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.
On 9 March 2020, just two days before the World Health Organisation would name the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic, Italy declared a nation-wide lockdown. Over the following weeks, cities, states, and nations around the world would do the same, dramatically changing the social landscape for millions of individuals. Overnight, it seemed, Zoom became the default modality for remote engagement, rapidly morphing from brand name to eponymous generic—a verb and a place and mode of being all at once. In an era of COVID-19, our relationships and experiences are deeply intertwined with our ability to “zoom.”
This nearly worldwide and ubiquitous shift to remote work and remote play was both unprecedented and entirely anticipated. While teleworking, digital commerce, online learning, and social networking were common fare by 2020, in March of that year telepresence shifted from option to mandate, and Zooming became a daily practice for tens of millions of individuals worldwide. This shift has resulted in new forms of artistic innovations, new modes of pedagogy, and new ways of social organising, but it has also created new forms (and exacerbated existing forms) of exploitation, inequity, social isolation and precarity.
This issue of M/C Journal will explore the impacts and implications of Zoom and other teleconferencing platforms one year after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We seek a wide range of submissions that will explore how a simple, four letter word has come to encapsulate a distinct moment in human history. How do we Zoom, and why?
We invite contributions that explore the experiences of our new cultural reality of Zoom through a variety of disciplines and areas of investigation, including (but not limited to):