Call for Papers: Podcasting's Listening Publics (deadline: June 30, 2020)

CfP: Podcasting’s Listening Publics
Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies

Co-editors: Dario Llinares (Brighton), Alyn Euritt (Leipzig), Anne Korfmacher (Köln)

“Listening is essential to the engagement with most of our media, albeit that the act of listening which is embedded in the word ‘audience’ is rarely acknowledged. It is a no less curious absence in theories of the public sphere, where the objective of political agency is often characterized as being to find a voice - which surely implies finding a public that will listen, and that has a will to listen” (Lacey viii).

As podcasting moves through its adolescence, a period of flux in which reformations of the technological and industrial organisation are having fundamental effects on the next phase of its evolution, the ways in which it encourages listening and reception practices are also undergoing fundamental development. The nature of this development depends on the communities, listening publics, and audiences the podcasts serve and/or participate in. As Spinelli and Dann have noted about podcasting, it always implies a relationship between creators and listeners but “while individual listening might be the moment in which a podcast ‘happens’ in some sense, it is possible, and indeed necessary, to consider larger formations of podcast audiences” (13). For Spinelli and Dann, podcast audiences are “much more ‘knowable’ than the radio audience, and the interaction (particularly in fandom) [is] more intense” (13-14). Who are these developing and changing “knowable” podcast audiences and how do they interact with podcasting? What do they listen to, how do they listen and why? Are audiences really knowable in the way Dann and Spinelli suggest and what might this tell us about audio communication practices in the digital age?

In order to understand the complexity, diversity and listening engagements of podcasting’s audiences, this themed section aims to expand the interdisciplinary range of contemporary podcasting studies by including work in literary studies, fan studies, gender studies and disability studies, as well as submissions that critically engage with race. We also explicitly encourage research on podcasts outside the US and Britain.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Podcast reception and connectivity in times of crisis
  • How podcast listeners find new content, including the development of taste cultures, content aggregation networks, and platform-specific algorithmic recommendations
  • Podcast participation and “prosumer” medial engagement (cf. Alvin Toffler, The Third Wave)
  • The development of genres, forms, and narrative practices within podcasting that encourage specific types of listening practices and audiences
  • Podcast fans and fan podcasts, podcasting and fandom audiences
  • Podcasts within niche culture, podcasting and marginalisation
  • Podcasts and community-building practices
  • Communal vs. private, on-demand listening
  • The rise of right-wing politics podcasts and their listenership
  • The role of voice (both politically and aesthetically) in podcasting reception
  • How podcasters imagine their listenership and cater their content to specific listening publics
  • Marketing discourses of attention and engagement
  • Cultural values associated with (podcast) listening

Please submit a 300-word abstract and short author bio in an email with the subject “Participations Themed Section Podcasting Publics_Euritt, Korfmacher, Llinares” to alyn.euritt@fulbrightmail.org. For more information about Participations as well as submission guidelines, visit their website at www.participations.org. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to provide extensive copy editing services. If you are in need of such services, please arrange for them before submission of your draft.

Deadlines:

Abstracts Due: June 30th, 2020
Decisions to Authors: July 10th, 2020
Full Submissions: September 30th, 2020