Open Call for Submissions

Synoptique: An Online Journal of Film and Moving Image Studies is a double-blind peer-reviewed open access journal housed in the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Concordia University (Canada). Founded in 2008, the journal has promoted innovative research in film and media studies, combining a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches—publishing special issues on topics as diverse as queer media practices, Indian cinema, moving image archives and the digital transition, film festival networks, queer nationalism, humour and feminist media theory, the aesthetics of cinema technology, and archival film training. This year the journal is undergoing deep changes in order to better reflect the most pressing research concerns and priorities within media studies. As the field has been recently affected by a profound reevaluation of its traditional paradigms, Synoptique intends to provide a platform for publication, discussion, and reflection on the new political-cultural formations shaping media studies discourse. In this respect, the journal aims to intervene in key debates within media studies while critically tackling the economies and politics of scholarly activity, addressing dominant trends in academic research conducted within the historical, ideological, and institutional limits of the neoliberal university. In addition to, and as an extension of, this impetus, the journal aims to showcase approaches that address the transnational and global dimensions of moving image media research.

We are inviting submissions that come to terms with the shifting ground of film and media studies discourse. As trends and key terms in the field come and go, and concepts are stretched to the edges of critical utility, we propose an intensified engagement with the politics of uptake and the critical value of knowledge production in our specific but wide-ranging field. The spatial, the archaeological, the infrastructural, the biopolitical, the geopolitical—such discourses both address key debates and political conditions as well as fall prey to a fashion system dictated by the "innovation" mandates of university research in an era of neoliberal governance. The historical conditions of knowledge production, and the forms in which it is performed, displayed, and distributed, are a key focus of film and media studies across its various historical and theoretical contexts. How does a journal contribute to these debates, move beyond instrumentality and trendiness, and participate in wider struggles situated on the changing foundations of film and media studies research?

Issue 7.2 intends to mark the new direction the journal will take in the future; laying the groundwork for a new research platform that will engage with, and intervene in, the ever-shifting topographies and genealogies of media studies research. To signal this shift, we have decided to make 7.2 an open call issue, thus moving away from our traditional “thematic” focus, intending to promote a wide variety of scholars pushing media studies research in new directions. By leaving the theoretical and topical boundaries somewhat “open,” the journal aims to bring together a set of articles that reflect the mutable concerns and priorities of the media studies field.

Possible areas of inquiry include but are not limited to:

  • Distribution/Circulation/(In)Formal Economies of Media

  • Anthropological and Ethnographic Approaches to Film and Media

  • Infrastructure and Logistics of Media

  • Political Geographies

  • Media Industries

  • Emergent Media

  • Digital Media

  • Queer and Feminist Approaches to Digital Culture

  • Decolonial Media Practices

  • Critical Race Studies

  • Labour and Media Industries

  • Histories and Theories of Political Cinema

  • Indigenous Media

  • Activist Media

  • Non-Institutional Cinemas

  • Technologies

  • Global Television

  • Archival Practices

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, book reviews, 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.).

All submissions may be written in either French or English.

Please submit completed essays or reports to, and editors-in-chief Giuseppe Fidotta ( and Patrick Brian Smith ( by February 28, 2018. We will send notifications of acceptance by March 15, 2018.



Only in the last twenty years have Film and Media scholars begun to grant film festivals significant attention. Bill Nichols’ seminal text “Global Image Consumption in the Age of Late Capitalism” (1994) is often cited as the first attempt at theorizing these complex phenomena. The initiative to bring Global Studies into contact with Film Studies has been followed by a number of scholars, some of whom contributed to the organization of the sub-field of film festival studies. As they were part of the discussion of global flows though, film festival networks were simultaneously thought as an alternative circuit for film distribution.

Synoptique  seeks to expand the conversation by proposing a special issue designed to encourage new frameworks for thinking about film festivals as a multi-faceted film industry and institution in an increasingly interconnected, or conversely disconnected, world. We welcome papers that experiment with new approaches to studying film festivals and their networks. We are particularly interested in interventions that take into account the multiplicity of scales often left out by, or subordinated to, the global focus that kicked off the scholarship on the topic, including the region or the diasporic. In addition, we believe that renewed attention to non-European and non-A-list film festivals, as well as historical perspectives, can contribute to illuminating the complexity of actors involved in film festivals, and question the festivals’ economical and political roles.  Thinking of the variety of existing festival circuits also entails theorizing networks as disrupted, open, or even incoherent and unstable. This special issue is therefore seeking to position film festivals within a variety of contemporary and historical networks so as to appreciate the multiple ways in which they contribute to shape film cultures. To this end, we invite submissions by scholars and festival professionals. Festival reports as well as interviews, will also be considered.  Submissions can include, but are not limited to topics such as:

  • online film festivals
  • formal and informal networks
  • non-European and non A-list film festivals and their networks
  • film festivals and tourism
  • film festivals and national, regional or diasporic cinemas
  • issues of programming, the politics of film selection
  • Approaches to the study of film festivals (e.g. Transnational vs. Global Studies)
  • film festivals and activism
  • film festivals and global cinema
  • how prizes, awards, competitions, and premiers influence programming
  • minorities film festivals (queer, LGBT, diaspora)
  • film festivals and narrow topics (e.g. bicycles, human rights, food, etc.)
  • film presentations as a part of festivals not solely devoted to film, or, conversely, other events offered within film festivals
  • film festivals and their audiences (as participants, spectators, consumers)
  • changes in long-running festivals due to shifts in politics, economics, demographics or technology

Submissions should be approximately 15-30 pages (interviews and reports may be shorter), written in either English or French, formatted according to MLA guidelines. Papers should be submitted by April 3rd, 2014. A link on will guide you through the submission process. Feel free to contact us at should you have any questions.

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Synoptique Journal

Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, FB 319

Concordia University

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Montréal, Québec, Canada

H3G 1M8



© 2017 Synoptique

ISSN 1715-7641

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