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Event Announcements and CFPs

CFP: Narrating “New Normal”: Graduate Student Symposium

May 17-18, 2021

Organized by: Global Storytelling: Journal of Digital and Moving Images

Centre for Film and Moving Image Research (FMIR)

Academy of Film, School of Communication, Hong Kong Baptist University

Abstracts Due: Dec 1, 2020


What is “new normal?” As the COVID-19 pandemic sickens millions, isolates billions, and brings economies to a standstill around the globe, the phrase has entered the everyday lexicon of governments, news, and social media, with many regarding the ensuing widespread shift of basic human activities online – school, shopping, work, and socializing – as a “new normal.” Yet, the phrase “new normal” itself is not new. Governments, corporations, and institutions readily deploy “new normal” to legitimize regulations, laws, and policies that ensure organizational survival in crisis, thereby relegating the people whose uncertain livelihoods they normalize as expendable. After the 2008 financial crisis, American economists declared reduced consumer spending due to chronic underemployment as “new normal.” In 2014, PRC President Xi Jinping described steadily diminished GDP growth as a more stable “新常態” — a direct translation of “new normal” that Chinese state media now regularly employ to allay public panic about economic volatility. As a malleable signifier designed to manage expectations, “new normal” weaves itself into visions of a stable post-crisis future as though normalcy requires only minor adjustment to major disasters.


Through its widespread circulation and vernacularization, “new normal” normalizes precarity and obfuscates the uncertainties wrought by crises, especially for those who cannot simply adjust. However, everyday netizens also use the narrative of “new normal” to convey their current experiences and imaginations of the future, whether hopeful or pessimistic. Novel articulations of “new normal” emerge as human activities and relationships shift online. Empowered by inexpensive technology and broadcasted to mass audiences through social media networks, ordinary people have become global storytellers with the capacity to weave affecting stories of “new normal” that effect how the concurrent epidemiological and political upheavals will shape human society.


We invite graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to present their research on digital and moving image stories and storytelling about “new normal(s).” We ask how internet users, film and media makers, institutions, governments, and other cultural organizations narrate “new normal” as a way of shaping reality, producing knowledge, and making emotional sense of drastic change. What, indeed, is “new normal?” What does it mean for something new to be normal? What stories do people and organizations tell about “new normal”? Who tells these stories, and how are these stories told?

Possible topics

  1. How do stories of “new normal” unfold and take shape in various media platforms?
  2. What roles do storytelling on digital media platforms play in ascribing meanings to “new normal?”
  3. How do digital media users and organizations use “new normal,” to what end, and what new meanings does the phrase signify?

Possible topics for this conference include, but are not limited to:


  • Emotional experiences of “new normal” and uncertainty
  • Digital media, relationships, and intimacy
  • Borders, boundaries, quarantine, and social distance
  • Precarity, discrimination, and disenfranchisement
  • Public health and cultural politics
  • Social media and community organizing
  • Online activism and cancel culture
  • Online learning and teaching
  • Crisis economics and essential services
  • Ecosystem collapse and environmental catastrophe
  • E-commerce and new economies
  • Global, regional, and national politics and policies
  • Risk and crisis management
  • State power, surveillance, and censorship
  • Deglobalization, populism, and authoritarianism

Submission information and acceptance

To submit a proposal, please send an extended abstract of no more than 500 words, 2-page CV, and email address for correspondence to by December 1, 2020.


Results will be emailed by January 15, 2021. Draft full papers (approximately 6000 words) will be uploaded and shared amongst presenters before the conference. The Centre for Film and Moving Image Research (FMIR) in the Academy of Film at Hong Kong Baptist University will offer need-based financial support to participants at the discretion of the conference organizers. Selected papers will be published in special issue of Global Storytelling: Journal of Digital and Moving Images.

CFP: Global Storytelling: Journal of Digital and Moving Images Issue 1.2: Open Issue

Issue 1.2: Open Issue

Deadline: December 1, 2020


Global Storytelling: Journal of Digital and Moving Images is a biannual peer-reviewed academic journal run by the Centre for Film and Moving Image Research (FMIR) in the Academy of Film at Hong Kong Baptist University and published by the University of Michigan Press. Global Storytelling brings scholarly engagement in film and media studies back to the fundamentals of storytelling by publishing essays, short commentaries, and reviews about the stories people tell, how people tell and receive stories, and the ways that storytelling practices around the world shape human experience. Responding to the accelerating digital globalization of our contemporary era, Global Storytelling critically examines the evolving methods and ongoing global events that both convey and contextualize moving image storytelling today, yesterday, and tomorrow. 


This open issue of Global Storytelling invites articles, editorials, and book reviews from film, media, communication, cultural and gender studies scholars; historians, political scientists, and sociologists; critics and curators; and policymakers and public intellectuals that engage with the affect (emotional engagement) and effect (social impact) of audiovisual storytelling. We cover a range of storytelling modes, genres, platforms, and industries — from narrative films to documentaries; TV dramas to vlogging; the multiplex to Netflix; social media influencing to esports casting; and Hong Kong to Hollywood, Bollywood, and Nollywood — with the aim of bridging the gap between academia and the wider world and deepening our understanding of how storytelling shapes our identities and perceptions.

Submission Guidelines

  • Submissions must be delivered by email to the editors of Global Storytelling: Journal of Digital and Moving Images at:
  • Global Storytelling will only consider essays between 6,000-10,000 words long, including notes and captions.
  • To facilitate the double-blind peer review process, the essay manuscript must be sent by email attachment as a Microsoft Word .doc/.docx file with all author information removed.
  • Submissions must include a separate title page with author name(s), affiliation(s), abstract of approximately 250 words, 6 keywords or terms, word count, acknowledgements, biography of less than 80 words, and email address for correspondence.
  • Submissions should follow the latest notes and bibliography guidelines of The Chicago Manual of Style. All bibliographic information should be in endnotes, and submissions should not include an additional bibliography. For further information, see:
  • Submissions that meet requirements will be sent to at least two separate experts for double-blind peer review.
  • Global Storytelling does not accept simultaneous submissions.


For further information, including complete submission guidelines, editorial board, and additional calls for conference papers and themed issues, please see the journal homepage:


Ying Zhu (Hong Kong Baptist University)

Founder & Editor-in-Chief


Global Storytelling: Journal of Digital and Moving Images

Editorial Board

Open Calls and Submission Guidelines