Radical media, politics and culture.

"Text" Issue of <i>M/C Journal</i> Seeks Contributors

Anonymous Comrade submits:

M/C - Media and Culture is calling for contributors to the 'text' issue of M/C Journal

The award-winning M/C Journal is looking for new contributors. M/C is a crossover journal between the popular and the academic, and a blind- and peer-reviewed journal.To see what M/C Journal is all about, check out our Website, which contains

all the issues released so far, at http://www.media-culture.org.au/>. To

find out how and in what format to contribute your work, visit

http://www.media-culture.org.au/submission.html&gt ;.

            Call for Papers: 'joke' - edited by Catriona Mills & Matt Soar

In 1976, ad critic Leslie Savan began her first ever column for New York's

Village Voice magazine with a short piece called 'This typeface is changing

your life.' In it, she discussed the ways in which one particular sans

serif typeface - Helvetica - had insinuated itself into American daily life

to the extent that "The 'signs of the times' can be found on the literal

signs of the times. The use of Helvetica on so many of them expresses our

need for security, for visual proof - if nothing else - that the world's

machinery still runs."

In truth, our everyday lives are suffused with textual encounters - in the

letterforms that come together to provide newspaper reading; subway,

washroom and street signage; directions for taking medicine; film titles

and webpages; bus tickets and advertisements, etc. How, then, does the

construction and arrangement of letterforms imply security, as Savan

suggests, or - for that matter - friendliness, or menace?

For Beatrice Warde, writing in 1932, this was the wrong question

altogether. The task in hand ideally involved absolute transparency: "The

book typographer has the job of erecting a window between the reader inside

the room and that landscape which is the author's words. He may put up a

stained-glass window of marvellous beauty, but a failure as a window; that

is, he may use some rich superb type like text gothic that is something to

be looked at, not through."

What we're looking for

Between the positions taken up by Warde and Savan lies a whole realm of

artefacts and encounters that beg critical analysis, and it is these

phenomena that constitute the theme for this issue of M/C Journal. We are

seeking fresh, informed interventions that bring media, literary, and

cultural studies perspectives to bear on:

Letterforms: typefaces (including their conception and application), fonts

(the 'cuts' of typefaces that reside on computer hard drives or in

printers' trays); handwriting, calligraphy, comic book 'inking', tattoos,

graffiti, homemade shop signs;

Textual studies: the search for authenticity - including word choices used

in manuscripts; textual author-ity located in the mark of pen or typeset

letter on paper; translations; first editions; facsimile editions and

annotated editions; electronic versions (e-books, pdf files, CD-ROMs); book

marketing based on the external rather than internal text (blurbs, pseudo-

historical typefaces, typefaces as a means of facilitating author-


The act of composition: the increasing interest on-screen in the manual

production of the text (eg Nicole Kidman 'communing' with Virginia Woolf

through her attempted replication of Woolf's handwriting in preparation for

The Hours, or the use of handwriting on-screen in Possession); novel

structures that foreground the act of writing (epistolary fiction, diary

forms, plots driven by forgery or by the immutability of the written word);

Typefaces: cultural/critical histories of particular typefaces; media and

the connotations of 'native', or media-specific typefaces (dot-matrix and

the cash register; courier and the typewriter);

Type in motion: film title sequences and television advertising; broadcast

graphics (TV station identifiers/bumpers); 'pop-up' music videos; TV

weather maps; CNN's stock market tickertapes; Sesame Street, etc.

M/C Journal was founded (as "M/C - A Journal of Media and Culture") in 1998

as a place of public intellectualism analysing and critiquing the meeting

of media and culture. Contributors are directed to past issues of M/C

Journal for examples of style and content, and to the submissions page for

comprehensive article submission guidelines. M/C Journal articles are blind


deadline for submissions: 13 October 2003

article length: 1500 words

for more info - text@journal.media-culture.org.au"