Blog Post

Gulf Oil Spill Theme Week at In Media Res

[For background, as this is a first post, some information about In Media Res, a MediaCommons project]

This week was originally going to be about San Diego Comic Con, I wasn't going to organize it, and the Comic Con call wasn't listed in our general call since we were aiming to attract mostly industry professionals to contribute to the week. We didn't get anyone to organize it, so I agreed to co-organize it with Alisa Perren, the coordinating editor for IMR, and we were going to start sending inquiries to folks after the general call was available.

At a meeting before our Twilight week (the official transfer week of IMR from Old Dominion to Georgia State University), we decided to try and be timely about a non-pop culture event and shift gears to cover the oil spill in the Gulf. The idea was well received by the staff, and Alisa and I simply shifted gears to begin recruiting people for the new week.

We made the call available on Twitter, put it on a few environmental studies listservs, and posted the call to the Boycott BP group on Facebook (where it was quickly buried by a myriad of other links). Due to the demands of other projects, Alisa ended up stepping back from the week, and I took full reign. Unlike last week's Summer TV theme, where I received proposals from people I knew (and smooth talked others into volunteering), this week I had to simply hope that folks would discover the call and submit a proposal.

I cold contacted a few folks, including Joelle S. Underwood and Janelle A. Schwartz, who had just published an article in the Chronicle of High Education about teaching the oil spill, and then just had to wait. And wait. And wait. It was a bit nerve-wracking, and I can only assume that this is a miniature version of what organizing an edited collection is like when you send out an open call.

Thankfully, a group of scholars with various interests and approaches submitted proposals and I was able to fill out the week with some smart and interesting takes on the oil spill. They're listed below, I'll update each day with a hyperlink to that particular article. I hope you'll take the time to read and respond to them!

Monday July 19, 2010  Kevin Sanson (University of Texas at Austin) presents: Feeling Place

Tuesday July 20, 2010  Elizabeth Schwarz (UC Riverside) presents: Cleaning Up the Gulf With Twitter

Wednesday July 21, 2010  Joelle S. Underwood and Janelle A. Schwartz (Loyola University New Orleans) present: Spilling the Story

Thursday July 22, 2010  Carrie Packwood Freeman (Georgia State University) presents: Dawn Soap: Greenwashing our way to cleaner wildlife

Friday July 23, 2010  Shana Heinricy (University of New Mexico) presents: In Need of a Jazz Funeral: Hypermediated Mourning of the Gulf Coast

x-posted at my own blog



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