Call For Abstracts: "Vigilant Audiences"

ERMeCC Vigilant Audiences
Photo by Jay Wennington

The Erasmus Research Centre of Media, Communication and Culture (ERMeCC) is seeking contributors for an open-access edited volume as well as a two-day workshop in October, on the topic Vigilant Audiences: Understanding Scrutiny, Denunciations, and Shaming in Digital Media Use. This proposed edited collection concerns media users in terms of their vigilant engagements with others. By looking at practices in which digital media users respond to individuals breaching legal and moral boundaries, we can better understand their motivations, but also the broader conceptual and societal implications of these practices. The deadline to submit an extended abstract is Friday, 27th April, 2018.

Today’s media landscape allows for scrutiny and intervention in the lives of others. Conventional outlets such as the press and reality television are supplemented and even supplanted by digital media users, who can report and comment on events through any number of mobile applications and other web-based platforms. They may denounce high profile crimes, such as terrorism, sexual abuse, pedophilia, or participation in riots. They may also target comparatively benign transgressions such as petty theft, bad parking, or disorderly conduct (whether in embodied public spaces or online). In some cases, unaffiliated citizens may play a primary role in breaking a story, for example, by publishing footage of a criminal event to a public forum. In other cases they may respond to a story that broke through a public broadcaster, but shape the visibility and public perception of that story through vitriolic commentary, crowdsourced information about the perpetrator, among other practices. 

Contributions to this edited collection will address contemporary digital media practices involving users both consuming and participating in the denunciation of other individuals. We welcome scholarship engaged with a range of (cross-)disciplinary perspectives, including but not limited to sociology, criminology, cultural and media studies. Contributions are not limited to any national or regional context, and we are especially interested in cases and contexts that have not received prior scholarly attention. 

Workshop in Rotterdam

Contributing authors are invited to participate in a two-day workshop on this topic in October, to be held in the Rotterdam, the Netherlands. This will be an opportunity for authors to present their works in progress and receive constructive feedback. Modest funds will be able to partly support travel and accommodation for contributors. 

More information & Submit your abstract

More information can be found in the full version of this call, available to download below. The document includes details and guidelines for submitting extended abstracts. Please send your extended abstracts of approximately 800 words to Daniel Trottier ( no later than Friday, 27th April, 2018


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