Three-D Issue 30: MeCCSA Conference 2019: Continuity & Change

We are delighted to host the first MeCCSA annual conference in Scotland at the University of Stirling from 9 to 11 January 2019. The Division of Communications, Media and Culture at Stirling has been a major academic centre for the study and research of film, media, communications and journalism for 40 years at the University that prides itself on transformative thinking and blending arts and science.

The conference theme ‘Continuity & Change – Media, Communications & Politics’ is designed to speak to different academic fields represented within MeCCSA, whilst also speaking to specific anniversaries significant to Stirling/Scotland, including the 20th anniversary of the Scottish Parliament. We will bring together academics, practitioners and media and communications professionals to question the role of traditional and digital media and communications in maintaining continuity and advocating for political change.

The conference will be held at the Stirling Court Hotel, situated at the centre of the picturesque Stirling University campus. The campus sits at the foot of the Wallace Monument, with stunning views of Stirling Castle and the Ochil Hills.

Conference theme and academic programme

Change and continuity are ever-present and simultaneous aspects of life and judging the importance of changes and constants help us to understand our place in contemporary society and history. Despite recent substantial and widespread changes in media, society and politics, several aspects and structures remain constant. The conference theme addresses the role of media and communications in long- and short-term continuities and discontinuities as well as interrogates the concept of continuity with change. How are lives, cultures and conditions alike over time and how have they changed? What is the role of media, communications and politics in advocating change or maintaining status quo? These questions and themes will be addressed in a range of plenaries, roundtables, panels, screenings, archival visits and exhibitions during the conference.

We are pleased to confirm that we received 232 proposals for scholarly papers, themed panels, posters, film screenings and other practice-based contributions (the CfP closed on 29 June 2018). The proposals are currently under review and the notifications of acceptance will be sent out in early September. The proposals address a variety of very interesting topics and contemporary issues, including media activism and civic engagement, digital cultures, media in different political contexts, political change, crisis and change communications, gender in media and politics, media representations of marginal groups, film and creative industries, ethics, power and responsibility, and cultural histories.

We will have four excellent keynote speakers whose work addresses the theme of Continuity & Change from different perspectives and who we believe will stimulate interesting discussions:

  • Dr Shohini Chaudhuri (University of Essex)
  • Prof Hannu Nieminen (University of Helsinki)
  • Prof Philip Schlesinger (University of Glasgow)
  • Dr Leshu Torchin (University of St Andrews).

In addition, we will host four intriguing roundtables with prominent speakers from academia and practice on the topics of Media and Nations in Transition; Women in Media and Politics; Screen, Production and Media in Scotland; and ‘Poachers and Gamekeepers’ – The Intersections of Journalism and Public Relations.

The variety of panels, keynotes and roundtables is promising a very lively and fruitful conference, showcasing the best work across the full range of MeCCSA interests and discussing important HE and media policy issues relevant to MeCCSA members.

Social and cultural events in a true spirit of Scotland

The conference will offer a range of formal and informal social events and networking opportunities related to the conference theme.

We will host a Stirling-themed conference reception on Wednesday evening, followed by a pub quiz in the Meadow Park, a short walk from the Stirling campus. The Meadow Park is full of charm and character and offers beautiful night views of Stirling Castle.

The traditional MeCCSA conference dinner on Thursday evening will bring a special ‘change’: ceilidh dancing. Don’t worry if you don’t have any experience in ceilidh or feel like you have two left feet! Our wonderful ceilidh band will guide you through the steps of one of the most fun dances in the world.

Delegates will also have an opportunity to try Scottish finest spirits in whisky and gin tasting.

Amongst the cultural events, we will offer a pre-conference visit to the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 8 January, and a ‘Wake up with Wallace’ walk to the Wallace Monument and a tour of the Stirling Archives during the conference.

Conference registration

The conference registration will open shortly and will be announced through MeCCSA communication channels. Conference registration rates are already available on the conference website www.stir.ac.uk/meccsa2019. Please note that early bird rates are available until 5 November 2018.

Delegates can register through the Stirling online shop, where they can also book the MeCCSA conference dinner and accommodation at the Stirling Court Hotel (the official conference venue).

There are several other accommodation options available in Stirling and Bridge of Allan. More information and special offers will be published shortly on the conference website.

About Stirling

Stirling’s campus is located at the historic heart of Scotland, with convenient links to Edinburgh, Glasgow and the rest of the UK and beyond. Stirling boasts an excellent train service with frequent trains from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness which connect with the national rail network across the UK. Scotland’s two main international airports Edinburgh and Glasgow are less than an hour away by car. A range of public transport options can link you from the airport to their respective city centres – including taxi, bus or tram – where you can access either train or coach services to Stirling.

Once the capital of Scotland, Stirling is one of the most historically significant Scottish cities known as the ‘Gateway to the Highlands’ and itself a symbol of continuity and change. There are plenty of landmarks to visit in Stirling, including the Stirling Castle, the Wallace Monument, Smith Art Gallery and Museum, Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre, local breweries, distilleries as well as golf clubs, shops, cafes, restaurants, and iconic pubs.

We are looking forward to welcoming you to the beautiful University of Stirling campus in January 2019!

Posted by Einar Thorsen