Vernon Press invites chapter proposals for a volume on the role of ideologies in Nordic media history edited by Jukka Kortti and Heidi Kurvinen.
In the forming of worldview of an individual, ideology is located to its reflected, active dimension, the philosophy of life in the first place. In media, this is most apparent when an individual or a group of people establishes a cultural periodical, a blog or further his or her political agenda in social media, for instance. However, ideology is different from the philosophy of life as it is always intended for several individuals, whereas philosophy of life can be understood on an individual level as well. On the other hand, media operate also in the ‘passive’, subconscious side of worldview, mentality, when they present and represent ideologically loaded formations of everyday life as ‘natural.’ Signifying ‘hidden’ encoded meanings through ‘common sense’ make ideologies powerful when represented in media, both through facts and fiction.
According to the well-known Marxist idea by structuralist Louis Althusser, media are one of the ‘ideological state apparatuses’ and, according to cultural theoretician Stuart Hall, the mass media are crucial in producing, reproducing and moulding ideologies. Ideologies have not been a focus of interest in the field of humanities and social sciences in recent decades, but the comeback of propaganda in the forms of ’trolling’, ‘disinformation’ and ‘post-truth politics’ has evoked to rethink the power of ideologies in the media sphere. It has also resulted in a newly found interest in the history of propaganda as part of the wider media historical field. Analysing the role of different ideologies – through propaganda or other forms media content and production – in media history provides wider perspectives in understanding our current media landscape.
In the forthcoming book this will be done by focusing on the Nordic region. The Nordic countries have many social and cultural similarities, including the press and broadcasting systems. In comparing media systems, Daniel C. Hallin and Paolo Mancini famously classified the Nordic countries belonging to the democratic-corporative model that is characterised by high newspaper circulation, historically strong party press, strong professionalisation, institutionalised self-regulation and strong public-service broadcasting. Other common denominators for these countries have been the early spread of literacy into the lower social groups and the Protestant religion. Furthermore, the similarities between Nordic countries constitute a perfect area for a regional media history against not only a European but also a global backdrop. On the other hand, despite the similarities, the Nordic countries also have many national peculiarities, such as different histories in the forming of political left, the feminist movement or the relationships with the East and West during the Cold War.
We welcome articles that are widely interested in the role of ideologies in Nordic media history. The articles can study, but are not limited to, openly political ideologies, such as social democracy, environmentalism, feminism, liberalism, communism and fascism in their different forms. Or they could include wider ideological formations that are not limited to one political movement, such as populism, nationalism and conservatism. Articles could also trace such ‘everyday ideologies’ as commercialization, consumerism, rationalism, regulation, deregulation, equality, emancipation and bureaucracy in the Nordic media history. Besides news bulletin, journalism and media institution, the articles can study the ideologies through the different fictional media content such as film and television series.
We especially encourage articles that approach Nordic media history either conducting comparative studies between the Nordic countries or making transnational media historical research – that is analysing either exchanges and interactions in media between the Nordic countries or tracing trends, patterns, organisations and individuals that have been living in between and through the Nordic countries.
Article proposals (max. 500 words) are due on September 30, 2020. Submissions should be sent to the editors through email. A notice of acceptance of abstracts will be sent to selected authors by mid-October 2020. Based on the first round of abstracts, a symposium will be organised with the selected authors in early 2021. A follow-up symposium will be arranged in autumn 2021.
Articles (between 8,000–10,000 words) will be due on January 31, 2022.
All articles will be peer-reviewed. The book will be published in autumn 2022 or spring 2023 by Vernon Press, which is an independent publisher of scholarly books in the social sciences and humanities.