(If you are interested in pitching a review of some specific current work or performance, please contact the appropriate section editor.) We prefer careful analysis of the chosen subject matter with the intention of supporting an original thesis; we aren’t particularly interested in articles that merely want to promote their subject. An assessment of what ideological work a given pop culture phenomenon performs (i.e. what has allowed something to become popular, what’s at stake in its popularity besides money, how it is situated in a historical or geographical context, etc.) is especially welcome. Ideally essays will draw on sophisticated interpretive strategies derived from a theoretically informed point of view, but will be presented for a general reader in lively, accessible language.
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PopMatters is looking for talented music writers.
We’re looking for talented writers with deep genre knowledge of music and its present and past alongside a cultural generalist perspective with strong interests in many areas of culture.
Regular CD reviews run 500-700 words and display a knowledge of music history and real genre expertise, rather than simply “I like this” or “I hate that”. They should employ a smart look at the music within its larger cultural contexts. Capsule reviews run between 100-150 words and writers are expected to write both long reviews as well as capsules, and keep up with tight deadlines.
Feature pieces are in excess of 1,200 words and look at a particular artist, genre, trend or happening within the music world. They also look at the intersection between music and other cultural forms such as film, TV, multimedia, fashion, and politics. These pieces can include artist interviews and profiles of an exceeding smart and critical nature.
Pitch Deadline: 4 April 2015
First Drafts: 20 May 2015
Final Essay Deadline: 15 June 2015
Contact: Erin Giannini and Karen Zarker
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Email subject line: Doctor Who: Contents & Contexts
Doctor Who holds the distinction of not only being the longest running sci-fi series, but also one of the longest running prime-time series, ever. While numerous scholarship (both academic and non) has examined both the original series (1963-1989) and the rebooted series (2005-present), we are seeking to examine the historical and cultural contexts of the series, including topics such as the “missing” episodes, the show’s place on the BBC, its global transmission, and branding of the series. (We will not be covering analyses of fandom or individual episodes.)
Deadline: None. This is a standing call.
Contact: Karen Zarker
Email: zarker at popmatters dot com
PopMatters seeks intelligent and open minds to review books covering the entire spectrum of popular culture, from the big guns of the megapublishers to the edgy voices coming from the radical indie presses. Ideal reviews provide contextual commentary and bring an historical awareness to the article—PopMatters book reviews are far more substantial than the average “liked it / hated it” review.
With the intent of providing continued intelligent and entertaining content in the PopMatters’ Columns section, we are looking to broaden our staff of columnists and the voice of our writers’ community. We’re particularly interested in writers who live and work outside of the US, but that is not a deciding factor; in all cases, no matter the writer’s locale, we’re looking for those who can approach an array of cultural subject matter from their patch of the world with an international sensibility; that is, contextualize the local with an awareness of its place, historical and current, in the broader world.
Qualified writers are already readers of PopMatters (as but one vital supplement in their varied intellectual diet). They are familiar with the work of our current columnists, as well as other areas of the magazine, and they have a solid sense of what we’re looking for in content and caliber in these essays. We deliberately use the terms “essays” and “columns” interchangeably; as pieces are broad in scope yet grounded in real-world examples, and they are tied to regular deadlines and an established identity (and therein lay the “columnist” element). With these expectations in mind, we have monthly and every-other-month column slots available. Suitable writers are dedicated to regular deadlines and enjoy participating in friendly, ongoing communications with their editor.