CFP: The Ghost Reader: Recovering Women’s Contributions to Communication Studies, 1925-1968

Aimee-Marie Dorsten's picture

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Call for Papers
January 1, 2020 to October 1, 2020
United States
Subject Fields: 
Communication, Journalism and Media Studies, Race / Ethnic Studies, Social Sciences, Women's & Gender History / Studies

Call for Contributions

The Ghost Reader: Recovering Women’s Contributions to Communication Studies, 1925-1968


Elena Hristova, Regent’s University London
Aimee-Marie Dorsten, Point Park University 
Carol Stabile, University of Oregon

How did we get here?

In North America and Europe, progressive women made inroads into universities during the first half of the twentieth century, completing undergraduate degrees and receiving PhDs from research universities. Others, excluded from the academy by virtue of race or class, analyzed and criticized media industries as journalists, artists, producers, performers, and activists. Often, their work developed innovative theories of communication and methods and anticipated ideas, approaches, and concerns that would not reappear again until the early 1970s. 

Little of this work is taught today, particularly in courses mapping the emergence of the field of communication/media studies. The Ghost Reader addresses their absence, publishing previously unpublished, out-of-print or under-reviewed materials. By restoring to view the work that women did during this foundational period, The Ghost Reader restores their participation in broader conversations about media, media industries, and popular culture. 

What is The Ghost Reader?

The Ghost Reader seeks intersectional contributions on women’s written work that engaged in broader conversations about communication, media, media industries, and popular culture, whether in the form of academic scholarship, journalism, or activism. We want to encourage others to do the same through a commitment to changing the future of the discipline. And we want to support and inspire additional feminist recovery work, reading and writing about the work of those recovered, and teaching with and about this ghost library.

The Ghost Reader is a seed project that we hope will grow beyond the boundaries of the published volume, partaking in the larger ecology of transforming academic knowledge. The initial volume--to be published in print--is limited by geography to the United States and western Europe. It is also limited in scope due to space on the printed page. We hope that scholars outside the Global North will use The Ghost Reader’s model to transform the knowledge ecologies of media, communication, and cultural studies. Following the print volume, The Ghost Reader will expand onto the University of Minnesota’s digital publishing platform, Manifold, which will host all of the contributions. 

Why contribute?

Instead of giving your labor for free to status quo pursuits, give it to feminist praxis: recover women’s erased history, help others learn about it, and create a vital foundation for future teaching and research. To acknowledge the contributions that will make The Ghost Reader possible, all contributors will be credited as contributing editors and all of those who help with transcriptions will be listed as contributing transcribers. 

How to contribute?

The co-editors would be delighted to talk to you about the inclusion of any work by women in academia, journalism, or activism written or published between 1925-1968. We encourage collaborative contributions to the project. We are eager to discuss strategies that might facilitate your participation, including a workflow that emulates a manageable wiki project, integrating recovery work into class assignments at both the undergraduate and graduate level, using undergraduate and graduate research opportunities to conduct research, and participating in a Teaching Media Quarterly special issue on creating lesson plans based on The Ghost Reader. 


March 1, 2020: Submit a letter of interest, a short (no more than 300-word) abstract listing the scholar/researcher/critic you will be contributing to The Ghost Reader, and a biography. 

October 1, 2020: Full submissions due, including:

  1. An introduction of no more than 1,000 words in plain text (.txt), Word (.doc or .docx), or Markdown (.md) about the career of the figure whose work the contributor is compiling, including a brief discussion of the continued relevance of the figure’s work to the field of communication/critical/cultural/media studies (we will not accept .pdfs);

  2. Two articles by the figure. These articles should be transcribed by the contributor and be provided in plain text (.txt), Word (.doc or .docx), or Markdown (.md), along with pdfs of the original articles. The Reanimate Collective can work with contributors on transcription and file formats;

  3. Copyright permissions for the two articles, information about copyright status, or a record of good faith attempts to locate the copyright holder for orphan works. The editors and Reanimate Collective can work with contributors on copyright issues;

  4. A bibliography with additional citations by the figure whose work is being compiled;

  5. Five keywords that indicate field, sub-field, or genre of the figure’s work, or that characterize the career or contribution(s) of the figure.


Twitter: @GhostReader2020   #GhostReader2020

Contact Info: 

Elena Hristova, Regent’s University London

Aimee-Marie Dorsten, Point Park University 

Carol Stabile, University of Oregon