ISSN: 1601829X
Online ISSN: 20400586
First published in 2002
1 issues per volume
Current Issue:
Volume 13 / Issue 1 Free Issue
Volume: 12 | Issue: 1
Call for Papers

Download the NL Notes for Contributors

Aims and Scope of the Journal

Northern Lights: Film and Media Studies Yearbook is a peer reviewed international yearbook started in 2002 and dedicated to studies of film and media. Each yearbook is devoted to a specific theme. In addition, every volume may include articles on other topics as well as review articles. The yearbook wants to further interdisciplinary studies of media with a special emphasis on film, television and new media. Since the yearbook was founded in Scandinavia, the editors feel a special obligation towards Scandinavian and European perspectives.

But in a global media world it is important to have a global perspective on media culture. The yearbook is therefore open to all relevant aspects of film and media culture: We want to publish articles of excellent quality that are worth reading and have direct relevance for both academics in the broad, interdisciplinary field of media studies in both humanities and social sciences and for students in that area. But we also want to appeal to a broader public interested in thorough and well-written articles on film and other media.

Call for Submissions

Northern Lights: Film and Media Studies Yearbook is published once a year and the publication has the form of a book-length anthology of articles related to a specific theme, but also with articles outside the theme. The editor is always open to receiving submissions. Articles should not exceed 8000 words, contain references and bibliography, and must include an abstract of no more than 150 words.

Call for submissions to Northern Lights, Volume 16 - Themed Issue on:

Television Drama in the Age of Media Convergence
TV drama seems to be in a state of permanent transformation. However, the present transformation hits the core of TV drama as we knew it, challenging the very concept of what TV drama used to be. Even if we choose to maintain the concept of TV, questions abound: Does digital TV increase choice and diversity, or does it just offer more recycled TV drama programmes? Does it change the role and obligations of public service broadcasting? To what extent are global TV drama formats favoured and enjoyed by audiences? The recent transition to digital TV and the impact of media convergence raise crucial aesthetic, cultural, social and political questions.
Technologically, TV has experienced a digital revolution, paving the way for seamless viewing via online distribution and streaming. Besides streaming, companies such as HBO and Netflix have launched themselves as commissioners and producers of original programming with yet-unknown consequences for traditional TV channels and production companies. Consequently, new models of production, distribution and consumption are developing. The tendency towards convergence between cinema and TV drama has accelerated. Directors usually associated with cinema such as Martin Scorsese, Jane Campion and Steven Soederbergh have made joint ventures with TV production companies, launching exclusive TV series with film actors. Furthermore, the intersections between television and social media, from debates on various websites to hashtags, live-tweeting and second screen phenomena, constitute an area of clear importance.
During the same period, TV drama has been an object to globalisation on a compelling scale, which manifests itself in different ways. This is felt in increasing coproduction and co-financing, in international casts and international exchanges of directors and script writers. English/American is the language of advantage, in which all kinds of cross-national productions are primarily performed. Is this state of affairs challenged by Asian, South American, or non-English European productions?
Alternative tendencies co-exist with globalisation and binge viewing. Broadcast TV is no longer considered “the private life of a nation state” (John Ellis 1982). Nevertheless, national broadcasters in many nations, such as the Scandinavian countries and the UK, continue producing TV drama, and the often-excellent ratings suggest that there remains an audience for their productions. Although national TV drama may primarily address a domestic audience, it is often made from a cross-cultural perspective, addressing the extended family at home as well as the more remote relatives in other countries. But how is this achieved?
In this volume of Northern Lights, we will focus on the transformation of TV drama in the age of media convergence and consider how we can understand this transformation by reconfiguring our theoretical and analytical approaches.

Topics of article proposals may include (but are not restricted to):
  • Production studies: What can researchers’ contact with the cultural industries provide vis-à-vis audience studies or text studies? In which ways do routines, rituals or production rules interfere with the production processes? Which roles can be attributed to the choice of places and spaces of production? Which roles do local, regional or national organisations play in the planning processes, and which part is played by aesthetics/timing/economy in international cooperation? How does television production change according to the new challenges and opportunities presented by TV series in a ‘post-television’ era?
  • Text studies and aesthetics: So-called quality drama characterised by high production values has been key to the recent interest in TV drama taken by TV researchers worldwide. But what exactly is quality drama? Is the concept of ‘production values’ valid in aesthetic analysis? Narrowing the perspective: What are the consequences of digital transformations and the new means of distribution? To what extent have the concepts of genre and narrative design changed alongside platforms and business models?
  • Distribution studies: Analyses of the changing economic and technological conditions of distribution. In the face of digital distribution to smartphones, tablets, and computers, to which degree can we still speak of ‘television’? New business models have emerged or are emerging, such as subscription video-on-demand (SVOD), transaction video-on-demand (TVOD), and ad-supported video-on-remand (AVOD). When it comes to streaming, there are also distinctions to be made, e.g. download-to-rent or download-to-own. What are the consequences of these new modes of distribution?
  • Audience studies: Reconsiderations of the aims and results of audience studies from a national/global perspective. Can dominant audience patterns be discerned vis-à-vis national TV drama productions, adaptations, and international remakes respectively? How are viewing patterns changed by factors such as second screening, streaming on demand, and the option of viewing wherever you are? What roles do fan cultures and online discussions play?
Send extended abstracts of 500-600 words to volume editors Professor Gunhild Agger ( and Associate Professor Mette Mortensen (
Deadline for abstract submission: 1 April 2015
Notification of authors: 15 April 2015
Final article submission: 1 September 2015
Publication: Spring 2016


Already Published

The themes covered so far in the yearbook can be seen from the following list:

Vol. 1(2002): Realism and Reality in Film and Media

is dedicated to the representation of reality in film, TV and new media - a question of new importance in modern film and media, where a new wave of realism has dominated cinema and reality-TV became a mass phenomena on both TV and the internet. 11 articles by Danish, British, and American film and media researchers focus on two sub-themes: "Film and Realism" deals theoretically with film realism and analyses classic films and modern Danish Dogma films; "Documentary Forms, Reality TV and New Media" treats new forms of non-fiction film, TV and on the internet in a both theoretical and historical perspective. Authors: Ib Bondebjerg, Anne Jerslev, John Corner, Torben Grodal, John Ellis, Johannes Riis, Birger Langkjær, Arine Kirstein, Stig Hjarvard and John Caldwell.

Vol 2 (2003): Media in a Globalized Society

is concerned with the ways in which media take part in processes of globalization, including how they challenge existing cultures and create new and alternative symbolic and cultural environments. The volume addresses these questions through theoretical discussions and re-examination of existing international research and through a series of individual empirical studies covering global media phenomenon like the Olympics, the talk show, international beauty contests, satellite television, and media discourses on national culture. Authors: Stig Hjarvard, Daniel Biltereyst, Henrik Søndergaard, Hanne Bruun, Kirsten Frandsen, Norbert Wildermuth, Kevin Robins.

Vol 3 (2004): Visual Authorship. Creativity and Intentionality in Media

is a collection of essays offering a new approach to the study of authorship. The contributors point out that individual creativity is essential in the richly faceted media landscape of today. Individual creativity and the role of authorship are discussed in relation to film, television, computer games and the Internet. Theories of cognition and emotion offer new tools for the understanding of visual aesthetics; they explain why works of art are created by individuals and not by discourses and ideologies. Several contributors analyse in detail the works of Lars von Trier. Authors: Torben Grodal, Casper Tybjerg, Patrick Colm Hogan, Johannes Riis, Peter Schepelern, Birger Langkjær, Bente Larsen, Iben Thorving Laursen and Espen Aarseth.

Vol 4 (2006): European Film and Media Culture

is dedicated to the study of European film and media in general and gives a view of the general political and historical development of European media as well as case studies of European film and European television. In focus here are the problems related to national media cultures in a European and global context. Some of the articles discuss the American film and media as the general common culture all over Europe and the lack of a transnational European counterpart. The case studies cover both case studies of Turkey, Netherland, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, England and Hungary. The articles focus on different genres like popular European art films, television fiction-series, children's television, game shows, reality-series and more. Authors: Miyase and Christian Christensen, Miguel Angel Casado, Katalyn Lustyik, Sonja de Leeuw, Andreas Fickers, Dave Sinardet, Hilde van den Bulck, Helle Kannik Hastrup, Ib Bondebjerg, Peter Schepelern and Lennard Højbjerg Hansen.

Vol 5 (2007): Digital Aesthetics and Communication

examines how Media proliferate and migrate across new technological devices in an ongoing digital revolution. This involves changing aesthetics as well as refigured communication patterns. Among the questions raised for current scholars as well as for media practitioners are the following: 

Are 'new media' new in a more fundamental way than previous media? How are players coming to produce the computer games they play, and how does this phenomenon relate to the economic logic of Web 2.0? How are statesmen and -women dressing up their websites, and do these sites add to our democracies? To what extent and in which ways are media converging? These are just some of the questions discussed in this book, which collects contributions from: Klaus Bruhn Jensen, Arild Fetveit, Ib Bondebjerg, Adam Arvidsson, Kjetil Sandevik, Niel Brügger, Kristine Jørgensen, Gitte Bang Stald, Jay Bolter, Lev Manovich.

Vol 6 (2008): The mediatization of religion: enchantment, media and popular culture

focuses on the interconnectedness of popular culture, media and religion and discusses the role of media in the possible (re-)enchantment of cultural experiences. Popular culture provides an important source for a variety of popular religious beliefs, and media industries actively seeks to develop religious-like bonds to audiences in the form of fan cultures, brand communities etc. Furthermore, both old and new religious movements and beliefs have found new ways to reach their congregations through digital media. Due to the expanding role of the media system religion has become mediatized.. While late modernity in general is characterized by the spread of rationality, the popular culture of the media may be a growing source of enchantment. This book includes contributions from Stig Hjarvard, Graham Murdock, Torben Grodal, Casper Tybjerg, Ryan G. Hornbeck, Justin L. Barrett, Line Nybro Petersen, Christopher Partridge, Helle Kannik Haastrup, Lynn Schofield Clark, Ehab Galal and Lars-Martin Sørensen.

Vol 7 (2009): Film, Media & Politics

This issue deals with documentary films, democracy and the war on terror, media coverage of the falling of the Berlin wall, the role on online media in elections and politics, political news in a cross media perspective, feature films and politics in Europe and media events and international politics. Volume editors: Ib Bondebjerg and Jens Hof

Vol 8 (2010): Newspapers and Journalism in transition:The Printed Press as a Cultural and Political Resource in Contemporary News Landscapes

The 2010 volume of Northern Lights focuses on the function of the printed press as a cultural and political resource, at a time when extensive changes to both the market structure and journalistic content of newspapers entail large-scale consequences for the press, as well as for the public in general.

Vol 9 (2011): Media and Crime - Fiction and Journalism

This issue focuses on the relationship between media and crime. Since the modern, urban breakthrough, mediation of crime has been a crucial factor in determining how crime is perceived within the public sphere. It has enabled a dissemination of the discussion on moral and ethical issues from the few enlightened to the many. Crime is the central point of an extensive production of fiction in books, films, TV series, and games. Crime is also one of the most popular subjects of journalism, mediated in newspapers and electronic media, not least the internet. On this background, the concept of mediatization can be considered as a term apt to designate the new relationship between media, crime and society.

Vol 10 (2012): Re-thinking Film and Media Production: Creativity, Convergence and Participation

The 2012 volume of Northern Lights focuses on the renewed interest in film and media production. In recent years there has been a shift across a broad field of media and cultural studies from primarily devoting attention to the finished product, oeuvre or reception to also considering production practices. On the one hand, technological changes in the modes of production and distribution have caused a blurring of boundaries between media consumers and producers. On the other hand, concurrent with a heightened awareness of the project-based nature of work in creative industries, a scholarly interest in creative collaborations, choices and constraints as well as institutional contexts have emerged. New empirical topics along with new theoretical and analytical tools have gained ground within film and media research in response to this development. Areas of studies such as ‘screenwriting’, ‘creativity’ and ‘convergence culture’ are appearing, just as familiar theoretical keywords like ‘production aesthetics’ and ‘cultural production’ are being rethought. Acknowledging that the conditions of production have a great impact on the framework for reception, production analysis and theory may pave the way for new insights into the aesthetical, technological, ethical, ideological, political and economical aspects of film and media.

Vol 11 (2013): Age, generation and the media

Vol 12 (2014): New media talk

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