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 annually in the spring and winter, Mise-en-scène is the official film studies journal of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, where it is sponsored by the Faculty of Arts, the KDocsFF Documentary Film Festival, the KPU Library, and the English Department.  It appears in EBSCO's Film and Television Literature Index.

Submission Process

Submissions to Mise-en-scène undergo a rigorous peer review process in which a team of up to three experts in the field evaluate manuscripts over a six-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 revision 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.