Our Abstract

The short and skinny:

Watercooler Journal is Columbia College Chicago’s online academic publication that focuses on the sharpest TV analysis from students to content creators and papers to multimedia… gifs included.

The impassioned rant:

We wanted to give students a space to express themselves about TV. That quickly changed once we realized that they already had one—the Internet. But faced with age-old and sometimes inaccessible academia, we saw a ground-shaking opportunity. People had created their own forms of analysis in tweets, .gifs, videos, and image sets…

As TV changes forms, shouldn’t its analysis?

Completely student run, Watercooler Journal is here to curate that idea, to form a gallery where hierarchy of form doesn’t dictate quality, and to foster a community where papers, multimedia, and social media work in harmony to stir academia with refreshing force—from Microsoft Word to Imgur to Tumblr and back again. This journey has brought us to what Watercooler Journal is today–a radically multimodal exploration of TV texts and audiences through a mashup of formal analysis and fan-made works. If it’s digital, it’s eligible.

Watercooler Journal is

  • multimodal mosaic-like issues that publish monthly during the academic year
  • an annual papers and think pieces issue
  • a Tumblr featuring weekly blurbs by student editors
  • a podcast featuring student editors and their takes on current TV
  • a presence in the critical and academic community

We’re committed to sharing our experiment, too. As we prepare for launching Volume 3 in 2015, we will share our journal “bible” directly on our site, opening our theoretical models, inspirations, and methods to the public so that anyone can learn from our process.

Welcome to our gallery. No admission fee. It’s a simple URL for the student researcher, the casual clicker, and the engaged classroom.

The only thing we ask?

You’ve gotta love TV.

-The Watercooler Journal Staff