Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope


Mise-en-scène: The Journal of Film & Visual Narration (MSJ) is the first of its kind: an international, peer-reviewed journal focused exclusively on the artistry of frame composition as a storytelling technique. With its open-access, open-review publishing model, MSJ strives to be a synergistic, community-building hub for discourse that begins at the level of the frame. Scholarly analysis of lighting, set design, costuming, camera angles, camera proximities, depth of field, and character placement are just some of the topics that the journal covers. While primarily concerned with discourse in and around the film frame, MSJ also includes narratological analysis at the scene and sequence level of related media (television and online) within its scope. Particularly welcome are articles that dovetail current debates, research, and theories as they deepen the understanding of filmic storytelling. The journal's contributing writers are an interdisciplinary mixture of graduate students, academics, filmmakers, film scholars, and cineastes, a demographic that also reflects the journal's readership. Published twice a year by Simon Fraser University, Mise-en-scène is the official film studies journal of the Department of English at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. It appears in EBSCO's Film and Television Literature Index.

 

 

Section Policies

Articles

Feature Articles are research essays that engage in theoretical, practical, pedagogical, and/or historical analysis of the visual narrative in film or related digital media. As mise-en-scène analysis is a foundational component of a feature article, all submissions in this category must integrate a series of images from the film(s) in question – in the range of 8-10 stills that are numbered, captioned, and attributed. Citations must be in MLA format, while the overall article—inclusive of endnotes and citations—must be between 6,000 to 7,000 words.

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Mise-en-scène Featurettes

Mise-en-scène Featurettes are critical essays that deconstruct a chosen scene from a film by undertaking a mise-en-scène analysis of 3-5 of its frames. This concentrated discussion could evaluate camera angles, proxemics, set or costume design, lighting or any other combination of elements that help to tell the story. Featurettes fall into the 1,000-1,500 word range (inclusive of endnotes and citations), MLA format.

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Book Reviews

Book Reviews are essays that provide a scholarly critique of the latest texts in the field. Text may range from the theoretical and the practical to the pedagogical and the historical. Unless otherwise specified, an MSJ book review focuses on a new release, or one published within an 6-month window around the CFP deadline. Reviews follow the MLA format and are 1,500 to 2,500 words, inclusive of endnotes and citations.

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DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

DVD and Blu-ray Reviews are essays that provide a critical evaluation of a DVD or Blu-ray release to pontential viewers. Unless otherwise specified, this review category covers new releases, or those issued within an 6-month window around the CFP deadline. Reviews follow the MLA format and are 1,500 to 2,500 words, inclusive of endnotes and citations.

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Film Festival Reviews

Film Festival Reviews are critical essays that provide an insider's look at regional, national or international film festivals and their proceedings. More than just a summary, the festival review assesses the event's selection of films, organization, theme, and contribution to the field of film and media studies. Unless otherwise specified, an MSJ film festival review concerns an event that takes place within an 6-month window around the CFP deadline. Reviews follow the MLA format and are 1,500 to 2,500 words, inclusive of endnotes and citations.

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Film Reviews

Editors
  • Greg Chan
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Conference Reports

Conference reports are critical essays that evaluate a film or media studies conference that the author has attended, usually within an 6-month window around the CFP deadline. The treatment usually includes an assessment of the conference's speakers, organization, theme, and contribution to the field. Conference reports follow the MLA format and are 1,500 to 2,500 words, inclusive of endnotes and citations.

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Interviews

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Thesis Abstracts

M.A. or Ph.D. Abstracts, for film and media studies theses that have been successfully defended and approved, can find a broader readership through a posting on MSJ’s selected listing of abstracts. Abstracts are 250-300 words and include an external link to the author’s or publisher’s site.

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Video Essays

Video Essays are op-ed pieces that provide voice-over commentary on a current form of digital storytelling such as vidding. Videos should be in the 5-7 minute range; preferred formats include MP4, AVI, FLV, and MOV.

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Contributors

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Promotions

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Special Feature: Undergraduate Scholarship

Periodically, MSJ will issue a CFP that invites submissions from undergraduate researchers. Manuscripts will follow the journal's usual requirements, but will be limited to a 2,000-2,500 word count.

Editors
  • Greg Chan
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Peer Review Process

Submissions to Mise-en-scène undergo a rigorous peer review process in which a team of two experts in the field evaluate manuscripts over a four-week period to determine their suitability for publication. The journal operates under the open-review model, whereby the reviewers, the editor, and the authors engage in a free exchange of formative feedback that eschews anonymity. By design, the MSJ review process emphasizes collegial interaction and scholarly support. Wherever possible, for instance, the editor will suggest alternate publications if a manuscript isn't a fit for MSJ.

At the end of the peer review, authors are notified by the editor about the status of their manuscripts. One of the following outcomes is assigned to each submission:

  1. Accept. The manuscript will be published with minor edits that are usually mechanical in nature.
  2. Accept with revisions. Once the author makes the revisions recommended by the reviewer(s), the manuscript will be published.
  3. Resubmit for review. The reviewers have determined that while the manuscript has potential, it requires substantial reworking of its content, structure, and/or expression. Another round of review is needed to determine whether it can move forward.
  4. Submit elsewhere. The manuscript is better suited to another publication.
  5. Decline. The review process has determined that the manuscript doesn't fit with the CFP or the Mise-en-scène mandate and isn't publishable at this time.

 

Criteria for Peer Review

Mise-en-scène reviewers are film and media studies scholars with backgrounds in teaching, research, production/performance, and/or publishing. Their expertise determines which manuscripts meet the journal's standards. They evaluate each submission based on the following criteria:

  • Originality. The manuscript offers a fresh approach to its critical inquiry. Interdisciplinary approaches are always welcome.
  • Theoretical framework. Critical theory is used clearly and consistently throughout the manuscript to guide its central argument.
  • Sound research base and proper documentation. The author has cited a combination of sources, following MLA conventions, that adds credibility and depth to the central argument.
  • Level of visual evidence. To practise mise-en-scène analysis, the author has integrated into the text a selection of frames for which he or she has obtained permissions. Images must have a minimum resolution of 300dpi.

 

 

Publication Frequency

Mise-en-scène is published on a semi-annual basis, with issues appearing in the spring and winter. All articles are available to readers in PDF format, while some offer MP3 versions.

 

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.