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Welcoming your Research.

Black Panther in Widescreen: Cross-disciplinary Perspectives on a Pioneering, Paradoxical Film

Deadline: 1 April 2019

Marvel’s Black Panther (2018) is the 10th highest grossing film in U.S. American history and hailed as a celebratory cinematic response to decades of both injustice and advocacy. Released amid oppositional cultural forces including the Trump Administration and movements such as #BlackLivesMatter and #SayHerName, the film accents and participates in a wealth of contemporary and historical conversations to which communication scholars are well-prepared to contribute from our various disciplinary vantage points. Thus, interested in Black Panther as both pioneering and paradoxical, this themed issue offers an opportunity to articulate both the scholarly implications and pedagogical utility of the film.

Black Panther also coincides with important historical moments and developments—both for our discipline and nation. 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of key civil rights turning points within and beyond communication studies. For instance, 1968 saw the founding of the National Communication Association’s Black Caucus during an era rife with resistance, Dr. King’s assassination, and Smith and Carlos’s Black Power salute at the Mexico City Olympics. Just two years earlier in 1966, Black Panther made his graphic novel debut in Fantastic Four No. 52. Over 50 years later, both our discipline and nation have elected Black leadership, sustained continued protest in favor of equity, and witnessed more humanizing mediated representations of blackness. As such, this special issue seeks to highlight how our discipline theorizes progress toward and struggle over racial and social justice.

We envision this themed issue as an inclusive scholarly space that includes voices from myriad communication studies areas and paradigms. We also envision this issue as a space to disrupt whiteness within scholarly representation, theory, and citational practices through an intentionally intersectional space that reflects multiple, overlapping, and contradictory voices across the discipline. Therefore, we invite nuanced interpretations of Black Panther and its vibrant utility in communicative contexts from disciplinary perspectives including, but not limited to: interpersonal communication, intercultural communication, rhetoric, performance studies, political communication, science and technology, health communication, strategic communication, and mass media. In the interest of offering a wide range of perspectives on the film, we invite shorter submissions of 3,000 to 4,000 words (including endnotes).

We are especially interested in essays that:

  • Bridge different areas of communication, including scholarship and pedagogical practice
  • Blend voices, theoretical perspectives, and methods, especially through co-authored work
  • Place the film in historically significant milieus (e.g., state sanctioned racism, resistance movements, geopolitics, diaspora, etc.)
  • Link the film with real world phenomena and conflicts (e.g., diversity, neoliberalism, capitalism, surveillance, globalization, militarization, the U.S. presidency, etc.)
  • Focus on science, technology, and/or new media
  • Examine interpersonal and critical interpersonal relational and family dynamics
  • Attend to the political economy of media and popular culture (e.g., Disney, Marvel, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, the Fantastic Four, the Silver Age of Comic Books, Netflix, etc.)
  • Theorize the reproduction of dominant logics in marginalized contexts (e.g., the reproduction of cisgender and heterosexual normativity in representations of blackness)
  • Scrutinize considerably undertheorized intersections and contexts of black identity (e.g., undertheorized intersections may be race/religion/nationality or race/ability whereas undertheorized contexts may be black culture as a site of global power)
  • Identify mediated and/or real world linkages between blackness and other racially or ethnically marginalized communities (e.g., Latinx, Middle Eastern, Asian, etc.)
    Deconstruct the presence of whiteness as an identity, discourse, and/or ideology

Submission Deadline & Guidelines

Deadline: 1 April 2019

Manuscripts must be submitted electronically through the ScholarOne Manuscripts site for Review of Communication: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/rroc

Manuscripts should be prepared in Microsoft Word using a 12-point common font, double-spaced, and between 3,000 to 4,000 words (including endnotes).

Please refer to and follow the journal’s manuscript preparations instruction for authors: https://www.tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission?show=instructions&journalCode=rroc20

Authors should identify which themed call their paper is responding to by selecting the relevant drop down option in ScholarOne.

Review of Communication

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Review Process

In keeping with the journal’s current practice, submissions will undergo rigorous peer review, including screening by the guest editors and review by at least two anonymous referees. Please direct inquires about the Black Panther themed issue to:

Rachel Alicia Griffin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Communication
University of Utah


Jonathan Rossing, Ph.D.
Associate Professor & Department Chair
Communication Studies
Gonzaga University

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