From the Sony Walkman to Rupaul’s Drag Race – a Landscape of Contemporary Popular Culture

Editors: Tonny Krijnen, Niall Brennan and Frederik Dhaenens.

Since the early 1970s, studies of popular culture have been rooted in Marxist approaches to popular texts. Mostly focusing on subcultures, cultural resistance and popular media like television, music and magazines, early popular culture studies revealed the political salience of popular culture texts in the organization of (mostly Western) societies. Half a century later, popular culture has changed tremendously. Sociocultural, political-economic and technological developments have transformed the production, distribution and reception of popular culture. The discipline now urges media and cultural scholars to look at the current state of the art of popular industries, texts, producers and consumers on a global scale. While popular culture studies’ roots in Marxist theory are still present – as the political is invariably a focal point of popular culture studies – other themes and approaches have emerged, including queer visibility and representation, ‘race’ and ethnicity, humour and satire, nationhood and nationalism, fandom and fan cultures, reality and mis/information, informal and self-produced culture, sports and mega-events, and transnational media, among many others. This special issue aims to examine and explore contemporary trends and topics under investigation by scholars of popular culture, with a particular focus on the contemporary intersections that the study of popular culture evokes, such as cultural studies, (digital) media studies, gender and queer studies, diaspora studies, crip studies, and performance, drag, roleplay and game studies. The issue, therefore, encourages contributions entailing multiple perspectives on the richness and diversity of the current state of popular culture as a continuously emerging and evolving field of study.


  • Deadline for abstracts: 1-15 June 2020
  • Deadline for articles: 15-30 October 2020
  • Publication: April 2021

For more information see:

Instructions for authors:

Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal’s instructions for authors and send their abstracts (about 250 words, with a tentative title and reference to the thematic issue) by email to the Editorial Office ( When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Media and Communication is an open-access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee).


As the journal is open access, they do require a so-called article processing charge (APC) for each manuscript accepted for publication, which is €900 (plus VAT, if applicable ( As such, please make sure whether your university either has an institutional membership with the journal ( or provides funding for open access publication. Authors who demonstrate financial need and cannot afford the article processing charge can apply for a waiver during the article submission procedure (waiver requests during or after peer-review will not be considered). Requests will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and may be granted in cases of genuine need. Due to the numerous costs associated to open access publishing, Cogitatio can only accept processing a limited number of waived submissions per issue.