Three-D Issue 23: MeCCSA 2015 at Northumbria University

James Leggott, Karen Ross and Rosie White
Northumbria University

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MeCCSA 2015 is on the horizon! At Northumbria James Leggott, Karen Ross and Rosie White are beginning to taxi down the conference runway, anticipating turbulence from central university services, and donning their goggles and headphones. Flying jackets and wacky scarves have been worn for some time. Whether you are travelling to Newcastle by planes, trains or automobiles, we hope you have booked your tickets, packed your case and complied with the safety instructions…

The conference programme is nearing completion and a draft is now up on the conference website and it’s looking good although please note that it is still a draft and subject to change. If you are working in media, cultural studies or communications you need to be in Newcastle upon Tyne 7th-9th January 2015, if only to say that you were there!

Wednesday 7th January will start with a barnstorming panel from Ruth Sanz Sabido, Karen Boyle and Bob Franklin, each addressing ‘My Brilliant Career’ from a personal perspective. This panel will kick off the conference theme of ‘Generations’, with insights into our profession as it has evolved, opening up debate about national and institutional change, as well as current issues in research and teaching. On Wednesday afternoon there will be two sets of parallel sessions – a wealth of choice for all delegates – and a wine reception at the end of the day. The whole event takes place on the ground floor of our new building on City Campus East, fully accessible and easy to navigate.

After the wine reception, it’s a short walk to the conference social event at the City Tavern where you will be treated to nothing like the pub quiz– prepare to be astonished and amused by the virtuosity of your peers! If you think you have Got Talent!, come along and show us. You will need to bring your own props but you are guaranteed an appreciative audience and there will be prizes…

Thursday 8th January begins with a plenary on ‘Mediating Age’ from Lynne Segal and Dafna Lemish, addressing age and aging from either end of the spectrum, followed by three parallel sessions during the day that take debates in a range of directions across media and approaches.

Thursday lunchtime offers an opportunity for MeCCSA Networks to meet and compare notes on the previous year and issues arising, followed by a keynote presentation from Kirsten Drotner, who is taking us on an important and necessary ‘Walk Through the EU Funding Maze’. The MeCCSA AGM on Thursday afternoon is followed by the traditional (if not notorious) conference dinner at the Copthorne Hotel overlooking the river Tyne. Coaches have been laid on to transport us from the university campus to the hotel.

Friday 9th January opens with a keynote session on ‘Digital Futures’ from Ian Brown, Donna Leishman and Paolo Gerbaudo. Somehow, on Friday we also squeeze in two more parallel sessions before the conference closes at 1.30pm. Don’t ask us how; it’s like magic.

Talking of magic, one of the special sessions on offer is ‘Dissemination as Performance: A Practical Workshop’, facilitated by Ian McLaughlin of Magicif. If you’re looking to improve your presentation skills and learn some tricks of the performance trade, sign up for the session on Wednesday afternoon (numbers are capped at 15 on a first come, first served basis). You can put your new-found skills to use in the evening when you wow your colleagues at MeCCSA’s Got Talent! To sign up to the workshop, please email us at: ad.meccsa2015@northumbria.ac.uk

In order to ensure you remain fully conscious and alert during this rigorous programme of activities, there will be refreshments each morning before sessions begin, as well as during each break. In short, we provide a range of cakes and beverages throughout. The conference lunch on Thursday has been the subject of much debate and James and Rosie continue to wrestle man- and woman-fully with the intricacies of the Northumbria catering menus. We will deliver.

Please look at the information on the conference website about travel, the venue and local highlights. Let us know if there’s anything we have missed by emailing the conference team at: ad.meccsa2015@northumbria.ac.uk

As anticipation builds, please remain seated, fasten your seatbelts and prepare for take-off!

Reminder: if you have any dietary requirements, please let us know above email, if you are vegan/gluten-free/nut-allergic/ or anything else: there will be plenty of vegetarian options so you do not have to let us know about that particular preference.

Posted by Auguste Janutaite