I thought I’d take a moment to draw your attention to a recent post I wrote for In Media Res. On their “About” page, IMR describes themselves as “dedicated to experimenting with collaborative, multi-modal forms of online scholarship. Our goal is to promote an online dialogue amongst scholars and the public about contemporary approaches to studying media. In Media Res provides a forum for more immediate critical engagement with media at a pace closer to how we experience mediated texts.”
The structure of the site is that they put out a call for participation for “theme weeks.” Proposals are reviewed and if you are accepted, you submit an image, series of images, or video along with a brief Curator’s statement. One post is published per day during the theme week. The Curators, other scholars, and the public are invited to engage in dialogue around the week’s posts.
This is the second time that I have participated in an In Media Res theme week. The first time, a group of Fashioning Circuits graduate students and I curated a piece called “The Multiply Mediated Voice of the America’s Next Top Model All Star,” that addressed the use of social media to construct “authentic” participant personae on the show. This time the theme week was “Women’s Health is a Joke.” My piece, “Get in My Vagina! Language and Power in Online Comedy Videos” addresses the ways that certain comedy videos use the word “vagina,” taking into account our social context in which biological language to describe women’s bodies is deemed improper.
The editors told us that site traffic was up significantly during this week. I know that I really enjoyed the other entries for the week! I encourage you to check them out (and comment!):
- “Birthin’ Babies Are Disgusting”: Women’s Health in the Honey Boo Boo “Apocalypse” by Kirsten Pike.
- “Magic, Dangerous, Deadly: The Uncanny Powers of My Uterus” by Karyl Ketchum.
- “The Rape Joke Embodied: Invoking the Vagina” by Elizabeth Lundberg
- “Nursing Our Pinktoberfest Hangover” by Alison Bodkin
As with the last time, I found the experience of discussing the posts with the other authors and readers was my favorite part of curating for In Media Res. I really value this model. Similar to academic blogging, it makes scholarship permeable in interesting ways. And it makes explicit that scholarship is a process, not a product. I look forward to submitting again in the future.