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12 November 2020
Children, Media, and the Clarity of Crisis
This has been a year of compounding crises. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced millions around the globe to rapidly, and radically, alter their daily lives. Social inequalities at all levels have been laid bare, including the gendered nature of caring for children and what forms of work are deemed ‘essential,’ thereby exposing those workers to greater risk of infection. In the midst of a deepening public health crisis, a citizen courageously filmed a police officer in Minneapolis murdering George Floyd. The resulting international protests for racial justice have created broader, and deservedly prominent, platforms for communities to communicate their fear and pain, as well as renewed urgency for white parents, media makers, educators, and communities to reckon with ways to raise children who are anti-racist, rather than “colorblind.” In some locations, regional challenges have further exacerbated these global crises, including Hong Kong and multiple locations hit by natural disasters related to climate change.
These crises have hit our children, adolescents, and media (CAM) community hard. As the care structures that scholars and professionals depend on evaporated overnight, so too did much of the precious time previously devoted to deep-thinking work. Many scholars’ research projects have been delayed indefinitely; media producers face similarly uncertain timelines. Other journals have announced special issues that will publish full-length manuscripts on research related to COVID-19. However, conversations with CAM community members revealed that for many, there is little time for either new data collection or for writing traditional research manuscripts. At the same time, timelines for graduation, tenure, and promotion are unchanged in many places. We decided to respond to this set of pressures with a special issue CFP that is uniquely “us,” in that it will serve our community of scholars and practitioners best. We will publish a special issue in January of 2021 comprised entirely of commentary-length manuscripts, thereby providing our community an opportunity for a peer-reviewed, competitive publication in a format that feels more attainable, and is therefore more inclusive.
We believe that crises can bring opportunities for clarity and reveal creative ways to address collective challenges. In that spirit, Journal of Children and Media (JOCAM) calls for short, reflective commentaries on the broad array of effects that the crises of 2020 have had on our community of scholars and practitioners. We invite reflections on how this tumultuous year has caused you to re-evaluate any aspect of your children, adolescents, and media research, pedagogy, and production. Proposals that weave together the professional and personal are especially encouraged, given how the pandemic has collapsed these contexts.
The call is intentionally broad. Our goal is to ensure that our global community of scholars and practitioners can find space for their experiences in this special issue. We provide generative examples below, but we also welcome proposals that lie beyond these questions.
How have the crises of 2020 made you re-evaluate a specific aspect of your children, adolescents, and media (CAM) research/teaching/production?
- Are there CAM concepts or theories that you have developed or depended on as part of your scholarship that you now feel require revision, or renewed attention?
- How do the crises of 2020 create new priorities or challenges for teaching CAM-related coursework or producing quality media for children?
How have the crises of 2020 changed some aspect of your personal life in relation to children, adolescents, and media?
- How have media and technology activities changed in the lives of children and adolescents you care about (not necessarily your own)? Topics could include, but are not limited to: “Zoom school,” remote babysitting or grandparenting, loosening screen time restrictions to facilitate work time, etc.
- How have you discussed or responded to these crises with the children and adolescents in your life, and how have media been a help or hindrance in those efforts?
How have the crises of 2020 changed some aspect of your professional life as a CAM scholar or producer?
- What pressures does the pandemic and social distancing put on your CAM research? On your dissertation, grant proposal writing, tenure clock, or contingent position?
- How do the crises of 2020 rest more heavily on CAM scholars or producers of color, and what would be the most helpful actions the broader community could take in response?
Looking to Publish your Research?
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Timeline for Submission and Publication
- Send 200-word proposals to Dr. Brad Bond, JOCAM Review and Commentary Editor, at [email protected] by September 25, 2020.
- After review by JOCAM’s co-editors and associate editors, authors invited to contribute commentaries will be notified by October 5, 2020.
- Final submissions are limited to 1,500 words (excluding abstract and references), and will be due by November 12, 2020.
- Commentaries will be peer-reviewed and published online, ahead of being published as a special issue in January/February 2021.
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