Author Archives: ec

Farewell with thanks

All this began in 2007 in informal conversations among the members of the still Pre-Department of Communication Studies in Tarragona, at the University Rovira i Virgili. There, with my colleagues Bernat López, Jordi Farré and Josetxo Cerdan… we decided to enrol in a huge project: to launch an international journal in English that would publish the best research on media and communications related to the Catalan society, but open to other national contexts.

Today the Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies is a reality thanks to Intellect Books, who trusted in the project and in the team. The CJCS has published dozens of good articles following a blind peer review policy and last year the prestigious international index, Scopus, included the title in the database. Today, articles are indexed and the texts are in the most important academic platforms.

Acting as editor has been a pleasure and also a huge work, sometimes tiring, at moments exciting (especially interesting is when the new issue arrived at your mail box…). But the thing that I will better remember is my relationship with people: colleagues, reviewers, authors, and publishers… After six years, I leave the post of Editor of the CJCS having all them in my mind, thanks very much to all.

Dr. Cilia Willem, who recently has been enrolled at the Department of Communication Studies, will be the new editor of CJCS. She has an excellent profile and qualities to carry out the task of leading an international journal. I am very satisfied to see that the CJCS faces a bright future at her hands.

There is a never-ending list of people to thank… sorry if anyone is not mentioned here… The editorial team (Bernat López, Jordi Farré, Josetxo Cerdan, Hugh O’Donnell, Carme Farré, Yolanda Tortajada), the Editorial Board members, the reviewers that kindly offered their expertise, Intellect’s staff, to my colleagues at the Department of Communication Studies.. Thanks also to readers and to colleagues that encourage me to stand on the first line.

Enric Castelló

Obituary. Alberto Elena (1958-2014)

Professor of Cinema Studies at University Carlos III and member of the Advisory Editorial Board of the Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies

The little kid that went to the cinema during the summer in a small town in Avila called Piedrahita, probably didn’t know that cinema would later be such an essential part of his life. In Spain in the sixties, popular cinema still played an important role in our social milieu; it was a place where all types of audiences came together. The extent to which he enjoyed popular cinema can easily be noted in a rare text that he wrote on Joselito, the singer, published in 2001. His days as a fan of these types of movies would later enrich his career as a historian of cinema. In fact, he would end up becoming one of the greatest specialists in World Cinema.

During his university days, it was really funny to hear him speak about his passion for Antonioni, which he later thought to be excessive. At that time he devoured all French and Spanish cinema reviews and criticism even though he was studying Philosophy. He eventually went on to become a lecturer in the History of Science professor. He initially worked in the UNED (Spanish Open University) and finally in the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid University (UAM). I remember coming him across him in the train to Cantoblanco campus and, instead of talking about philosophy, we both exchanged our opinions of the last latest films watched we had seen or our expectations about some regarding others that were to be screened soon.

Although dedicated to the Modern History of Science and the popularisation of Science during his years at the UAM, he started the film club in the Philosophy Department. This was his first step towards teaching cinema at university, and it encouraged him to design his biggest project: a Programme of Cinema Studies. This programme enabled him to start a PhD programme in History of Cinema – which didn’t exist in any other Spanish university at that time. He also founded the journal Secuencias, which will celebrate its twentieth anniversary this year. His effort to combine his two fields of study – Science and Cinema – can be traced in his book: Ciencia, cine e historia. De Méliès a 2001 (2002).

As a result of his tenacity, Professor Elena achieved his transfer to Carlos III University in 2006; at a time that he was already teaching Cinema and Media Studies. At that point in his career, his extensive publications revealed his passion for World Cinema, which he introduced into the Spanish Academy. His commitment to knowledge led him to start publishing dictionaries and monographs that opened new fields of academic research in Spain. After that Alberto became an active promoter of research in these areas, as well as a tireless academic who wrote everything from general manuals to highly focused investigations, where he showed his creativity and his great productive capacity. You can follow his intellectual journey in World Cinema in books such as El cine del Tercer Mundo (1993) or Los cines periféricos: África, Oriente Medio, India (1999). Moreover, his curious nature spurred him to chart this unknown territory in a vast number of academic articles. His passion for travelling can be spotted in articles such as “De Tánger a Yakarta: Cartografías del cine en el mundo islámico” (2007) or “De Argel a Bombay: Paisajes urbanos en el cine contemporáneo” (2010). These articles are engaging itineraries which resulted from many thousands of hours watching the most peculiar films in festivals, rented from odd video clubs, as well as taken from his personal library which he nurtured all his life. His wife, Paloma, always supported him lovingly in his life as a traveller and as a dedicated film viewer; she was an accomplice in his adventures around the world.

His bibliography is evidence of his indefatigable research. Furthermore, he also encouraged others to undertake research projects, which can be witnessed in the large number of PhD students who ended up working in world cinema. We all form part of his school and always benefited from his assistance. Most of us had the opportunity to write or edit books and articles with him. It seemed as if he carried all our research in his head. When you met him it was normal to receive a little piece of paper, written in his peculiar handwriting, with something you should look at and read.

Moreover, his bibliography covers almost the entire Cinema World, which can be grouped into three main research areas: Latin American, African and Asian cinema.

Firstly, he worked on Latin American cinema and its connection to Spanish cinema. He was a pioneer in writing on this topic in the Spanish academy. Titles such as the following must be highlighted as being among the most important, including articles, Special issues of Cinema journals or books: “Cine para Macondo: Tecnología, industria y espectáculo en Latinoamérica, 1896-1932” (1998), Mitologías latinoamericanas (edited with Paulo A. Paranaguá, 1999), “Avatares del cine latinoamericano en España” (1999), The Latin American Cinema (edited with Marina Díaz, 2002), “Para un observador lejano: el documental latinoamericano en España” (written with Mariano E. Mestman, 2003), “Cine y migraciones: la experiencia hispanoamericana” (2005) and Abismos de pasión: Una historia de las relaciones cinematográficas hispano-mexicanas (edited with Eduardo de la Vega, 2009).

Secondly, African cinema, where he focused on the study of the creation of national cinemas (“Cines del Magreb: identidades disputadas”, 2011) and the Nollywood phenomenon (“Nollywood forever”, 2009). He was also the leading specialist on the connection between Spanish cinema and colonialism (La llamada de África. Estudios sobre el cine colonial español, 2010). He was also a pioneer in Spain in the use of Transnational Cinema theories applied to cinema.

Finally, Asian cinema, from Bollywood (El sueño de Bollywood: cine contemporáneo en la India, written with Aruna Vasudev (2003), “Global Bollywood”, 2007 and “Bollywood: nuevos contextos y nuevos públicos”, edited with Heliodoro San Miguel (2012) or Satyahit Ray (1999)) to the Chinese cinema boom (“Mi cámara no miente: Nuevo documental chino”, 2005) and to Iranian cinema. He is one of the best known international specialists on Abbas Kiarostami (2002 and 2005).

The organiser and collaborator of an endless list of national and international institutions and festivals, his zeal to explore the complexity of cinema, made his commitment to popularisation among other audiences and viewers possible.

He was diagnosed with cancer in 2001 and since then, he started fighting against this horrible illness. Every time I met him, I remember telling him I admired his calmness in the face of his illness and the pain it brought him. Then I remember his loving smile and his answer: “What else can I do?”

The eager film-viewer and the conscientious historian cannot make us forget the wonderful person he was. His sense of humour, his fair and generous attitude towards knowledge, towards the people who had the honour of working by his side, are difficult to express. The pain of his loss is not lessened by the necessary gratitude I owe to his legacy and to the honour of having been his student and his friend: an all-embracing concept of Cinema which was as huge as his heart.

 Marina Díaz López, Instituto Cervantes

CJCS 6.1 is out!

The 6.1 issue is out! This contains six research and theoretical articles, a Gateway contribution and a couple of Viewpoint texts. The content is diverse and studying topics including theater and performance, TV documentary, minority language media, gender analysis and media history.

The collection is counting with  contributions from scholars based in three main territories of Catalan speaking language (Catalonia, Valencia and Balearic Island), along with other from Spain and Colombia. The Reviews section, coordinated by Dr. Iolanda Tortajada, include seven texts discussing books in journalism, theater, social media, sociology, history representations, feminism and digital journalism. We all hope you enjoy it!

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Extended CFP ‘Conflict and crisis in elite sport’

CALL FOR ARTICLES

Special issue of the Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies 6.2

Conflict and crisis in elite sport: media, ideology, identity and politics in an era of hyper-sportisation

EXTENDED DEADLINE

28 February 2014

Guest editors: Verner Møller (Department of Sports Sciences, University of Aarhus) and Bernat López (Department of Communication Studies, Universitat Rovira i Virgili).

Professional elite sport and the closely related phenomenon of media and spectator sport are among the most global, pervasive, influential, and visible social phenomena across countries, cultures, and social strata. Modern societies seem to be clearly demanding more sport, not less (Dimeo, 2007: 138). The sportisation process (Maguire, 2007) seems to be entering a new era in which more is at stake concerning elite and spectator sports: nationalism, identity, geopolitics, the leisure economy, corporate capitalism, and the continuous (re)definition of the boundaries of human performance and capabilities. Despite commercial sport being increasingly an object of attention for social theory and social research, their expanded relevance calls for further and closer scrutiny. This proposed special issue intends to contribute to this.

Although a wide range of commodities and infrastructures, from tennis balls to stadia, are closely associated with elite sport, its basic “product” has no materiality in and of itself since it is a performance: essentially a mass-mediated performance. Sport is a cultural and symbolic phenomenon. As such it offers an ideal site for the expression of ideology, identity (re)construction and cultural and political struggle. Therefore this special issue will focus on modern elite sport as the arena for symbolic and ideological conflict, struggle and crisis. Contributions are invited from any social scientific and cultural studies perspective, such as sociology, psychology, anthropology, philosophy, media and communication studies, sports studies, gender studies, economics, law, history, and political science.

Proposals are expected to focus on the relationship between elite and media sports and a wide range of issues: national, class, gender, sexual, intergenerational or racial struggle, the doping debate, symbolic violence, identity (re)construction, global versus local, the survival of small national cultures in the new global context, etc. Articles applying a stateless-nation or small nation-state perspective will be particularly welcome.

The journal plans to include articles of around 6-7.000 words, plus short research reports of around 3.000 words for the Viewpoint section. Full articles for proposed contributions should be sent to catalan.journal@urv.cat by 28 FEBRUARY 2014. Acceptance of articles will be confirmed by 30 April 2014. All contributions will be subjected to anonymous peer review. For more details about the journal guidelines please visit: https://catalanjournal.wordpress.com/

 

Guest editors:

Professor Verner Møller is one of the leading scholars in the field of doping and sport studies. He is co-founder of the International Network of Humanistic Doping Research (INHDR) (http://www.doping.au.dk), which brings together 30 researchers from twelve different countries devoted to the study of the philosophical, social, and cultural aspects of doping and anti-doping. Professor Møller has published extensively on the issue, in Danish and English. His main contributions include the monographs The ethics of doping and anti-doping: Redeeming the soul of sport? (Routledge, 2010), Dopingdjævlen – analyse af en hed debat (Gyldendal, 1999; English version: The Doping Devil), Doping and Public Policy (co-editor, University Press of Southern Denmark, 2004), Elite sport, doping and public health (co-editor, University of Southern Denmark Press, 2009), and Doping and anti-doping policy in sport: ethical and legal perspectives (Routledge, 2011).

Bernat López has recently moved into the field of sport and doping studies where he has published on the social history of cycling in Spain and Catalonia, and already contributed recognised insights into the social construction of the doping issue. His previous research activities dealt mainly with minority cultures, media, and communication and cultural policies in Catalonia. He is the author of, among other, “Sport, Media, Politics and Nationalism on the Eve of the Spanish Civil War: The First Vuelta Ciclista a España (1935)” (International Journal of the History of Sport 27, 4, 2010), “Doping as Technology: A Rereading of the History of Performance-Enhancing Substance Use” (International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics 4, 1, 2012) and “The invention of a ‘drug of mass destruction’: deconstructing the EPO myth” (Sport in History 31,1, 2011).

“From farm to fork”: a nice presentation

What strategies in the social media can we apply when communicating food issues? What opportunities do these strategies offer? And what inconveniences are to be found? Reflexions like these have dominated the presentation of the latest special issue of Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies, entitled “Communication and Food for Health Benefits: Negotiating Meanings in Networked Times”, last week at URV.

The presentation counted on the participation of the blogger Txàber Allué, better known as El Cocinero Fiel, who emphasized the importance of the online prescribers when it comes to social media. In that same direction, the director of URV-Repsol International Chair for Excellence in Communication, Jordi Farré, indicated that there has been a change in the pattern of food communication, which “has gone from from fark to fork to from farm to blog”.

“Don’t think you’re better just because you’re a journalist” and “find a market niche and become a specialist” those were some of the advice that El Cocinero Fiel gave the students of communication during the presentation of the latest issue of Catalan Journal of Communication and Social Studies at the University Rovira i Virgili. During the conference, Allué stressed the importance of achieving digital prestige to become a node between networks of users and to adapt the message depending on the channel.

Allué’s thoughts on his own experiences as a gastronomy blogger are collected in the video “FoodRisC: Estrategias de comunicación 2.0”(“FoodRisC: Social Media Communication Strategies), which was shown during the presentation. And they’re also to be found in the article “Food sector communication and online influencers” in CJCS. Around two hundred people assisted to the speech, most of them graduate students of communication studies at URV that had the chance to exchange ideas and ask questions about the topic.

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Presentation of the special issue on Communication and Food

Next Tuesday 3rd December,  9.30 am (Sala d’actes, Campus Catalunya, URV), we are presenting the Special issue of the Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies, entitled “Communication and Food for Health Benefits: Negotiating Meanings in Networked Times”. The issue is guest edited by Jordi Farré (Universitat Rovira i Virgili) and Julie Barnett (University of Bath).

Jordi Farré, who also leads the Spanish team of the EU project FoodRisc Benefit & Risk Communication, will offer a short description of the issue and will introduce a couple of video shorts explaining communication strategies in the social media. Then, Txàber Allué, teacher at URV and gastronomic blogger (El cocinero fiel), will offer a conference on social media and food communication. The presentation, including the conference, is open to all community.

The special issue is counting with contributions from specialized scholars based in universities and research centres including University of Antwerp, Freie Universität Berlin, University of Hertfordshire, Food Standards Agency Scotland, Aarhus University, Ghent University, Jagiellonian University, Centre Tecnològic de Nutrició i Salut, Institut Català de Recerca en Patrimoni Cultural and Universitat Rovira i Virgili. In this issue, we have included an innovative section gathering four texts under the title “Professional experiences”. These short contributions offer perspectives from researchers, journalists and food innovators with a special focus in on-line platforms.

This is the issue 5.2 and is completing the fifth volume of the Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies (322 pages), composed twenty different texts. It is the fourth special issue of the journal and is already on-line available.

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CJCS was present in Manchester

The Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies had a notorious presence at the 59th Annual Anglo-Catalan Society Conference, held in the University of Manchester (1st– 3rd November 2013). All delegates were provided with a card informing about the call for papers and a couple of last issues were at their disposal for inspection in the reception desk.

The editor of the journal, Enric Castelló, participated in a round table on cinema, television and the current Catalan context, in which he invited the delegates to submit their research and articles to the journal. Jaume Martí-Olivella (University of New Hampshire), CJCS International Advisory Board member, also delivered a speech for the occasion and encouraged the journal to go-on with such an “excellent” initiative. All in all, delegates showed their interest in the journal, recently included in Scopus index, and the meeting was a fruitful occasion to broader the international scope of the publication.