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Open Cultural Studies: Transmediating Culture(s)?

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Dr Justyna Stępień & Dr Beata Zawadka (Szczecin University) 



“Medium is the message,” as Marshall McLuhan asserted in his seminal 1964 work entitled Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. In so doing he simultaneously blurred the line between the traditionally envisioned, binary notion of the content and form. Forty-two years later, in 2006, Henry Jenkins clearly demonstrated, via his widely-acclaimed Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, the medium/message rapport to be a process, not an endpoint. In consequence, this representational cultural model has also assumed its own agency thus becoming performative of broadly understood cultural workings. In 2016, with culture transmedialization – popularly conceived of as “transition in the making” – being a fact of life, McLuhan’s famous statement could, accordingly, be re/configured in the following way: “how is (cultural) message trans/mediated?”

Interfusing human life to the point of making it a (post)human mode of (post)cultural production, the trans/mediated (cultural) message can appear as, primarily, a peculiar affective practice, enabling a more effective cooperation of all cultural agents. However, such an apparent “affection-image,” to paraphrase Gilles Deleuze, of culture, might be perceived as but an audio-visual trick played on us by those who economically control the culture industry. In effect, the resulting “cultural franchise” can also crop up as a performance of concrete knowledge and hence a “political demonstration” of/against what in the idiom of Michel Foucault is a “cartography of power.”

To ponder over these and other questions, we would like to invite all who want to explore the multiple – theoretical and practical – transdisciplinary ways in which transmediality activates, questions, complicates, re/formulates, de/stabilizes etc. cultural productions.

We welcome a broad range of papers. These might include, but are not restricted to, the following perspectives:

  • film studies,
  • literary studies,
  • cultural studies,
  • media studies,
  • critical theory,
  • affect studies,
  • tourist studies,
  • video games studies,
  • narrative studies,
  • multimedia storytelling,
  • (digital) communication studies,
  • (digital) genre analysis,
  • discourse analysis,
  • posthumanism,
  • new materialism.


Preface. Fabricating a Common Fiction Together
Stępień, Justyna / Zawadka, Beata DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/culture-2017-0044

Libeskind and the Holocaust Metanarrative; from Discourse to Architecture
Tsiftsi, Xanthi DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/culture-2017-0026

Transmediality in Symbolist and Surrealist Photo-Literature
Walden, Lauren DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/culture-2017-0020

The Frankenstein Meme: Penny Dreadful and The Frankenstein Chronicles as Adaptations
Braid, Barbara DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/culture-2017-0021

“Cinematic” Gravity’s Rainbow: Indiscernibility of the Actual and the Virtual
Grmusa, Lovorka Gruic DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/culture-2017-0023

Showrunner as Auteur: Bridging the Culture/ Economy Binary in Digital Hollywood
Blakey, Elizabeth DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/culture-2017-0029

“See My Heart”: Art and Alchemical Reasoning, or Character Transformation in Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal
Krawczyk-Łaskarzewska, Anna DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/culture-2017-0027

Choices and Consequences: The Role of Players in The Walking Dead: A Telltale Game Series
Genovesi, Matteo DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/culture-2017-0032

Game Logic in the TV Series The Walking Dead: On Transmedial Plot Structures and Character Layouts Lickhardt, Maren DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/culture-2017-0033