Welcome to the first edition of a new section of Mediapolis dedicated to innovative undergraduate scholarship. As many of you will certainly acknowledge, a great deal of our labor goes into teaching, where we help students to develop their voice, understand scholarly debates and their stakes, and to, hopefully, see themselves as meaningful contributors to those debates. In my own experience, this process has been one of the most rewarding parts of my career. I am consistently surprised by the level of thoughtful, compelling, and insightful work completed by my undergraduate students.
Yet, little undergraduate work is ever seen, read, or heard by anyone other than their professors. There are few outlets for students to share their work. Although some students present at conferences, few ever submit to academic journals, as there are only a handful of presses that publish undergraduate student work.
As a member of the editorial board of Mediapolis, I am excited and hopeful in providing undergraduate students with a place and an audience with whom to share their work. Especially because the study of media cities is an emerging field, the courses being taught in this area are some of the most exciting, innovative, and groundbreaking curricula today. Undergraduates have a unique opportunity to contribute to this growing field. It is my hope that this platform will motivate students, expose their research to a broader public and expose that public to exciting new voices and ideas, as well as encourage students to see that they have a stake in a broader conversation that matters. We hope to publish this section of Mediapolis twice per year.
If you are teaching a course or otherwise receive undergraduate student papers that you feel would fit well within the areas of Mediapolis, please encourage your students to send their essays to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Mediapolis Undergraduate Submission.” All papers will be peer-reviewed, and students will be given an opportunity to revise according to reviewers’ suggestions. We expect the second issue to come out in May, 2018 and request that all submissions for this second issue are received by February 15, 2018. Contact Helen Morgan-Parmett at the above email address with any questions!