Sunday, November 26, 2006

Reconstruction on blogging

Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture
Blogging Issue Publication Announcement & Call for Papers

Reconstruction is proud to announce the publication of its Vol. 6, No. 4 (2006) themed issue, "Theories/Practices of Blogging," which can be found at Featured in the issue:

* Craig Saper, "Blogademia"
* Tama Leaver, "Blogging Everyday Life"
* Erica Johnson, "Democracy Defended: Polibloggers and the Political Press in America"
* Carmel L. Vaisman, "Design and Play: Weblog Genres of Adolescent Girls in Israel"
* David Sasaki, "Identity and Credibility in the Global Blogosphere"
* Anna Notaro, "The Lo(n)g Revolution: The Blogosphere as an Alternative Public Sphere?"
* Emerald Tina, "My Life in the Panopticon: Blogging From Iran"
* Various Authors, "Webfestschrift for Wealth Bondage/The Happy Tutor"
* Lilia Efimova, "Two papers, me in between"
* Lauren Elkin, "Blogging and (Expatriate) Identity"
* Various Bloggers, "Why I Blog"

Reconstruction is now accepting submissions for the following upcoming theme issues:

* Class, Culture and Public Intellectuals (deadline: December 1, 2006)
* Visualization and Narrative (deadline: December 15, 2007)
* Fieldwork and Interdisciplinary Research (no deadline set)

For individual CFP requirements and guest editor contact information, please check our "Upcoming Issues" page at

Reconstruction is also accepting submissions for upcoming Open Issues. The next Open Issue is scheduled for publication in Fall 2007.

Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture (ISSN: 1547-4348) is an innovative cultural studies journal dedicated to fostering an intellectual community composed of scholars and their audience, granting them all the ability to share thoughts and opinions on the most important and influential work in contemporary interdisciplinary studies. Reconstruction publishes one open issue and three themed issues quarterly--more or less in the third week of January, April, July, October.

Submissions may be created from a variety of perspectives, including, but not limited to: geography, cultural studies, folklore, architecture, history, sociology, psychology, communications, music, political science, semiotics, theology, art history, queer theory, literature, criminology, urban planning, gender studies, graphic design, etc. Both theoretical and empirical approaches are welcomed.

As a peer reviewed journal, submissions to Reconstruction are read in traditional double-blind fashion, critiqued, and subsequently either returned to the author for revision or accepted for publication. In the case of disputed articles, the readers unable to come to a consensus, the article will be read by an additional reader and then, again, decided upon for future publication.

Articles accepted for publication are done so under the following conditions: 1) If the article has not appeared in English previously, the article will not appear in publication before its publication in Reconstruction. 2) The author of said article is responsible for any and all legal complaints made against the work, and is thus financially responsible for any legal actions. 3) Any subsequent publication of the article, in any form, must acknowledge its earlier publication in Reconstruction. The author is responsible for gaining permission to use any copyrighted images or other materials.

In matters of citation, it is assumed that the proper MLA format will be followed. Other citation formats are acceptable in respect to the disciplinary concerns of the author. For further information, please consult our Submission Guidelines found at

Reconstruction is indexed in the MLA International Bibliography. All submissions and submission queries should be written care of

Thursday, November 09, 2006

An excuse for everything

I love living in Indiana. I say this because living in Indiana means that I have an excuse for everything: daylight savings time. Let me explain.

Until this past spring, Indiana was one of I believe just two states in the US that did not adhere to daylight savings time. Technically we lived all year on Eastern Standard Time, though the fact that most of the rest of the country set its clocks ahead by one hour in the spring meant that we effectively lived in two time zones. From early April to the end of October our clocks were the same as those who adhered to Central Daylight Time (most of our proximate westerly neighbors), and from early November to the end of March our clocks were the same as those who adhered to Eastern Standard Time (most of our easterly neighbors). What resulted was utter chaos and confusion, less for those of us living in Indiana than for friends and loved ones who lived elsewhere. I wish I had a dollar for the number of times someone left a message on my answering machine to the effect of, "Hi, it's me. It's 2:00 here in New York, which means it's, uh, what time is it in Indiana...?"

Well, as it turns out, our current Governor, Mitch Daniels, wanted to settle the Indiana time zone issue once and for all. After much wrangling, this past spring Indiana finally decided to abide by daylight savings time. I gather that a few border counties opted out, but for the most part Indiana is now eastern time zone. What's resulted is still more chaos and confusion, but this time those of us living in Indiana are the ones most directly affected.

The crux of the matter is, some folks here resent, make an excuse of, or simply don't understand the concept of daylight savings time. Not long after our first "spring ahead" time change, Indiana was inundated with destructive thunderstorms and tornadoes. A student of mine told me that a radio DJ blamed the storms on the fact that we now had an extra hour of daylight, which must be heating the earth more than usual. No kidding. Later, as summer approached, my town, Bloomington, experienced something of a minor crime wave. The culprit? Daylight savings time, giving criminals more sun by which to perpetrate their dastardly deeds. (What self respecting criminal works by daylight?) And finally, as I was watching ABC's election returns coverage on Tuesday night, the anchor blamed the loss of three Republican congressional seats here to--you guessed it--Republican Mitch Daniels' drive to get Indiana to adhere to daylight savings time.

So, if you ever find yourself in Indiana and in trouble, you know the drill. Blame it on daylight savings time. Don't laugh. It probably will work.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Dee, me, & the PMRC

First of all, if you're living in the United States, vote tomorrow. That's what's really important.

Now on to matters at hand. I was watching one of those "totally 80s" countdown shows on VH1 the other day, when I heard the Twisted Sister anthem, "We're Not Gonna Take It," start blaring. It was such a blast from the past, especially seeing lead singer Dee Snider all decked out in the band's drag-show-gone-wrong regalia. I never was much of a Twisted Sister fan myself, though several of my friends had a penchant for drawing the band's "TS" logo all over their notebooks when we were in junior high. Even so, there's something so wonderfully anti-establishment about "We're Not Gonna Take It" that it always manages to put a smile on my face.

Or so I thought. The "We're Not Gonna Take It" clip also included a "where are they now?" segment, which focused mostly on the comings and goings of Dee Snider since the heyday of Twisted Sister. Evidently--and perhaps this is news only to me, since I live in Indiana--he's a staunch Republican who's campaigned for Arnold "the Govinator" Schwarzenegger and other Republican candidates. I was shocked to hear this, not only because of the song's message (and here I'm reminded of the adage, "the politics of media texts aren't inscribed in media texts..."), but also because of Snider's resistance to the Parent's Music Resource Center or PMRC. For those of you who don't remember, the PMRC was founded in the mid-1980s by spouses of prominent US senators (then-Senator Al Gore's partner, Tipper, chief among them) who campaigned to censor "explicit" music. One of the more intriguing moments that I can recall from my adolescence is seeing images of Dee Snider emerging from the US Capitol after testifying on behalf of musicians opposed to the PMRC. Talk about dissonance.

I suppose it was naive of me to assume that Snider's resistance to media censorship would carry over into a more general, left-leaning politics. Beyond that, I'm also reminded of the fact that the PMRC was composed of both Republicans and Democrats, so I guess there should have been no reason for me to assume that Snider would have been a Democrat, anyway. I guess that all just goes to show how formal governmental politics and the politics of culture aren't always commensurable and how, conversely, they sometimes make strange bedfellows.