Watching the Media – Censorship, Limits and Control in Creative Practice

Call for Papers

A one day research symposium at Edge Hill University, in collaboration with the Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA)

The Media Department at Edge Hill University and the Practice Section of MeCCSA invite you to submit a paper for a one day research symposium on 15 April 2011, investigating the role of censorship in media creative practice.

Practitioners in media and the arts face numerous limits and forms of censorship and control and the main aim of the symposium is to explore how are these limits delineated/negotiated and by whom. Specifically the symposium wishes to investigate how artists and media practitioners respond to social, cultural and political contexts, how practice is often politicised in relation to power and how practitioners themselves envisage the pressures and limitations affecting thinking, production and performance. Censorship can be regarded as a moral issue (expected ethical and professional dilemmas faced by the media industry; the power shift towards the consumer who is now also a producer of content; the resurgence of religious/scientific debates), a political issue (financing; management of the cultural industries; security and military concerns; manipulation but also instances of resistance from within the system) and corporate censorship (the media product as a cultural commodity; the simulacrum of competition; the fluid nature of the practitioner’s role within the industry). Many of these debates are now held in relation to new technologies and their potential for disrupting once clearly delineated boundaries, producing a hiatus in regulation frameworks, renegotiating the role of the consumer-practitioner and bringing new subjectivities into the creative process.

The symposium aims to produce a framework for understanding the limits of contemporary practice in Britain and elsewhere and offer the industry and governmental bodies some recommendations for the future.

Selected papers will be published in a special issue of the journal Transgressive Culture.

Confirmed keynote speakers: Professor Julian Petley, Brunel University School of Arts, Film and TV, and Media Watch.

Paper proposal of 300 words could investigate the following questions, although alternative approaches are strongly encouraged:

  • Does censorship still exist?
  • Does creative practice face any limits and what are they?
  • How are they negotiated?
  • Who should decide what is censored and regulated?
  • What impact does regulation produce?
  • Does censorship necessarily hamper creativity or can it be an enhancing device?
  • What is self-censorship in the context of creative practice and how does it impact on practitioners’ work?
  • How can we contextualize the pressures put on contemporary media and creative practice?
  • How is the issue of censorship framed by professional concerns versus government priorities?

Please submit your proposals by 6 December 2010 concomitantly to Dr Jason Lee, Chair of the MeCCSA Practice Section – and Dr Ruxandra Trandafoiu –, symposium co-organizer.

Notification of acceptance (via e-mail) by 14 February 2011. Registration by 21 March 2011.

The symposium will take place at Edge Hill University in Ormskirk, West Lancashire. Arrival and registration at 9.30 a.m.; departure by 4.30 p.m. on 15 April 2011. Costing and accommodation details will follow.

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