Call for Contributions

Dossier: Scarcity and the Supply Chain Crisis in Media and Urban Culture

The global pandemic and the ensuing supply chain crisis has brought questions of scarcity, resources, logistics, and distribution to the fore. The contemporary moment is defined by shortages — of goods, energy, labor, and transportation — as well as media imagery of scarcity and systemic breakdown, from the everyday reality of empty supermarket shelves to global news events such as the blockage of the Suez Canal by the container ship Ever Given. 

Mediapolis is seeking short articles that address the impact of scarcity and the global supply chain crisis on media/urban culture from multiple perspectives. 

Questions to consider include: What happens to global cities and urban culture when supply chains break down? How do we reconceptualize cities as places of scarcity rather than abundance? How has the supply chain crisis been represented by the media? How have the media industries been affected by scarcity?  How can visual and narrative forms engage with the complexity of global logistics and supply chains? What theoretical or conceptual tools help us to frame these issues? And what are the political implications of the current crisis for social and environmental justice?

We are also interested in receiving essays on comparable historical moments (such as the 1973 oil crisis) or analyses of film, television, or other cultural objects that engage with the theme of scarcity in other periods.  

Please submit a short summary paragraph of your proposed article and a short bio by January 5, 2022 to Lawrence Webb ( and Elizabeth Patton ( Deadline for draft submissions is January 24, 2022. Completed essays should be 1,000 -1,500 words. Please include two to three images. 

Mediapolis: A Journal of Cities and Culture is an interdisciplinary online journal of media and urban culture. We publish research across multiple academic fields — including, but not limited to, media studies, urban studies, geography, film, architecture, art history, visual culture, digital humanities, sound, and music.