CFS: Exposing, Resisting Media Culture, Public Health (Catalyst: A Social Justice Forum)

Please see the following call for abstracts from the online, peer-reviewed journal, Catalyst: A Social Justice Forum. To submit an abstract, click on the link at the bottom of this page:

Creating Health from Below? Exposing and Resisting the Power of Media Culture over Public Health.

As members of cultures dominated by media, we tend to construct our identities out of models presented to us by the internet, TV, film, music, and various kinds of print media (Kellner 1995). What it is for us to be “healthy” is no exception. Through the norms embedded in its images, sounds, and messages, a media culture invests its consumers with a potent sense of what it means to achieve health—including the proper ways to pursue and, quite often, purchase it. As a result, we are constrained in our capacity to adopt—and even to imagine—alternative conceptions of “health,” both for ourselves and for the groups of which we are a part. Furthermore, this problem is not easily quarantined by political borders. As U.S. media culture spreads globally, countless others might be infected by its conceptions of “health.”

We invite abstracts that adopt one or both of the following approaches. (1) Abstracts should consider particular products of U.S. media culture and expose ways in which those products are invested with conceptions of “health” that reinforce dominant interests. On this approach, each abstract will focus on a particular film, song, advertising campaign, TV show, corporate website, magazine issue, novel, or another product of U.S. media culture, tying its conception of “health” to the powerful interests that it serves. (2) Abstracts should explore ways in which media culture has been—or could be—co-opted as a tool of resistance, empowering poor, marginalized, or oppressed groups/individuals to advance their own conceptions of “health” as they aspire to what might be called “health from below.” Final submissions are due June 30th.