MeCCSA 2021 save the date and planning update

Sarah Pedersen

Planning continues for the 2021 MeCCSA conference, to be held at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland, from 6th to 8th January 2021.

Media, journalism and communication have been taught at RGU for over twenty years and we now sit within the School of Creative and Cultural Business, established in 2016. The School’s wider portfolio includes fashion, events management, tourism, digital marketing and information management. Staff research interests in the media and journalism subject group include the media representation of women politicians, media effects and audience reception, gendered use of social media, media history, fashion blogging, and the influence of online networks on contemporary political discourse.

The university is situated on a modern campus built on the banks of the River Dee. Views from the top of the library tower are stunning – looking across the city to the sea in one direction and directly up Royal Deeside in the other. The School is based within the modern Aberdeen Business School building and facilities include a newsroom, TV studio and TV control room and radio station. 

For those of you who do not know Aberdeen, it is Scotland’s third largest city, located in the north-east of the country, and the ‘Energy Capital of Europe’. It was recently named the best Scottish city in which to live and work. As the UK base for the offshore petroleum industry, it is a cosmopolitan city with a large international population. Aberdeen is often also referred to as ‘The Granite City’ since many city-centre buildings are built of granite quarried in the area. The city council offices are now based in Marischal College, constructed in the late 19th century and one of the largest granite buildings in the world. An adjacent building, again demonstrating the wealth of Victorian Aberdeen, is the neo-gothic Town House, which is a major landmark in the city, and where a reception will be given for the conference by Aberdeen’s Lord Provost. Its lift still has the upholstered seating and telephone installed for Queen Victoria’s visit.

The royal family are of course frequent visitors to the city since Balmoral Castle is situated a few miles away – you may have seen William and Kate’s budget-conscious arrival at Aberdeen airport on FlyBe in the summer. To the north of the city is the equally famous Trump golf course at Balmedie, star of the film You’ve Been Trumped. 

The theme of the conference is Silenced Voices, and we are particularly interested in issues relating to minority, excluded, alternative or powerless communities and their power to influence public discourses. We will be calling for proposals for papers, panels and other presentations that engage with this theme. Potential topics might include issues relating to censorship, non-mainstream voices, activism, the underground press, voices from below, whistle-blowing and post-truth politics. We will of course welcome contributions across the full range of interests represented by MeCCSA and its networks.

We now have four confirmed keynote speakers, who will each consider the issue of Silenced Voices from different viewpoints. 

Professor Gregory Philo is Professor of Communications and Social Change and Research Director of the Glasgow Media Unit at the University of Glasgow. His research interests are in the area of media and cultural reception and in recent years have focused on political advertising, images of health and illness (including mental illness), migration and race. Over the last 30 years the Glasgow Media Group has pioneered research methods focusing on the use of language in news and other media formats and has investigated how meanings are established for audiences.

Dr Anandi Ramamurthy is Reader in Post-Colonial Cultures at Sheffield Hallam University. Her primary research interests are focused on critically analysing ‘race’ and postcoloniality in media and culture to challenge hegemonies and give voice to the voiceless. Her work has explored images of Africa and Asia in British advertising, Asian youth movements in Britain and representations of Palestine.

Professor Karen Ross is Professor of Gender and Media at Newcastle University and a member of the Executive Committee of MeCCSA. Her research focuses on the relationship between gender and media, and in particular the relationship between gender, politics and news. She is currently the general editor of the Encyclopaedia of Gender, Media and Communication for Wiley-Blackwell, to be published in 2020.  

Dr Miklos Sukosd is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Copenhagen. He has served on major international media research and consultancy projects, including as Chair of the COST A30 Action “East of West: Setting a New Central and Eastern European Media Research Agenda”, and as a key expert and team leader in the European Union’s “Independent Study on Indicators for Media Pluralism in the Member States”. His research interests include the media in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and China; and environmental communication.

Several of the RGU organising committee will be at MeCCSA 2020 in Brighton and will be delighted to answer any of your questions about Aberdeen, RGU or our conference theme for 2021.

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