CFP: 9.2 Porn and Its Uses

Synoptique is inviting submissions for an upcoming special issue entitled “Porn and Its Uses.” Responding to the genre’s marginal status in the academy and beyond, this special issue seeks to explore how pornography can be (re)framed as useful—pedagogically, politically, aesthetically, and libidinally. Broadly framed, this may refer to pornography as both a difficult object of interest and as a method for critically analyzing the most pressing questions in our current moment.

Pioneering explorations of the genre within academia have treated pornography as a vibrant cinematic institution (Lesage, “Women and Pornography,” 1981), an oppositional grass-roots practice (Waugh, “Men’s Pornography, Gay vs. Straight,” 1985) and an instrument to gauge the organization of pleasure and control (Linda Williams, Hard Core, 1989). In 1996, an issue of Jump Cut dedicated a special section to the study of pornography. This seminal publication, edited by Chuck Kleinhans, curated articles, conference reports and even a sample syllabus in order to reframe the genre as a tool for analyzing issues of censorship, national cultures, gender and race. This issue of Synoptique seeks to recapture that intellectual impulse in the wake of recent academic forays that have placed pornography in the context of labour (Heather Berg), affect (Susanna Paasonen) and critical race studies (Mireille Miller-Young), among others.

The theme of this special issue cheekily gestures towards the serviceability of the genre beyond (but certainly not excluding) the happy ending broadly associated with porn. The titular “uses” of pornography expand on a key intervention from Haidee Wasson and Charles Acland’s introduction to Useful Cinema to ask how porn, broadly defined, maintains the “ability to transform unlikely spaces, convey ideas, convince individuals, and produce subjects in the service of public and private aims” (Acland and Wasson 2011, 2). As porn studies proliferates across numerous monographs and edited collections, university curricula, international conferences, podcasts, a dedicated scholarly journal and more, we are interested in porn’s usefulness while at the same time complicating and questioning the impetus to instrumentalize knowledge. How do we continue to shape a field that embraces knowledge traditionally deemed intellectually and morally suspect while responding to the porn industry’s political and economic stakes?

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8.2: The Labour of Media (Studies): Activism, Education, and Industry

Download the full issue PDF of Synoptique 8.2
The Labour of Media (Studies): Activism, Education, and Industry
(eds. medialabour collective)

Thought Pieces



Book Reviews

Event Reviews

Notes on Contributors

8.1: Becoming Environmental: Media, Logistics, and Ecological Change

Download the full issue PDF of Synoptique 8.1

Becoming Environmental:
Media, Logistics, and Ecological Change
(eds. Patrick Brodie, Lisa Han, Weixian Pan)

Coastal Media Dossier (edited by Alix Johnson)

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CFP: 9.1 Animating LGBTQ+ Representations: Queering the Production of Movement

At the heart of animation is movement, and the expression of movement is negotiated differently across media. How then do LGBTQ+ communities reappropriate the specificities of animation, comics, videogames, and other forms of visual representations that rely on putting bodies into motion? How does animation support the emergence of social and political movements from within, between, and outside media production spaces? Since 2010, studies of LGBTQ+ representation in animation have steadily increased in number. From queer readings (Halberstram 2011), to media histories (McLelland, Nagaike, Suganuma, Welker 2015), to queer media makers (such as bisexual, non-binary creator Rebecca Sugar and other queer animators like Noelle Stevenson and Chris Nee), animation production has become a vital site for the study, performance, and persistence of queer media practices. Although much conversation has been devoted to queer readings of texts in transmedia movements, the people, circuits, and institutions of queer animated media production have attracted significantly less attention. 

By focusing on the “politics of movement,” we intend to grasp the convergence of 1) common techniques of animation in and across multiple media platforms, 2) means of mobile image production both amateur and industrial, and 3) social agendas in queer communities using the motion of images to negotiate their representation and place in society. While this issue will brush up against the various transmedia (narrative-based, Jenkins, 2008), media mix (image-based, Steinberg, 2012) and cross-media (toy-based, Nogami, 2015) models and their cultural geographies across the globe, our central aim here is to expand the knowledge and visibility of LGBTQ+ sociopolitical projects evolving conjointly with the creation and circulation of animated images. Producing movement in, across, and outside of media extends the synchronization of images to networks of commodities, territories, and peoples. Although an important amount of scholarship tends to address this question as the “queering of texts,” we seek another point of view coming directly from the creation of moving images itself. Such production practices are also imbricated in and respond to geo-political and cultural contexts. How then does the movement in between frames, vignettes, illustrations, and memes (to name a few examples) initiate social action (be it just to produce pornography for marginalized communities or to create conventions for amateur artists and publics to meet)? 

This issue of Synoptique: An Online Journal of Film and Moving Image Studies will focus on queer media practices and the politics of movement. When animating LGBTQ+ images, media creators are also mobilizing queer practices, communities, and identities. Therefore, we are particularly interested in analyses and testimonies that examine sites of queer media production and their animation techniques, strategies, and practices. We encourage contributions that examine the interactions of animation within media related to animation, such as comics and videogames, as forms of queer movement often overflow and interact throughout multiple media platforms (Hemmann, 2015). We also invite submissions of artwork either from queer-identifying artists and practitioners, or pieces that explore queer movement, embodiment, and existence. Interviews, manifestos, essays, and other forms of writing on animated movement in queer media making are warmly welcome, as are multimedia contributions. 

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The industrial or amateur structures of LGBTQ+ images production
  • Movement in LGBTQ+ pornography and erotika
  • Queer movement in comics, visual novels, videogames, etc. 
  • The strategies and places of queered images (“Queer” Media mix, Marketing, Festivals, and Conventions)
  • Animated media production of the Global South (such as Brazilian Netflix show Super Drags)
  • Distribution networks for LGBTQ+ animated series (TV, platforms, VOD)
  • LGBTQ+ representations in animated media emerging from manga including both more mainstream (Boy’s Love, Yuri) and subcultural (so-called Bara or Gachimuchi) productions
  • Local LGBTQ+ communities and their struggles expressed through moving images
  • Queer movement across comics and animation
  • Decolonizing sexualities
  • Cosplay as queer (re)animation

We use a broad interpretation of LGBTQ+ identity, including Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Trans*, Queer/Questioning, Two-Spirit, Intersex, Agender, Asexual, Pansexual, Genderqueer, Genderfluid, Non-binary, X-gender, Genderfuck, etc.

Essays submitted for peer review should be approximately 5,500-7,500 words and must conform to the Chicago author-date style (17th ed.). All images must be accompanied by photo credits and captions.

We also warmly invite submissions to the review section, including conference or exhibition reports, film festival reports, and interviews related to the aforementioned topics. All non-peer review articles should be a maximum of 2,500 words and include a bibliography following Chicago author-date style (17th ed.).

Multimedia works such as digital video, gifs, still images, or more (surprise us!) are also welcome. Works under 8MB may by hosted directly on the Synoptique site; anything larger must be uploaded to an external site (Youtube, Vimeo, etc). Please contact the Synoptique Board for more information on the procedures to submit artworks.

All submissions may be written in either French or English.

Please submit completed essays or reports to the Editorial Collective ( issue guest editors, Kevin J. Cooley (, Edmond (Edo) Ernest dit Alban (, and Jacqueline Ristola (, by May 15th We will send notifications of acceptance by June 30th.

Appel à contributions: Animer les représentations LGBTQ+ :

La production du mouvement sous une optique queer

Numéro spécial de Synoptique: An Online Journal of Film and Moving Image Studies

Au coeur de l’animation se trouve le mouvement, et l’expression du mouvement est traitée différemment à travers les médias. Ainsi, de quelles façons les communautés LGBTQ+ peuvent-elles se réapproprier les spécificités de l’animation, des bandes dessinées, des jeux vidéo, et d’autres formes de représentations visuelles se formant autour du corps en mouvement? Comment l’animation peut-elle supporter l’émergence des mouvements sociaux et politiques depuis l’intérieur et l’extérieur des espaces de productions médiatiques, ou entre ceux-ci? Depuis 2010, les études sur les représentations LGBTQ+ n’ont cessé de croître en nombre. Des lectures queer (Halberstram 2011), à l’histoire des médias (McLelland, Nagaike, Suganuma, Welker, 2015), aux créateur.rice.s de média queer (comme l’artiste bisexuel.le et non-binaire Rebecca Sugar, et autres animateur.rice.s queer tels Noelle Stevenson et Chris Nee), le domaine de la production d’animation est devenu un élément vital pour l’étude, la performance, et la persistance des pratiques médiatiques queer. Bien que les lectures queer de textes portant sur les mouvements transmédiatiques aient reçu une bonne part d’attention, celles consacrées aux personnes, aux circuits, et aux institutions d’animations médiatiques queer sont bien moindres.

En se concentrant sur la « politique du mouvement », notre intention est de cerner la convergence entre 1) les techniques d’animation communes à plusieurs plateformes médiatiques, 2) les moyens de production d’images mobiles, amateurs et industriels, et 3) les agendas sociaux des communautés queer faisant usage du mouvement de l’image afin de négocier leur place et leur représentation dans la société. Ce numéro touchera brièvement aux différents modèles tel le transmédia (fondé sur la narration, Jenkins, 2008), le média mix (fondé sur l’image, Steinberg, 2012), et le cross-media (foné sur les jouets, Nogami, 2015), ainsi que leurs géographies culturelles à travers le monde. Cependant, notre objectif principal est d’approfondir les connaissances et la visibilité des projets sociopolitiques LBTQ+ impliquant conjointement la création et la circulation des images animées. La production de mouvement de l’intérieur, à travers, et à l’extérieur des médias étend la synchronisation d’images aux réseaux de commodités, de territoires, et de personnes. Habituellement, une importante part des ressources académiques adresse ces questions sous l’angle de queering the texts; nous cherchons un autre point de vue venant directement de la création des images elle-même. Avec cela en tête, comment les mouvements entre les plans, les vignettes, les illustrations, et les memes, pour en citer quelques-uns, incitent-ils à une action sociale (pensons à la production pornographique pour les communautés marginalisées, ou à la création de conventions pour que les artistes amateur.rice.s et le public puissent se rencontrer)?

Ce numéro de Synoptique : An Online Journal of Film and Moving Image Studies se concentrera  sur les pratiques médiatiques queer et la politique du mouvement. En animant des images LGBTQ+, les créateur.rice.s de média mobilisent également des pratiques, des communautés et des identités queer. Nous sommes donc particulièrement intéressés aux analyses et témoignages portant sur la production de média queer, ainsi que leurs stratégies, techniques, et pratiques d’animation. Nous encourageons les contributions examinant les interactions de l’animation dans les médias reliées à l’animation, telles les bandes dessinées et les jeux vidéos, étant donné que les mouvements queer se déploient fréquemment à travers plusieurs plateformes médiatiques (Hemmann, 2015). Nous invitions également les contributions d’œuvres artistiques provenant d’artistes queer, tout comme des œuvres portant sur le mouvement et l’existence queer. D’autres formes d’écritures en lien avec le mouvement animé à travers les médias queer sont bienvenues, tels l’entrevue, le manifeste, l’essai, ou encore les contributions multimédias.

Les sujets peuvent explorer, entres autres, les pistes suivantes : 

– Les structures professionnelles ou amateur.rice.s dans la production d’imagerie LGBTQ+

– Les structures professionnelles ou amateur.rice.s dans la production d’imagerie LGBTQ+

– Le mouvement dans la pornographie et l’érotisme LGBTQ+

– Le mouvement queer dans les bandes dessinées, romans graphiques, jeux vidéos, etc.

– Les stratégies et la place des images queered (‘’Queer’’ média mix, commercialisation, festivals   et conventions)

– La production de média animé dans les Pays du Sud (telle la série Netflix brésilienne Super Drags)

– Les plateformes de distribution pour les séries animées LGBTQ+ (télévision, internet, vidéo sur demande)

– Les représentations LGBTQ+ dans les médias animés émergents du manga populaire (Boys’s Love, Yuri), au manga en marge (dénommé Bara or Gachimuchi)

– Les communautés LGBTQ+ locales et leurs luttes mises en scènes à travers les images en mouvement

– Le mouvement queer à travers les bandes dessinées et l’animation

– Le cosplay en tant que (ré)animation queer

Nous utilisons une interprétation vaste de l’identité LGBTQ+, incluant l’identité lesbienne, bisexuelle, gay, trans*, queer/en questionnement, bispirituelle, intersexe, agender, pansexuelle, genderqueer, genderfluid, non-binaire, x-gender, genderfuck, etc.

Les soumissions pour la section avec comité de lecture doivent faire entre 5500 et 7500 mots et suivre les directives du Chicago Manual of Style (17e édition). Les images doivent être accompagnées d’une légende et de crédits photographiques.

Nous accueillons également chaudement critiques et comptes rendus de conférences, festivals et expositions, et entrevues liées aux thèmes susdits. Les articles sans comité de lecture doivent faire au maximum 2500 mots, et inclure une bibliographie suivant les directives du Chicago Manual of Style (17e édition).

Les éléments multimédias comme les vidéos, gifs, images ou autres (surprenez-nous!) sont aussi chaudement accueillis. Les éléments en deçà de 8MB peuvent être hébergés directement sur le site de Synoptique, tandis que ceux au-dessus de ce chiffre doivent être téléchargés sur un site externe (Youtube, Vimeo, etc.) Veuillez contacter l’équipe de Synoptique pour plus d’informations en regard aux procédures relatives aux soumissions d’œuvres artistiques. 

Les contributions rédigées en français et en anglais sont acceptées.

Les articles et essais doivent être soumis au comité éditorial ( par email aux rédacteurs invités, Kevin J. Cooley (, Edmond (Edo) Ernest dit Alban (, et Jacqueline Ristola ( avant le 15 mai. Nous vous informerons de notre décision avant le 30 juin.

Issue 7.2

Download the full issue PDF of Synoptique 7.2: Part 1 and Part 2

1. Editorial Collective — Introduction

2. Benjamin Ogrodnik — Super 8 Chic: The Collison of Small Gauge Film, Visual Ethnography and Filmic Portraiture in Peggy Ahwesh’s Pittsburgh Trilogy (1983)

3. Alena Strohmaier, Lea Spahn — Intra-Active Documentary: Phillip Scheffner’s Havarie and New Materialist Perspectives on Migrant Cinema

4. Léa Le Cudennec — “We deserve better”: Tumblr Fandoms and the Fan Activist’s Fight for Better Representations of Queer Characters on TV

5. Dylan Cree — No Laffing Matter: The Laugh Track as More than a Function of Discourse

Reviews Section

6. Luke Robinson — Joshua Neves and Baskar Sarkar (eds). Asian Video Cultures

7. Matthew Ellis — Lee Grieveson. Cinema and the Wealth of Nations

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7.1 Double Issue: High, Low and Everything in Between & Les Aventuriers de l’art moderne

Cover Page


Full Issue 7.1 PDF.

High, Low and Everything in Between: The Birth and Death of Labels in Film Studies

1. Isabelle Lefebvre, Philippe Bédard — Introduction

2. Chelsey Crawford — Forging an Artifact through Artifice: Manufacturing History in the Digital Age

3. Sasha Crawford-Holland — Humanitarian VR Documentary and its Cinematic Myths

4. Kristi Kouchakji — There’s No Such Thing As Bad Publicity: Using Stunts to Sell Genocide Film

5. Sylvain Lavallée — Devenir Tom Cruise, de l’argentique au numérique (Français)

6. Jordan Adler — Extreme Cinema: The Transgressive Rhetoric of Today’s Art Film Culture by Mattias Frey (book review)

7. David Leblanc — Reassembling the Ruined Archive: A Ludology of Her Story as Archival Practice

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CFP: 8.1 Becoming Environmental: Media, Logistics, and Ecological Change

Synoptique is inviting submissions for an upcoming special issue entitled “Becoming Environmental: Media, Logistics, and Ecological Change.” The focus of this issue will be on the increasing entanglements of global economies of extraction and the circulation of media. The title of this issue is inspired by Jennifer Gabrys’ “becoming environmental” of sensory technologies (2016), where computational media becomes constitutive to the very environment, and subject formation within it, rather than simply operating in the environment as a backdrop. We propose to expand this imperative to the distinctive ways media—from computation, infrastructures, screens, technologies of circulation, and different modes of visualization—become environmental, remaining attentive to how these emerging human/nonhuman relations are constantly reconfigured, if not naturalized, via the state, global market, or other ideological projects.

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6.1 Institutionalizing Moving Image Archival Training


The aim of this special issue is to develop a better understanding of the social, political, and cultural forces that have shaped and defined archival training in the past and present and nourish continued critical reflection. More than the institutionalization of established “best practices,” archival training’s different departmental homes within the humanities, social sciences, and sciences indicate differences in ontological and epistemological conceptualization of moving images and their role in culture. Interventions in the field of archival studies provide answers to these questions by offering insights into the multifarious turns and directions that the field has taken in the past few decades, and where it may go in the future.

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