M/C Journal and “The Aging Comedian as Letter N”

Saturday, November 28, 2020

As I was working on my dissertation at UC San Diego back in 2003, I noticed a call for papers on the subject of humor from a peer-reviewed journal coming out of Australia. Here is their self-description:

M/C Journal
M/C Journal was founded (as “M/C – A Journal of Media and Culture”) in 1998 as a place of public intellectualism analysing and critiquing the meeting of media and culture. M/C Journal is a fully blind-, peer-reviewed academic journal, open to submissions from anyone. We take seriously the need to move ideas outward, so that our cultural debates may have some resonance with wider political and cultural interests. Each issue is organised around a one-word theme (see our past issues), and is edited by one or more guest editors with a particular interest in that theme. Each issue has a feature article which engages with the theme in some detail, followed by several shorter articles.

https://journal.media-culture.org.au/index.php/mcjournal

I have no idea of how I ended up seeing a CFP (“Call for Papers”) for M/C Journal, but I remember quickly pounding out a first draft of what was basically a personal essay and sending it off. “Uh, where are the footnotes?” the editorial staff asked. They were interested in my approach to the theme of “joke,” but wanted at least a touch of an academic tone. I really didn’t have time to do much research, so I worked up a pair of citations and that proved to be enough.

I’m going to post the article tomorrow, but wanted to give this background information first. In a certain way, I can see how this article served as a creative bookmark. I recently wrote a long prose monologue, “The Aging Comedian as Letter N,” which Paul Vangelisti recorded for Magra Radio. One of the jokes that is cited in the article in 2003 turns up again in that monologue.

I like M/C Journal very much and wish I had time to read every issue. I admire the way that the editorial control shifts with every issue, so that the magazine’s participation in the ideal of “open access” is a viable actuality.I would love to see a volume of the “thirty best” essays, followed by a list of other representative essays that have achieved some distinction or even notoriety.

For those who would like to contribute to a magazine that takes popular culture seriously but doesn’t talk down to its reader, then I would highly recommend taking a look at it. If you might even consider writing something yourself, you should know that the next three issues will be on the theme words of: “BUBBLES”; “DARK”; and “ZOOM.”

The current issue (Vol. 23, No. 6 – 2020) is on the theme of exclusion and is edited by Susanne Eichner and Corinna Luthje.

Past theme words include:

Anomaly
Revelation
Dissimulation
Violence
Dream
Time
Prosthetics
Wandering
Regional
Vegan
Rage
Nineties
Walking
Protest
Automediality
Trans-seriality
North
History
Depict
Caption
Bu8ild
Alternative
Abroad
Transform
Place
Mentor
Corporeal
Re-imagine
Beginnings
Curate
Fat
Technicque
Authentic
Counterculture
Illegitimate
Gothic
Persona
Cute
Taste
Augment
Resilient (Vol. 16, No. 5 (2013)
Remix
Cookbook
Mining
Catastrophe
Marriage
lList
Embody
Ecology
Coffee
Suspicion
Impact
Zone
Suburbia
Trouble
Diaspora
Doubt
Coalition
Pig
Waste
Deaf
Ambient
Cohesion
Disclose
Climate
Obsolete
Enthuse
Still
Recover
Country
Publish
Able
Equal
Vote/Citizen
(Please note that in this issue – Vol. 11, No. 1 – 2008), one of the articles is entitled
“Couchsurfing, Delocator, and Fallen Fruit: Websites Respond to a Crisis of Democracy”)
Error
Home
Complex
Adapt
Mobile
Jam
Filth
Free
Street
Collaborate
Transmit
Affect
Review
Scan
Copy
Print
Bad
Order
Fame
Porn
Open
Open
Turf
Text
Joke (Vol. 6, No. 5 – 2003)
Fibre
Logo
Share
Fight
Love
Self
Loop
Colour
Urban
Fear
Work
Creator
Sick
Mix
Sorry
Renew
Game
Chat
Speed
Culture
Audience
Future
End
Food
Machine
Desire
Pop
Flesh
Invasion
Fiction
Play
Space
Identity
Memory
New