Oceánide, as the journal of the Spanish Society for the Study of Popular Culture, has contributed to the re-evaluation and increasing recognition of what the canon has traditionally referred to as “popular culture”, which Spanish Academia has long been reluctant to embrace. By doing this, both the journal and SELICUP have contributed to bringing cultural studies somewhat closer to the centre in Spanish Academia—a task which sister associations like IBACS (Iberian Association for Cultural Studies) have also set upon themselves.
After all these years, and in line with what a great many contributions to the journal (and papers presented at the eight international SELICUP conferences held to date), the Oceánide editorial team have decided to revise the journal’s focus and scope, also in line with the new vision that the SELICUP board have for the journal’s parent association. Accordingly, the journal’s new focus and scope derive from three main principles:
1. While contributions with literary approaches and focusing on popular culture will still be welcome, the editorial board want to take this further. Literary approaches and methodologies are still highly visible within cultural studies, even if this field of study is interdisciplinary by definition. This may well be because many cultural products can be analysed narratively and also because cultural studies scholars have a background as humanists (and, in Spain, as philologists). It is, however, necessary that other approaches and methodologies should be given greater visibility, thus fostering interdisciplinary dialogue. Likewise, cultural studies has been associated, almost since its very inception, with popular culture. In this regard, there is no denying that cultural studies has greatly contributed to the reassessment of “popular” culture, as cultural studies has never focused on the artistic or aesthetic value of the materials it analyses, placing emphasis instead on the ideological content these disseminate or reproduce. Excessive attention to “popular” culture—which cultural studies has been criticised for—may well have been a natural reaction to decades (or rather, centuries) of neglect of the “non-canonical”. However, doing cultural studies is not necessarily synonymous with a focus on “popular culture”: the canon can also be approached from alternative perspectives, by focusing not quite so much on its artistic value as on its role as a vehicle for the dissemination of both hegemonic and counterhegemonic discourses.
2. Cultural studies in Spain is still a fairly new field of study, and there is still a long way to go (there are currently no cultural studies departments in the country). However, cultural studies has undoubtedly “infiltrated” Spanish Academia through the English departments of many universities. Consequently, most of the contributions made by Spanish scholars to the field of cultural studies focus on materials and contexts pertaining to the English-speaking world, while the world-renowned academics whose research focuses on Spain or the Spanish-speaking world are typically non-Spanish. In this light, and while the journal will still welcome pieces of research focusing on Anglophone contexts, the time has come for Oceánide to foster contributions with a different focus, including comparative studies.
3. Beyond academic labels, SELICUP and its journal Oceánide share a common vision, driven by the need to break through the departmentalisation of knowledge by fostering interdisciplinary approaches, as this can only enrich research while bringing it closer to society, thus recovering the essence of Renaissance humanism.
Persuaded of the need to make the above come true, the Oceánide Editorial Board are especially open to contributions which, whilst not necessarily emphasising their adherence to specific disciplinary labels, effectively contribute to the visibility of the interdisciplinary continuum of knowledge that is already being referred to as “post-humanistic” in some quarters, which in turn involves a rapprochement between the Humanities and other disciplines with a more social orientation such as anthropology, sociology, media studies and semiotics, to name but a few.
The journal Oceánide was founded in 2009 with the objective of consolidating Cultural Studies and Popular Culture in Spain. Since then, a large number of national and international scholars have joined this project supervised by the Spanish Society for the Study of Popular Culture SELICUP. After the consolidation of Cultural Studies in Spain with the conferences held in Seville, A Coruña, Cáceres, Toledo and Palma de Mallorca, and the Society’s publications during the last 14 years, Oceánide has become one of the most representative publications of our society, which is presently preparing and editing our next issue.
The journal, which is published annually, is open to new proposals throughout the whole year, although two major deadlines apply: 30th June and 30th December, respectively. Proposals accepted for publication in a calendar year are not necessarily published in our next issue, as there is a publication lag. This delay especially affects the articles submitted after 30th June every year.
The Editorial Team
23rd March 2019