Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Call for Papers - The Velvet Light Trap Issue #81

The Velvet Light Trap Issue #81 – Power, Freedom, and Control in Gaming


Game studies is no longer an ‘emerging’ field and video games can no longer be considered a ‘new’ or niche medium. The commercial video game industry is now over 40 years old and games are an increasingly intrinsic part of the symbolic terrain of culture. The continued economic growth of the global video game industry is well documented and staggering, and this is reflected in the growing body of academic work that engages with the multifaceted ways that games are designed, created, received, and played. In recent years, scholars have productively moved away from the hotly contested theoretical divisions between ludology and narratology that defined early game studies. Yet, at the same time, games scholarship continues to privilege digital gaming, in the process often sidelining or excluding from academic discussions the vibrant range of game design paradigms and player practices in non-digital gaming, such as board games, card games, and role-playing games. This issue of The Velvet Light Trap considers the place of gaming within media studies and the potential value of utilizing a cultural studies framework for understanding issues of power, freedom, and control in game studies.

As the game industry has matured alongside information and communications technologies, methods of production and industry lore have become normalized as the scope and diversity of games being produced becomes ever more richly nuanced. Triple-A franchises, such as Grand Theft Auto, Fallout, and Madden NFL, are gaming blockbusters, with production teams of hundreds, production budgets of millions, and revenue in the billions. The success of the mainstream industry combined with digital distribution has also opened up niches for thriving independent and underground game scenes, where titles as varied as Undertale, Depression Quest, The Stanley Parable, and Papers, Please, have interrogated the act of play itself while expanding conceptions of what forms and functions games can take.

The increasing complexity of the globally networked gaming industry demands scholarly engagement from a variety of perspectives. The scholarly turn to games and gaming is producing a groundswell of work that parses the disparate yet often interrelated patterns of more micro-level historicity and phenomena, such as game aesthetics and narrative engagement; player identity and communities; emergent cultures and practices the circumscribed agency of designers; and issues of local production, histories, and archives. Scholarship on analog formats like role-playing games and board games have foregrounded the importance of looking beyond the digital, highlighting the economic and cultural contexts of a broader range of gaming and play practices.

This issue of The Velvet Light Trap seeks to build upon this body of research and further consider how games reproduce popular ideas about identity, including issues of gender, race, class, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, ability, etc., through characters, gaming worlds, play, design, and performance. Which voices, perspectives, and sensibilities are privileged in gaming culture, and how can the gaming industry become more inclusive and self-reflective about the practices it engages in and choices it makes? How are communities traditionally marginalized in the gaming economy asserting greater agency? How are issues of power, freedom, and play negotiated, challenged, or reinscribed in the various games and gaming practices marking today’s increasingly expansive media and cultural landscape?

Other possible areas of inquiry in digital and analog gaming include but are not limited to:

  • Theories of play
  • Gaming pedagogy
  • Archive/Collection
  • Game design (development & production); designer agency
  • Labor, locality, and the global commercial market
  • Global gaming (Non-U.S. products or cultures)
  • Marketing and distribution
  • Games as ancillary merchandise
  • Games as parts of transmedia franchises
  • Metagaming and paratextual engagement
  • Adaptation (game to film/TV; film/TV to game)
  • Gamer culture and identity 
  • Gender and #Gamergate
  • Celebrity
  • Digital access and class privilege
  • Ludic cartographies
  • Mobile apps
  • Virtual Reality
  • Mods & Freeware


Submission Guidelines


Submissions should be between 8,000 and 10,000 words, formatted in Chicago Style. Please submit an electronic copy of the paper, along with a separate one-page abstract, both saved as a Microsoft Word file. Remove any identifying information so that the submission is suitable for anonymous review. Quotations not in English should be accompanied by translations. Send electronic manuscripts and/or any questions to vltcfp@gmail.com by January 15th, 2017.


About the Journal


TVLT is a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal of film, television, and new media. The journal draws on a variety of theoretical and historiographic approaches from the humanities and social sciences and welcomes any effort that will help foster the ongoing processes of evaluation and negotiation in media history and criticism. While TVLT maintains its traditional commitment to the study of American film, it also expands its scope to television and other media, to adjacent institutions, and to other nations' media. The journal encourages both approaches and objects of study that have been neglected or excluded in past scholarship.

Graduate students at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the University of Texas at Austin coordinate issues in alternation, and each issue is devoted to a particular theme. VLT's Editorial Advisory Board includes such notable scholars as Charles Acland, Richard Allen, Ben Aslinger, Caetlin Benson-Allott, Mark Betz, Corey Creekmur, Michael Curtin, Kay Dickinson, Bambi Haggins, Scott Higgins, Mary Celeste Kearney, Jon Kraszewski, Lucas Hilderbrand Roberta Pearson, Nicholas Sammond, Jacob Smith, Jonathan Sterne, Cristina Venegas. VLT's graduate student editors are assisted by their local faculty advisors: Mary Beltrán, Ben Brewster, Jonathan Gray, Michele Hilmes, Lea Jacobs, Derek Johnson, Vance Kepley, Shanti Kumar, Charles Ramírez Berg, Thomas Schatz, and Janet Staiger.


www.utexaspress.com

Monday, November 28, 2016

Books for the holidays!

As the shopping season goes into full throttle, we are all being bombarded with enticements to buy and holiday sales. Don't get overwhelmed! Give the gift of books for everyone on your list this year. We have recommendations for books that make great stocking stuffers, plus books for foodies, sports fans, music aficionados, history buffs, art fans, and shutterbugs!

All books on our website are 33% off. To ensure books arrive by Christmas Day, order by December 5 for international delivery and by December 15 for domestic delivery. Happy Shopping!


A Love Letter to Texas Women
Acclaimed author Sarah Bird celebrates the uniqueness of Texas women in this beautifully designed gift book.
Hardcover,  $11.36
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ISBN: 978-1-4773-0949-0
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More Curious
More Curious
By Sean Wilsey
Sean Wilsey’s celebrated collection of essays on the glory and misery, the beauty and absurdity of contemporary America.
Paperback, $10.72
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ISBN: 978-1-4773-0797-7


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The Tacos of Texas
Tacos of Texas
By Mando Rayo and Jarod Neece
With authentic recipes, behind-the-scenes stories, and recommendations of where the locals eat, this is the indispensable guide to Texas’s appetizingly diverse tacos and taco culture by the authors of Austin Breakfast Tacos.
Paperback, $13.37
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ISBN: 978-1-4773-1043-4


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Yucatán

Winner of the 2015 James Beard Foundation Cookbook of the Year Award

With over 275 authentic, easy-to-follow recipes, lively stories of their origins, and luscious illustrations, here is the definitive work on the foods of Yucatán, one of the world’s great regional cuisines.
Hardcover, $40.20
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ISBN: 978-0-292-73581-1


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The Republic of Football
With interviews and stories of celebrated players, including past and present NFL stars, as well as legendary coaches and dynastic teams from across Texas, The Republic of Football captures the standout moments in Friday night lights.
Hardcover, $16.72
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ISBN: 978-1-4773-0371-9

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Relentless: The Stories behind the Photographs
By Neil Leifer with Diane K. Shah
The best-known sports photographer of the last fifty years recounts riveting, behind-the-scenes stories of some fifty iconic images of American popular culture, with subjects ranging from sports legends, to current events, to presidents and celebrities.
Hardcover, $30.15
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ISBN: 978-1-4773-0948-3
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A Pure Solar World
Surveying the range of Sun Ra’s extraordinary creativity, this book explores how the father of Afrofuturism brought “space music” to a planet in need of transformation, supporting the aspirations of black people in an inhospitable white world.
Hardcover, $18.73
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ISBN: 978-0-292-72636-9
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Don't Suck, Don't Die
Don’t Suck, Don’t Die: Giving Up Vic Chesnutt
By Kristin Hersh, Foreword by Amanda Petrusich

A haunting ode to a lost friend, this memoir by the acclaimed author of Rat Girl offers the most personal, empathetic look at the creative genius and often-tormented life of singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt that is ever likely to be written.
Paperback, $10.02
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ISBN: 978-1-4773-1136-3


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The Capitalist and the Critic
A skillful and fascinating retelling of the often testy relationship between J. P. Morgan and Roger Fry, two men who did more to establish the preeminence of the Metropolitan Museum of Art than any collector and curator before or since.
Hardcover, $20.07
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ISBN: 978-1-4773-0840-0
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We Could Not Fail
Profiling ten pioneer African American space workers, including technicians, mathematicians, engineers, and an astronaut candidate, this book tells an inspiring, largely unknown story of how the space program served as a launching pad for a more integrated America.
Paperback,  $12.03
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ISBN: 978-1-4773-1113-4
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As Above, So Below
As Above, So Below: Art of the American Fraternal Society, 1850-1930
By Lynne Adele and Bruce Lee Webb, Foreword by David Byrne
With more than two hundred outstanding examples from private and public collections and introduced by fraternal art collector and Talking Heads singer-songwriter David Byrne, this revelatory book surveys the golden age of lodge hall art for the first time.
Hardcover, $40.20
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ISBN: 978-0-292-75950-3
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Spotlighting more than eighty collections in very diverse fields, this extensively illustrated volume showcases the unparalleled quality and range of the holdings of the University of Texas at Austin.
Hardcover, $83.75
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ISBN: 978-1-4773-0785-4
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How to Be a Texan
How to Be a Texan
By Andrea Valdez
This friendly guidebook provides all you need to be an authentic Texan, whether you’ve recently arrived in the state or you just want a refresher on the finer points of Lone Star lore.

Hardcover, $14.71
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ISBN: 978-1-4773-0931-5
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By H. Joaquin Jackson with David Marion Wilkinson
A retired Texas Ranger recalls a career that took him from shootouts in South Texas to film sets in Hollywood.
Paperback, $10.72
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ISBN: 978-0-292-71638-4
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By Tom Gilliland and Miguel Ravago, Foreword by Robert Rodriguez
Winner of the IACP Cookbook Award and the Independent Publisher Award, Fonda San Miguel is now updated and reissued with a lavish compilation of recipes and art from one of America’s premier restaurants serving interior Mexican cuisine.
Hardcover, $26.77
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ISBN: 978-1-4773-1022-9
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Texas on the Table
One of Texas’s leading cookbook authors presents 150 recipes that showcase the state’s bounty of locally grown meats and produce, artisanal cheeses, and award-winning wines, along with fascinating stories of the people who are enriching the flavors of Texas.
Hardcover, $30.15
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ISBN: 978-0-292-74409-7
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Freddie Steinmark
Freddie Steinmark: Faith, Family, Football
By Bower Yousse and Thomas J. Cryan
Freddie Steinmark tells the story of a legendary University of Texas football player whose courage on the field and in battling cancer still inspires the Longhorn nation.
Hardcover, $16.72
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ISBN: 978-1-4773-0821-9

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An authoritative history of the nation’s fourth-winningest college football program, highlighted by the legendary players and coaches, historic games, and unique traditions of the Texas Longhorns.

Hardcover, $23.42
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ISBN: 978-0-292-71446-5


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T Bone Burnett
This first critical appreciation of T Bone Burnett reveals how the proponent of Americana music and producer of artists ranging from Robert Plant and Alison Krauss to B. B. King and Elvis Costello has profoundly influenced American music and culture.
Hardcover, $18.06
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ISBN: 978-1-4773-0377-1
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Homegrown: Austin Music Posters 1967 to 1982
Edited by Alan Schaefer, essays by Joe Nick Patoski and Nels Jacobson

From mind-melting psychedelia and surreal treatments of Texas iconography to inventive interpretations of rock and roll, western swing, and punk, this book offers the definitive, long-overdue survey of music poster art by legendary Texas artists.
Paperback, $20.07
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ISBN: 978-0-292-77239-7

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Comfort and Glory
Comfort and Glory: Two Centuries of American Quilts from the Briscoe Center
By Katherine Jean Adams, Foreword by Karoline Patterson, Bresenhan and Nancy O’Bryant Puentes, Preface by Don Carleton
Showcasing 115 remarkable quilts that span more than two hundred years of American quiltmaking, this volume introduces an outstanding collection of American quilts and quilt history documentation, the Winedale Quilt Collection at the Briscoe Center for American History.
Hardcover, $50.25
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ISBN: 978-1-4773-0918-6
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Houston on the Move: A Photographic History
By Steven R. Strom, Photographs by Bob Bailey Studios

Presenting over two hundred previously unpublished images from the city’s largest and most comprehensive photographic archive, this volume chronicles Houston’s transformation into a city of international importance.
Hardcover, $30.15
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ISBN: 978-1-4773-1094-6
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Mexico Photographs by Mark Cohen
Mexico: Photographs by Mark Cohen
Photographs by Mark Cohen
Capturing the country’s visual surrealism in striking detail, Mexico presents two hundred images by Mark Cohen, the acclaimed street photographer and author of Frame and Dark Knees.
Hardcover, $36.85
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ISBN: 978-1-4773-1171-4

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The Face of Texas
Photographs by Michael O’Brien, stories by Elizabeth O’Brien
With twenty-three new portraits, including John Graves, Richard Linklater, Joel Osteen, and Cat Osterman, as well as updated profiles of all of the subjects, here is the face of Texas captured in the faces of noteworthy Texans by one of America’s premier portrait photographers.
Paperback, $16.72
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ISBN: 978-0-292-76313-5
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Merry Christmas from the Family
Merry Christmas from the Family
By Robert Earl Keen
Includes a CD and lyrics
Singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen’s hilarious, definitely skewed Christmas carol.
Hardcover, $11.36
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ISBN: 978-0-292-71266-9
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One Hundred Love Sonnets
One Hundred Love Sonnets: Cien sonetos de amor
By Pablo Neruda, Translated by Stephen Tapscott
Beautifully redesigned as a gift edition, this bilingual Spanish-English volume, which has sold nearly 250,000 copies, presents the joyfully erotic love poetry of Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda.
Hardcover, $13.37
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ISBN: 978-0-292-75760-8
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The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks
By Toni Tipton-Martin, forewords by John Egerton and Barbara Haber
2016 James Beard Award Winner, 2016 Art of Eating Prize for Best Food Book 
Showcasing one of the world’s largest private collections of African American cookbooks, from rare 19th century texts to modern classics by Edna Lewis and Vertamae Grosvenor, this collection speaks volumes about America’s food culture.
Hardcover, $30.15
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ISBN: 978-0-292-74548-3
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¡Viva Tequila!
With a festive blend of inspired recipes for fabulous drinks and dishes, lively personal anecdotes, spicy cultural history, and colorful agave folk art, proverbs, and lore, America’s premier tequila expert shows us how to savor the most Mexican of all libations.
Hardcover, $23.42
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ISBN: 978-0-292-72294-1
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Paying long-overdue tribute to one of the greatest legends in football, here is a biography of the quarterback who single-handedly revolutionized the game—TCU All-American and Washington Redskins Hall-of-Famer Slingin’ Sammy Baugh.
Hardcover, $16.72
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ISBN: 978-0-292-71985-9
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DKR: The Royal Scrapbook
By Jenna Hays McEachern, with Edith Royal
This extraordinary collection of never-before-published photographs, letters, newspaper clippings, football ephemera, and recollections reveals the private man behind the UT football legend who will always be “The Coach,” Darrell K Royal.
Hardcover, $26.77
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ISBN: 978-0-292-70493-0
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John Prine
From singing mailman to Nashville legend, John Prine traces the crooked road traveled by the brilliant songwriter responsible for “Angel from Montgomery,” “Sam Stone,” “Paradise,” and “That’s the Way That the World Goes ’Round.”
Hardcover, $16.72
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ISBN: 978-0-292-74822-4
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A who’s who of American popular music fills this lively memoir, in which Ray Benson recalls how a Philadelphia Jewish hippie and his bandmates in Asleep at the Wheel turned on generations of rock and country fans to Bob Wills–style Western swing.
Hardcover, $16.72
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ISBN: 978-0-292-75658-8
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The Mechanical Horse
In this lively cultural history, the journalist Margaret Guroff reveals how the bicycle has transformed American society, from making us mobile to empowering people in all avenues of life.
Hardcover, $16.72
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ISBN: 978-0-292-74362-5

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Seeing Texas History: The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
Introduction by Victoria Ramirez and Jan Bullock

Featuring artifacts ranging from Texas’s founding documents to contemporary objects of science and technology, this book presents the treasures of Texas history that have been displayed at the state’s official history museum.
Hardcover, $26.80
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ISBN: 978-1-4773-1089-2


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A Book on the Making of Lonesome Dove
By John Spong, Color plates by Jeff Wilson, photographs by Bill Wittliff
Interviews with Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, Diane Lane, Danny Glover, Anjelica Huston, and other members of the cast and crew; set designs, costumes, and props from the Wittliff Collections; and candid, on-the-set photographs offer a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at the book, the miniseries, and the world of Lonesome Dove.
Hardcover, $33.50
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ISBN: 978-0-292-73584-2
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Surf Texas
Surf Texas
By Kenny Braun

Evocative and nostalgic, this extended photo essay presents an insider’s portrait of the surf culture of Texas, one of the top six surfing states in America, as well as the singular and sometimes unexpected beauty of the Texas coast.
Hardcover, $36.85
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ISBN: 978-0-292-75770-7
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