CFP – Book Chapters 'Gender in Action Films' (1980 now)

**** Apologies for cross-posting****

BOOK – Call for Chapters – Gender in Action Films

Book title: Gender in Action Films (1980-now)

Publisher: Emerald Publishing

Date of Publication: 2022

Editors: Dr Renee Middlemost (University of Wollongong, Australia) and Dr Steven Gerrard (Leeds Beckett University, UK)

2022 sees the fortieth anniversary of cinematic action icon, John Rambo. From his first outing as an embittered, lonely, scarred relic of the Vietnam War to his latest gung-ho, all-guns blazing, machete-chopping, dynamiting Trump-value supporting outing, Rambo remains an important part of the action film.

But in those forty years, not only has Rambo’s political outlook changed, so has the action film. More expansive, expensive, and certainly as divisive than ever, films such as the Die Hard franchise and The Expendables trilogy offer nostalgia-laden views of their action commanders, whilst the films of Jason Statham offer a new type of male action hero, where vulnerability remains key. Yet, the rise in popularity of the female action hero since the turn of the millennium, shows that with films such as Salt, In the Blood and Atomic Blonde, characters like Hanna, Katniss Everdeen and Diana Prince, and actors Angelina Jolie, Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez and Michelle Yeoh that the genre and all its offshoots are worthy of further gender investigation.

Following on from Yvonne Tasker’s Spectacular Bodies: Gender, Genre and the Action Cinema, female-centric Action Chicks: New Images of Tough Women in Popular Culture (Sherrie J. Inness) and Jeffrey A. Brown’s Beyond Bombshells: The New Action Heroine in Popular Culture or the reclamation of masculinity in Crank It Up – Jason Statham: Star! this Call for Chapters is a chance to explore how gender is linked to, and helps shape, the action film genre.

Areas of research could include (but are not limited to):

-Female action heroes

-Male action heroes
-Individual case studies
-Sexuality
-Transgender characters and performers
-Nostalgia
-Ageing
-Transnational gender heroes
-The ‘Star’ and ‘Star’ images
-Politics and gender
-Acting and legitimising action heroes
-Audiences and gender approaches to watching action hero films
-Authorship
-Transmedia action heroes

Submission details: We would like you to submit a 250-word abstract, accompanied by a short biographical statement plus affiliation details. The deadline for chapter abstract submission is: 12 April 2020. Please address any enquiries to both Dr Renee Middlemost (reneem@uow.edu.au) and Dr Steven Gerrard (S.D.Gerrard@leedsbeckett.ac.uk).  We’ll get back to you as soon as possible, and once the date for submissions has passed.

CFP: Special Issue – Celebrity Studies – Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves
Gordon Correll [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D
 

Call for Papers

Special Edition of Celebrity Studies, edited by Renee Middlemost and Sarah Thomas

**Keanu Reeves**

 

Since his emergence as a teen actor in the 1980s, Keanu Reeves has been an enduring, yet elusive celebrity who continues to fascinate and frustrate in equal measure. Despite his unwavering popularity, in recent years his lower public profile has seen Reeves assume the status of cult or folk icon; yet slowly the world appears to have fallen for Reeves all over again.  USA Today declared June 2019 ‘The Summer of Keanu Reeves’ with the release of John Wick 3, Toy Story 4, the announcement of his role in X Box game Cyberpunk 2077, memorable cameo in Always Be My Maybe, memes, magazine features, the first ‘KeanuCon’ film festival, and high profile fashion brand ambassador spreads (Saint Laurent). With the latest instalment of Bill and Ted (Bill and Ted Face the Music) due for release in 2020, this special issue of Celebrity Studies will be a timely exploration of the resurgent Reeves in the transmedia age.

Often discussed as an emblematic star of 1990s postmodernist cinema and queer sensibilities with a liminal, endless screen presence that stood between the margins and the mainstream of contemporary filmic texts (c.f. Giarrantana, 2002 and Rutsky, 2001), even now twenty years on from The Matrix (1999), Reeves remains an enigmatic icon straddling boundaries of fixed identity and meaning. His 21st century stardom has extended beyond the Wachowski’s ground-breaking series and his other key roles of the 1990s, and Reeves’ performances and star persona continues to reflect the wider ages and identities he lives through, endlessly being rewritten, rebooted and reinterpreted.

His success in the John Wick series, from cult hit to global franchise phenomenon, has partly reinvigorated interest in his screen work, conceptualising the change from the physically beautiful youth (Rutsky, 2001) to the ageing, effortful labour of action role and star. The character of John Wick further mythicises the always ‘extraordinary’ Reeves, whilst his ‘ordinariness’ has been embraced by transmedia digital cultures, such as ‘sad Keanu’ meme which draws on the perception that Reeves’ tragic personal life has never been fully resolved, or viral fan encounters that emphasise an authenticity to his unstarry behaviour. His cameo in the recent Netflix production Always Be My Maybe brought questions of race and transnational identity back to the forefront of his star image, with his appearance reflecting an overt desire by the filmmakers to claim Reeves as an Asian-American icon (Yamato 2019) – as aspect also explored by Nishime (2013). Beyond this, the ongoing commercial appeal of the Bill & Ted series and his partnership with Winona Ryder in Destination Wedding (2018) reveals the significance of Reeves as a point of reference for exploring 80s and 90s ‘cool’ nostalgia.

We seek original, truly ‘Excellent!!” essays of 7-8000 words that address the celebrity of Keanu Reeves, particularly reflecting on and exploring his career and image post-2000. Revisiting Keanu Reeves offers a timely discussion around key contemporary media landscapes, from franchise, reboot and remake cultures; multi-media, transmedia and technology; nostalgia and memory; participatory fandom and online cultures; racial identity and transnationalism; changes across the mainstream, the independent and the marginal; ageing; narratives of contemporary celebrity authenticities; and the continuing persistence of mythic and elusive stardom.

Topics that the articles may address include, but are not limited to:

*Keanu, the 1980s and nostalgia

*Keanu as Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan – rebooting Bill and Ted

*Keanu and his relationship to other iconic 80s performers (Winona Ryder)

*The figure of ‘tragic Keanu’

*Keanu online – Keanu as meme

*Keanu and masculinity

*Asian-American identity and transnational cinemas

*Keanu and ageing stardom

*Stuntwork, physicality and labour

*Keanu and genre (action, romance and science fiction)

*Keanu and cinematic innovation

*Keanu and cinematic franchises

*Fan responses to Keanu

*Queer identity and star image, especially post-2000

*Keanu as ‘reluctant celebrity’

*Transmedia Keanu

*Keanu as producer, or from a production studies perspective

*Acting and screen performance

*Authenticity and ordinariness

*Keanu and video game cultures

*Presence, affect and ‘being’

Please send proposals of 300 words and brief author bio/contact to Renee Middlemost reneem@uow.edu.au and Sarah Thomas S.K.Thomas@liverpool.ac.uk  by 1 December 2019.

 

 

References:

Carmel Giarratana (2002) ‘The Keanu Effect – Stardom and the Landscape of the Acting Body: Los Angeles/ Hollywood as Sight/Site’, in Ndalianis and Henry (eds.), Stars in Our Eyes: The Star Phenomenon in the Contemporary Era, Westport, Conn. : Praeger: 61-83

Leilani Nishime (2013) Undercover Asian: Multiracial Asian Americans in Visual Culture, Chicago: University of Illinois Press

R. L. Rutsky (2001) ‘Being Keanu’, in Jon Lewis (ed.) The End of Cinema as We Know It, New York: NYU Press: 185-194.

Jen Yamoto (2019) ‘Keanu Reeves’ ‘Always Be My Maybe’ role has everyone obsessing: Here’s why’, Los Angeles Times, 2nd June 2019: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-keanu-reeves-always-be-my-maybe-20190602-story.html

 

 

 

 

 

#BCM110: Moral Panics and Group Presentations

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Moral Panics – often related to the role of/concern about young people

lovejoy3

Concerns about children and the media often linked to Stanley Cohen’s concept of ‘moral panic’.

Corporate paedophilia: Sexualisation of Children in Australia

Recent moral panics in Australia:

Stoner Sloth

Wear it Purple/Gaybe Baby

Safe Schools

 

GROUP PRESENTATIONS

By the end of today’s class you should have:

-settled on a topic.

-Decided how you will break this into parts – so you can start working on your individual research reports – DUE SUNDAY MAY 12.

-Be sure you understand the requirements of your individual research reports – see template on Moodle.

 

REMINDER: WHAT THE ASSIGNMENT REQUIRES:

Group presentation on 1 media issue that you have researched, including the following:

-An overview of the issue and why it’s of significance

-An account of how the issue has been addressed with appropriate examples drawn from a range of media sources

-A discussion of what has been included or overlooked in the media presentation of this issue and how this might be addressed in theory or practice (Assignment 2: Group Presentation Sheet, Moodle).

So  – what do we mean by a media issue? Something happening in the media (coverage) or something the media is doing (trends) … or something else?

Social-media-for-public-relations1reduzido

Which media issue? How to choose?

– Could either work from choosing the topic that most interested you? Or something that’s happening in the media that you have followed with interest?

Weekly topics:

-media effects and anxieties about these

-content analysis and cultivation theories

-reading images – representation- semiotics-connotations

-ideology and interpretation

-ownership and control of the media

-the role of the mediated public sphere

-the concept of the moral panic

#BCM110: The Media Theory Toolbox and the Public Sphere

What do Big Brother and Q and A have in common?

 

Both are examples of a ‘Mediated Public Sphere’, which McKee (2004) defines as: ‘a metaphor for thinking about how individuals come together to exchange idea, information and feelings about what matters to them in a liberal society’.

 

This week’s blog post:

If the public sphere as ‘the place’ where each of us finds out what is happening, and what social, cultural and political issues are facing us, and where we engage with those issues …..

Where is YOUR public sphere(s)?

How does it operate?

What are the issues that come up?

Who is included (and excluded)?

What role does ‘the media’ play in all of this?

 

In class discussion – media issues:

What issues are presented in these examples? How, and where might debate about these issues occur?

Go Back to Where You Came From

Bring Them Here – Australia’s refugee policy

Safe Schools Policy debate

Change the Date – Australia Day

Is it time to delete Facebook?

every-group-project-the-hangover
Group presentations… 

 

GROUP PRESENTATIONS

This week we will be starting group presentations.

Check out our Moodle site for some more useful resources on giving presentations.

And…. what not to do:

 

In groups you will: present a media issue you have researched, including the following:

-An overview of the issue and why it’s of significance

-An account of how the issue has been addressed with appropriate examples drawn from a range of media sources

-A discussion of what has been included or overlooked in the media presentation of this issue and how this might be addressed.

So  – what do we mean by a media issue? Something happening in the media (coverage) or something the media is doing (trends) … or something else?

Social-media-for-public-relations1reduzido

Some recent media issues:

School Climate Strike – using social media for good

Social media is making us dumber

Body positivity and social media

Keep Sydney Open – lockout laws, live music and young people

A practice group activity:

marshmallow-challenge-20171002
Marshmallow Challenge Instructions

 

 

In your groups:

Which media issue? How to choose?

– You could either work from choosing the topic that most interested you?

Or something that’s happening in the media that you have followed with interest?

Weekly topics:

-media effects and anxieties about these

-content analysis and cultivation theories

-reading images – representation- semiotics-connotations

-ideology and interpretation

-ownership and control of the media

-the role of the mediated public sphere

-the NEXT WEEK: concept of the moral panic

#BCM110: The Media Industries and Ownership

7-11-2010-reupertandhomerimpson copy

 

This week we will be examining Media Ownership.

1. Media ownership in Australia is extremely concentrated (this explains the situation in 2013) – a more updated version here discussing recent changes to legislation in Australia, impacting ownership.

2. Fears about media ownership being concentrated in the hands of the few can be traced back to the 1930’s and Hitler’s use of propaganda

3. In modern society there is an additional cause of anxiety for democratic societies – anyone with an internet connection and/or a camera can make and spread propaganda, which is then picked up and spread through mainstream media channels.

4. Look at these images of headlines from The Daily Telegraph (owned by News Corp/Murdoch) – what ideologies are present?

sundaytelegraph-20130901-350           kick_this_mob_out

 

 

 

 

 

 

SimpsonsMurdochMirror

5. There are also issues regarding the moral conduct of the media –  News of the World Scandal

ACTIVITY:

Case Studies:

News of the World Phone Hacking Scandal Explainer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5p-oTABvugs

(A bonus Hugh Grant video):

Cambridge Analytica/Facebook Scandal Explainer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDR8qGmyEQg

 How citizen journalism is changing media:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmFlKKOKenw

 

In groups – using one of these examples –  think critically and answer – does it matter who owns the media?

 

Blog post for the week:

Your blog topic for this week is all about media ownership and why it matters.

Who ‘owns’ and/or ‘controls’ the media you use to access your ‘news’?Why does this matter?

What trust do you have in your news sources?

Recommended Reading: (log in to UOW library for access) McCutcheon and Pusey Media Moguls or Moneymen?

 

Resources on this week’s academic skills:

Critical thinking and writing

Giving peer feedback 

#BCM110: Representation and Interpretation

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This week’s topic is Representation and Interpretation of texts.

For this week, we will be learning how to decode images using Semiotic theory.

 

semiotics_1

Simple Explanation – Signs, Signifers, Signified

John Oliver – Arbitrary Sign Trump

 

 

Bells The Reader Commercial

How images can cause controversy – what meanings might this image have for different audiences?

Ideology Explained

Equinox-2016-Ad-Campaign2
Equinox Campaign – an example of a complex image

 

ACTIVITY: In pairs, interpret one of these images as a practice for this week’s blog post:

This week’s blogging assignment:

-Locate an example of a complex image

-Discuss the denotation (what is there) and the connotation (what it means)

-Is it possible to read this image in more than one way?

Recommended reading – Semiotics for beginners

Time management and procrastination

The attention span myth? 

Time management and procrastination – these apps could help

#BCM 110: Media Audiences

itchy-and-scratchy-and-marge1

 

Unpacking Media Effects Theory: What does media ‘do’ to audiences, rather than what does the audience do with media?

This episode of The Simpsons (where Marge crusades against cartoon violence) is a good example of a satirical rendering of a serious media issue. This is an example of a media text you could discuss in your own blogs.

This week’s reading is ’10 things wrong with the Media Effects Model’ by David Gauntlett. You can find this on the BCM 110 Moodle site under Week 2.

Topic for blog post this week: Describe a time when you were part of a media audience. How did the experience make you feel? What was useful or pleasurable about this experience? Were there any negatives?

*trigger warning: violence* Another source which may be useful to you:  how violent media (video games) are blamed for real violence.

BCM289: Government Support in Building Media Industries

Let’s start by reviewing so far…

Korean Culture – Background to Hallyu

1. http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/koreas-booming-film-industry-and-what-it-means-for-australian-cinema-20160802-gqj3u7.html

2. South Korean Cinema

3. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-09/south-korea-film-festival/7916440

4. The rise of Kpop as soft power

5. Reforms for the South Korean film industry