From the Field - Fall 2012

Cinema Journal,
Volume 52,
Issue 1,

In an examination of Marvel Studio’s film production between 2005 and 2009, Johnson argues Marvel enacted a distinct form of convergence between cinema and comic books that was both compatible and incommensurate with established Hollywood production cultures. The episodic nature of the Marvel Cinematic Universe complimented Hollywood practices, but Marvel situated creative authority in the comic book industry strategically through the trade press. Such a tactic generated a discourse that Johnson argues reimagines the relationship between Hollywood and comic book cultures.

First Monday,
Volume 17,
Issue 10,

Landau and Moore explore the development and implementation of Federated Identity management (FIM) systems that enable users to authenticate their identity through a single source in order to access information across multiple Internet domains. Examples of this service can be found in Google and Facebook authentication services. Landau and Moore adopt an economic analysis to discuss the incentives users, identity providers, service providers, and identity management platforms have in adopting FIM, arguing that there is an uneven distribution of benefit and risk amongst the players, and users stand to lose more in privacy than they gain in convenience.

First Monday,
Volume 17,
Issue 10,

Using data collected from a national mail survey consisting of a random sample of Internet users, Cha and Chan-Olmsted suggest Internet users found online video platforms to be better than traditional TV in terms of technology, cost, and content-related features, including reviews, interactivity, and search, among others. Nonetheless, although half of the respondents have used the Internet to view content, more than 90 percent of them still use TV as their primary content provider.

Global Media and Communication,
Volume 8,
Issue 3,

Mazarella argues against oversimplifying the changes to global television as merely a transition from “statist” to “consumerist” models. By reconsidering a period in Indian TV history, between the mid-1970s and the mid-1980s, normally considered a transition from a state-centered to commercially-centered television paradigm, Mazarella offers a double argument: First, he suggests that despite surface differences, the statist and commercial models both have a tendency to imagine TV as representing pre-existing publics, as opposed to understanding TV as a constitutive medium that helps constitute those very publics. Second, Mazarella argues that the privileging of the representative over the constitutive functions of the medium misrepresents the transition from the statist to consumerist industry as inevitable. Instead, he concludes that the consumerist model offers a superior balance between the lived realities of audiences and aspirational lifestyles in which they imagine themselves.

International Journal of Cultural Studies,
Volume 15,
Issue 6,

Conway uses the concept of “cultural translation” to describe how the industrial logics that govern the global circulation of TV programs also shape those programs as texts. He specifically focuses on RCN’s Yo soy Betty, la fea, adapted in America by ABC as Ugly Betty, to argue that genre and talent choices for the show reflected not only ABC’s goal of attracting an American audience unfamiliar with traditional telenovela style, but also the network’s desire to export the show to foreign markets.

International Journal of Cultural Studies,
Volume 16,
Issue 1,

Pérez-González examines transformative subtitling practices enabled by digital culture and performed largely on fansubbing online networks. Transformative subtitles tend to utilize the diegetic space of the frame rather than being sequestered to the bottom of the frame and are often created collaboratively between audiences and producers. Pérez-González offers the British drama Sherlock as an example of the mainstream penetration transformative subtitling has achieved.

International Journal of Cultural Studies,

Focusing on cultural production in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Beltrán and Miguel explore how new middle-class entrepreneurial agents contributed to transformations in the creative industries from 1990 to the present. The authors identify “creativeness used as strategy” as an essential asset to the success of these entrepreneurs against several institutional obstacles. Furthermore, the authors explain why in a time of economic uncertainty, these entrepreneurs set aside financial bottom lines and focused on producing prestigious content for symbolic value.

Journal of Communication Inquiry,
Volume 36,
Issue 4,

Drawing from discussions on a plenary panel at the March 2012 “What is Television?” Conference in Portland, Oregon, Hilmes, Newcomb, and Meehan each offer a perspective of TV’s history. Hilmes frames TV as a “radio with pictures.” Newcomb historicizes early TV studies in relation to the Peabody Awards. Meehan focuses on the recognized gaps in TV history, calling them the “known unknowns” of TV scholarship. 

Tags: TV history
Journal of Communication Inquiry,
Volume 36,
Issue 4,

McGuigan applies Dallas Smythe’s concept of the “audience commodity” to emerging commercial models employed by interactive television to convert viewers to customers. McGuigan argues that Smythe’s understanding of the audience commodity illuminates the operations of interactive TV storefronts to convert audiences into economic and social products, a process increasingly supported by audience metrics.

Journal of Communication Inquiry,
Volume 36,
Issue 4,

The authors examine audiences that actively search for content in the seemingly infinite space of online video. Drawing their conclusions from a series of focus groups, the authors suggest today’s viewers find content through a mix of contextual, content-related, and personal factors. Significantly, this research suggests a new set of gatekeepers, like Netflix or Hulu, are emerging and establishing a similar trust relationship that viewers have or used to have with broadcasters.

Bibliography