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Call For Papers

Double special issue of the International Journal of Cultural Studies (No article processing charge)

Abstract submission deadline: November 6, 2022

Full paper submission deadline: May 1, 2023

Editors: Thomas Poell (University of Amsterdam), Brooke Erin Duffy (Cornell University), David Nieborg (University of Toronto), Ping Sun (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences), Arturo Arriagada (Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez), Bruce Mutsvairo (Utrecht University), Tommy Tse (University of Amsterdam), Jeroen de Kloet (University of Amsterdam).  


Cultural producers—from record labels and news organizations to game developers and social media creators—are evermore dependent on digital platforms for the creation, distribution, and/or monetization of creative and informational content. This process, theorized as “platformization,” is, however, neither uniform nor unilateral. To better understand the specific socio-cultural, economic, political, and/or geographic contexts within which platformization takes shape, we solicit contributions that examine the particularities that characterize the evolving relationships between cultural producers and platform companies. 

Bringing together research from around the world, this double special issue aims to revisit central concepts in the study of platforms and cultural production (e.g., precarity, diversity, public/private, agency, empowerment, authenticity, governance, modernization, Global South/Global North). The objective is to use this research as an opportunity for theory building. Rather than developing universalizing theories based on studies in the West, or replicating empirical cases across cultures, the idea is to diversify the geographies of theory. Understanding how platforms shape social and cultural relations, as well as how they employ data and algorithms in doing so, calls for new frames of reference.  

Contributions to this collection should illuminate how the impact of platforms traverses different spheres of life, geopolitical borders, and industry boundaries. Besides encouraging authors to be explicit about the cultural and geographic focus of their research, we also invite contributors to consider how their scholarship is situated in or across fields, such as media and communication studies, cultural studies, science and technology studies, critical political economy and economics, sociology, area studies, anthropology, and geography, among others.


We invite proposals for either a: 

(1) short reflection paper (1,500-3,000 words), which provides a conceptual or methodological intervention that challenges existing scholarship on platforms and cultural producers. This could include:

  • Conceptual and critical reflections on platform studies, app studies, media industry studies, or studies of specific modes of cultural production, including scholarship that challenges dominant theories of the cultural industries.
  • Methodological reflections that address the tensions inherent in researching local/regional instances of platform-dependent cultural production.

(2) long empirical paper (6,500-8,000 words), which develops a case study that critically interrogates and conceptualizes emerging relationships among platforms, cultural producers, and other third parties. The study investigates a particular cultural industry sector and within a specific geographic region. Moreover, it revisits central concepts in the study of platforms and cultural production.  ​

Potential case studies, explicitly focussed on cultural production in a specific part of the world, include but are not limited to: 

  • Analyses of platform-dependent industry sectors, such as journalism, game and music production, museums, or emerging platform-native practices such as content creation/influencing and streaming.
  • Critical political economic analyses of the viability and/or sustainability of particular modes of cultural production.
  • Cultural/media policy and governance frameworks, for example, concerned with content moderation and/or curation.
  • Intersectional approaches, sensitive to the gendered, classed, and racial specificity of platform-dependent cultural production.
  • Inquiries into the changing nature of labor and work in platform-based cultural production, including discussions of agency and precarity, metrics/algorithms, and income structures (i.e., monetization schemes, revenue streams, fan funding, affiliate marketing).
  • Studies on the wide range of intermediaries involved in platform-based cultural production, including marketing agencies, data providers, talent agencies, and advertisers.  
  • Emerging practices of creativity, including the aesthetic and affective forms enabled or disabled by specific platforms.
  • Formal and informal efforts to resist platformization and/or to develop alternative modes of cultural production. 


  • Proposals for a short reflection paper or long empirical paper should be emailed to (please put “Global Perspectives” in the subject line) by November 6, 2022.
  • For a short reflection paper, please send us a 300-word abstract that explains the conceptual or methodological intervention the paper aims to make.  
  • For a long empirical paper, please send us a 750-1000 word abstract, which describes:
    1. the issue or research question to be discussed, 
    2. the case study on which the article builds,
    3. the methodological or critical framework used,
    4. the expected findings and key concept(s) the paper engages with, 
    5. five key references.
  • Decisions will be communicated to the authors by December 1, 2022.
  • Full papers of the selected abstracts should be submitted by May 1, 2023 to be discussed in a paper workshop hosted by the University of Amsterdam. In June 2023, the special issue editors will organize a hybrid 2-day paper workshop, which provides all contributors an opportunity for debate and an initial round of feedback on the papers. Accommodation and catering during the event will be covered for accepted contributors who participate in the workshop on location (note that we are unable to provide travel support). It is also possible to participate in the workshop through Zoom.  
  • The deadline for submitting the revised paper for double-blind peer-review to the International Journal of Cultural Studies is November 1, 2023.  
  • 2024 articles published online first (immediately upon acceptance)
  • The planned publication date of the double special issue of the International Journal of Cultural Studies is in Q1 2025.