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[Commlist] CFP: Media & Communication: The State of the Art
Fri Apr 12 11:48:06 GMT 2019
*MEDIA & COMMUNICATION: THE STATE OF THE ART: CFP*
*27-28 June 2019 - De Montfort University, Leicester*
*Media and Communication, theory and practice: where are we now?*
*What is the state of the art in Media and Communication studies? *
Professor Natalie Fenton (Goldsmiths, University of London)
Professor Matthew Fuller (Goldsmiths, University of London)
Professor Helen Wood (Lancaster University)
We see in the classroom, our students are concerned not with the BBC or
newspapers, but with Instagram, Pinterest and other forms of networked
digital media. This raises questions about the ways in which media
theory is responsive to new technological developments: are traditional
media theories sufficient to explain changes in technology, society and
audiences? The central aim of this conference is to explore the extent
to which existing theories of media and communication are adequate for
the analysis of our contemporary media landscape.
The conference is underpinned by a concern with what we see in the
classroom; changes in technology and society; and the role of theory.
Centrally, we ask do new technologies require new theories? And if so,
where are new theoretical interventions required? We are keen to reflect
on the problematization of an increasingly automated environment, where
algorithms collect data about us, and make choices about what we
consume. What does this automation mean for notions of autonomy and
agency; or for the structuring of identity? Do these technologies
challenge or embed existing power structures, particularly in areas
around gender, race and class? A further aim of this conference is also
to reflect on where media studies is, and where it is going: how does
media studies remain ‘relevant’ and ‘state of the art’ in light of a
rapidly changing media landscape?
While we are raising questions about how we theorise in media studies,
we are also asking questions about how we teach. In an era of diverse
media content and ways of consumption among our students, how do we find
common ground to engage with them? With changes in the nature of
advertising, and the proliferation and impact of influencers, we might
also want to consider the extent to which we are consumers of a
narrative or active agents in this media environment and whether and how
this differs between generations.
There is the potential that media theory could get stuck in “receiver
mode” (Fuller), basing its understanding of media & communication on
various developments of the Shannon-Weaver model, analysing texts,
audiences and discourses, and at the same time reducing technology to
socially or culturally determined affordances. A key contention here is
that we need to engage more comprehensively with a media environment
that isn’t limited to the transmission and reception of messages, but
also pays attention to the formation of psychic and collective environments.
The driving questions of this conference are:
1. Do we need new theories of media to address social and technological
2. What are the key pedagogical issues in teaching contemporary
students of media and communications?
And papers are invited around (but not limited to) the following topics:
1. Do we need new theories of media technology?
2. Do the ways in which young people engage with social media represent
a fundamental shift in the ways in which society operates?
3. Do we need to engage in media ‘forms’ rather than media ‘messages’?
4. If current media environments are currently being mapped,
algorithmically modelled and fed back to us, what does this tell us
about our capacity for individual and collective action?
5. What do technological changes suggest for gender, raced and classed
6. Are existing theories adequate for teaching our students?
7. How do we theorise database cultures?
8. Are new methodologies necessary in the contemporary media environment?
9. What do these technologies tell us about the ontology of the social?
The Media Communications Research Centre <https://www.dmu.ac.uk/mcrc> at
De Montfort University invites abstracts that address the current state
of the discipline of Media & Communication in the light of new
technologies, changes in ownership and engagement, which address the
wider question do we need new theories, methodologies and ways of
Abstracts of 250 words and author bio to be submitted to
(stateoftheartDMU /at/ gmail.com) <mailto:(stateoftheartDMU /at/ gmail.com)> by 26 April.
Conference fee: £50. The conference fee is only charged to cover the
cost of lunch, teas and coffees, conference dinner and to provide taxis
home for any woman who would like one after the evening event.
Postgraduate Students: Free
Conference date: 27th - 28th June
Conference Website: https://stateoftheartdmu.wordpress.com
Conference venue: De Montfort University, Leicester, UK
Where to stay: https://stateoftheartdmu.wordpress.com/accommodation-travel/
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