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[ecrea] Call for Abstracts for *The Media Persona in Digital Media Culture* International Research Seminar

Mon Jan 29 23:11:28 GMT 2018


The Media Persona in Digital Media Culture

International Research-seminar May 9th. 2018 University of Copenhagen

Confirmed Keynote Speaker: Professor David Marshall Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia

Call for abstracts:
DEADLINE: March 1st, 2018: 250-300 words for paper presentations. Abstracts should be submitted to (h.k.haastrup /at/ and (moestrup /at/

One striking transformation in contemporary media culture is how individual self- presentations have become increasingly public and ubiquitous. We all make our mediated selves public in numerous ways both online and offline as part of our everyday life. Lately the ‘media persona’ has been re-introduced as a key concept in contemporary media culture notably by P. David Marshall (2015) as a way of understanding the changing relationship between public and private and to understand public identity as a strategic force in the attention economy. The media persona - especially within the media industry – is currently challenging established traditions of public performance and factual media genres: Professional journalists from legacy media report news with a personal/subjective voice, they engage in confessional journalism and use social media for self-promotion; ordinary citizens display their public/private selves, including personal tastes and predilections, on vlogs and blogs, to gain a public voice and recognition among peer followers; celebrities manage their corporate brand online when promoting their philanthropies as well as their most recent film/book/album; and even public intellectuals/academics use digital media platforms to perform their societal critique and promote their public image as intellectuals. Research on ‘the media persona’ has been done in many different fields – primarily within film and media studies, including media and sociology/psychology (Horton and Wohl 1956, Goffman 1956, Meyrowitz 1985), film studies (Dyer 1979, King 2015), critical theory (Lowenthal 1944), studies of political communication (Corner & Pels 2003), studies of social media and self-presentation (Senft 2008, Marwick and boyd 2011), celebrity studies (Rojek 2001, Turner 2004, Wheeler 2013) and performance studies (Auslander 2015). Finally, persona studies have recently been proposed as a new, specific but interdisciplinary research field (Marshall 2010, 2013, 2015, Moore, Barbour and Lee 2017). This research seminar invites scholars from all these research areas with the aim of furthering the study of the media persona by discussing theoretical and analytical frameworks as well as methodological approaches that can make us better understand the implications of the ubiquitous individual, both public and private, self-presentations in contemporary, digital media culture.

We invite abstracts on the following topics (though not limited to these issues):

* How media personas operate within different fields of culture: literature, music, film, etc. * Amateur and professional media persona’s and the attention economy
* The challenges of the media persona to factual genres
* The challenges of media persona to professional categories such as ‘the journalist’

* Media personas and the TV/radio-presenter
* Media personas and the para-social
* The media persona as a strategy on social media
* The intellectual/scientist as media persona
* Distinctions/overlaps between celebrities and media personas
* The relationship between the media persona and institutional affiliations
* Theoretical frameworks with which we can conceptualize and grasp the notion of the media persona
* Analyses of specific media personas in contemporary media culture
* Methodological approaches to the study of the media persona

Practical information: It is possible to participate as a presenter or if you register as a participant (no later than March 31st), please contact (h.k.haastrup /at/ and (moestrup /at/ Please be advised that there is limited room for participants. However there is no registration fee and coffee and lunch during the research seminar is included for presenters and registered participants.

Acceptance/decline notices will be distributed by the end of March 2018.

Keynote presentation: P. David Marshall: “The Registers of Contemporary Persona: Affect, Emotion, Intimacy, Gesture and the cultural implications of the Pandemic Mediatized Self”

The public presentation of the self – what can be called “persona” - is a complex and unstable strategy and performance that is deployed by the individual to inhabit a collective world. In the contemporary moment with the exigencies of online culture and its forms of communication, persona is pandemic: in other words, through social media predominantly but also through other platforms and applications, we are all inhabiting a mediatized version of ourselves for much of our daily lives.

This presentation focuses on the registers of communication that are being privileged and enacted in online culture through our constructions of personas. It identifies a shift in public communication where the deployment of at least a greater revelation of the self is enacted through more emotional and affective registers. Some of this transformation can be read and examined as the migration of interpersonal communication into social and mediatized settings and exchanges which has allowed our messages to be interspersed with what may have been perceived as more private and even intimate registers.

The presentation will explore this through the normalization of a different emotional registers in online culture. On Twitter and Facebook, we page2image710469840when we “like” a particular post and we engage in “sharing” our likes. Through acronyms and hashtags we connect to others through a structure of affective bonding. Indeed, on a social media platform such as Instagram, failing to page2image710489104a photo produces negative emotions of not caring and not being engaged. Trends via social media and its permutations into legacy media are often the amassing of sentiment and sharing engagement. The presentation will investigate the new comfortability of emotion – and emoji use as one example – that establishes this shifted public culture. It will conclude with speculation around how this prevalent emotive persona culture has been a significant factor in the destabilization of information and news in contemporary culture as we privilege feeling over something as neutral as fact in a transformed public/political culture transnationally.

page2image710539808 page2image710540080

BIO: P. David Marshall holds a Professorship and Personal Chair in New Media, Communication and Cultural Studies at Deakin University in Melbourne Australia. He is the world-leading scholar in the study of celebrity and public personality systems. Along with many articles and book chapters, Professor Marshall’s books include Celebrity and Power (Minnesota, 2nd edition 2014), Celebrity Persona Pandemic (Minnesota, 2016), New Media Cultures (Oxford Arnold, 2004), Web Theory (2003) and Fame Games (Cambridge, 2000). His edited or co-edited books include A Companion to Celebrity (Blackwell-Wiley, 2016), Contemporary Publics (Palgrave, 2016), and The Celebrity Culture Reader (Routledge, 2006). His current research has focussed on the concept of persona and the now associated sub-field of Persona Studies which investigates the strategic construction of the public display of the self, both in its online forms and in other transforming contexts. His forthcoming research and publications include: the General Editor of the 6-volume Cultural History of Fame (for Bloomsbury Academic), the co-authored Advertising and Promotional Cultures: Case Histories (Palgrave, Jan. 2018) and Persona Studies: Celebrity, Identity and the Transformation of the Public Self (June 2018). His expertise has led to interviews published in the New York Times, Globe and Mail, Sydney Morning Herald as well as appearances on other legacy media including the BBC, CNN, Fox News, the ABC and many other media outlets around the world. He maintains a very intermittent personal blog at

The seminar is organized by Helle Kannik Haastrup and Steffen Damkjær Moestrup as part of the Research Project: From Ivory Tower to Twitter: Rethinking the Cultural Critic in Contemporary Media Culture (2015-19), funded by the Danish Research Council for Independent Research: Culture and Communication, lead by Associate Professor Nete Nørgaard Kristensen.

Official project website:


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