible to a general audience). Topics may span across the Liberal Arts tradition, including but not limited to Philosophy, Critical Theory, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Race/Ethnicity Studies, Science and Technology Studies, Media Studies, Film Studies, Game Studies, Postcolonialism, Poststructuralism, Queer Theory; as well as meta-approaches that reflect on or critique Internet culture and conventions. Submitted works should capture the distinctive characteristics of contemporary Internet writing, such as concision, playfulness/humor, an emphasis on visual communication, pop culture references, colloquial language, and interactivity (not to mention emoji, cat pictures and GIFs).
We also invite the proposals for accompanying teaching materials which make use of one of the above genres. Ultimately, the published book will contain introductory essays, brief abstracts, and a compendium of classroom activities.
If you would like to submit a proposal, please send the following to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 1, 2016:
- A link to your digital artifact (post); or a text, image, or video file
- A brief description of your work explaining the rationale behind it (250-450 words)
- A brief bio (100 words max)
For more information, check out the official Call for Papers