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The Velvet Light Trap
Call For Papers
Issue #71, Spring 2013:
The Archive


Submission Deadline: January 20, 2012

The Velvet Light Trap Issue #71: The Archive
From material to immaterial, the archive serves as an interface between past and future knowledge. In this relationship, the archive is both a method and a space of theory and politics. As the production and exchange of information continue to expand at exponential rates, understanding the role of the archive in the storage, accessibility, and legacy of this information becomes increasingly necessary. Already this call has joined the digital archives of inboxes, servers, and hard drives, underscoring the prevalence of archives in everyday life. The study of the production of knowledge necessitates an interrogation of the contemporary state of the archive.

Across the many directions and facets of media studies, the archive acts as one of the few points of intersection in the field. To this extent, The Velvet Light Trap seeks articles addressing implications of the archive related to theories of the archive, non-traditional and new archives, and new directions in historical archival research. Possible research topics include, but are not limited to:

Historical archival research:

  • Artifactual studies
  • Collections studies
  • Institutional studies

Non-traditional and new archives:

  • Digitization of material collections
  • Personal or non-institutional collections
  • Digital archiving of social media
  • Marginal archives
  • Ephemeral and performative archives
  • Affective archives

Theories and practices of the archive:

  • Politics of collecting
  • Media heritage and repatriation
  • Accessibility, preservation policy, and marketing
  • Broader role(s) of the archive in culture, politics, and economics
  • Queering the archive

Submission Instructions

Papers should be between 6,000 and 7,500 words (approximately 20-25 pages double-spaced), in Chicago style with a cover page including the writer's name and contact information.

Please send one copy of the paper (including a one-page abstract with each copy) and one electronic copy saved as a Word .doc file in a format suitable to be sent to a reader anonymously. The journal's Editorial Advisory Board will referee all submissions.

Hard copy submissions are due January 20, 2012, and should be sent to:

The Velvet Light Trap
c/o The Department of Radio-Television-Film
University of Texas at Austin, CMA 6.118, Mail Code A080
Austin, TX, 78712

The electronic copy submission is also due on January 20, 2012, and should be sent to Amanda Landa at or Joshua Gleich at

The Velvet Light Trap is an academic, peer-reviewed journal of film and television studies. Graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Texas-Austin alternately coordinate issues. The Editorial Advisory Board includes such notable scholars as Richard Allen, Harry Benshoff, Mia Consalvo, Radhika Gajjala, Darrell Hamamoto, Joan Hawkins, Barbara Klinger, Jon Kraszewski, Diane Negra, Michael Newman, Alisa Perren, Yeidy Rivero, Nicholas Sammond, Beretta Smith-Shomade, Cristina Venegas, Michael Williams.

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