co-editors:   Allison McCracken, American Studies, DePaul University; Louisa Stein, Department of Film and Media Culture, Middlebury College; Alexander Cho, University of California Humanities Research Institute

We’re putting together a book to identify ways in which Tumblr has had an important social and industrial impact, both as a digital platform and a cultural forum.­ This volume will be multi-vocal and accessible to a broad audience, representing a variety of Tumblr users and commentators, including scholars, public intellectuals, activists, and fans. We are particularly compelled by Tumblr’s status as a social media platform known for fostering spaces for socially marginalized users, including youth, people of color, queer people, the disabled, and the poor.

This publication will be in English, but we are committed to exploring non-Western perspectives and others beyond the US/UK. We are soliciting contributions that focus on various aspects of the platform, including any combination of:

  • Tumblr’s affordances and limitations as an interface/platform and as a cultural space
  • Aesthetic and linguistic traditions on Tumblr, including hashtags, gifs, images, and notes
  • History and development, including the Yahoo acquisition
  • Industry presence, marketing practices and goals
  • Creative production and/or critical analysis
  • Intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, age, and ability
  • Community development and support
  • Politics and activism (including the “social justice warrior” discourse)
  • Identity formation and affirmation
  • Education and mentoring networks
  • Transnational/transcultural studies
  • Tumblr within the transmedia landscape
  • Fan cultures and activities
  • The centrality of sexually explicit content (“nsfw”), pornography, and pleasure
  • Teaching, therapy and other professional uses (such as “social media director”)
  • Ethical concerns

Contribution Guidelines:

We welcome proposals that address any of the aforementioned topics of analysis, and we are looking for work in a range of formats, including traditional academic essays, shorter think pieces, personal testimonies, interviews, video essays, art, GIF essays, and group discussions. This book will combine hard copy and digital components in order to incorporate multimedia contributions. For example, we are interested in community histories and activities (written by individuals or groups), critical discourses and discussion (including specific examples of such), and creative production we can reference in the book and publish digitally (such as fan art). We will use both illustrations and written excerpts with artist and author  permission. It is very important to us to feature a variety of voices; please feel free to contact us for help in developing a proposal, especially if you are not familiar with the publication process but have an idea of something you’d like to contribute.

Written work should generally fall between 2,000 and 7,000 words. Inclusion in the book will be based on abstracts of between 300-500 words and, for full consideration, they should be received by September 30, 2016. Contributors can use their tumblr or public names or remain anonymous. Please send this abstract and any questions or concerns you have to [email protected]. Visit http://a-tmblr-book.tumblr.com for more information.

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