Three-D Issue 31: MeCCSA Conference 2019: Continuity and Change

The annual MeCCSA Conference travels to Scotland for the first time in 2019! It will be hosted by the University of Stirling from 9 to 11 January 2019 and held at the Stirling Court Hotel, situated at the centre of the picturesque Stirling University campus.

The conference theme ‘Continuity & Change – Media, Communications & Politics’ is designed to speak to specific anniversaries significant to Stirling/Scotland, including the 20th anniversary of the Scottish Parliament (a visit to which is included in the programme) as well as to different academic fields represented within MeCCSA. Academics, practitioners and media and communications professionals will gather to question the role of traditional and digital media and communications in maintaining continuity and advocating for change in a range of plenaries, roundtables, panels, screenings, archival visits, exhibitions and cultural events during the conference.

Conference programme

The variety of keynotes, panels 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. 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:

  • Prof 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, Prof Andrew Chitty, AHRC Creative Economy Champion will address delegates during the MeCCSA AGM to talk about ‘Research and the Creative Industries’.

The delegates will present their work in 42 parallel panel sessions, featuring 12 themed panels and 115 scholarly papers, film screenings and practice-based contributions. Their works 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 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; Media Production in Scotland; and ‘Poachers and Gamekeepers’ – The Intersections of Journalism and Public Relations.

Social and cultural events in a true spirit of Scotland

The conference will offer a range social and cultural events and networking opportunities related to the conference theme. We will organise a pre-conference visit to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh hosted by Joan McAlpine MSP on Tuesday, 8 January 2019, 6-8pm. Joan is Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee and chairs the Cross-Party Group on Culture. Before being elected to parliament in 2011, she had a long career in journalism, having been deputy editor of the Herald Newspaper and editor of the Sunday Times Scotland. The visit to the parliament will include discussion with guest speakers, tour of the Parliament and its permanent exhibition and drinks reception (more information will follow shortly). If you have not registered already, then please do so by emailing meccsa2019@stir.ac.uk

Another exciting pre-conference event will be screening of Lindsay Anderson’s If…. (1968) on the eve of the conference on Stirling Campus, which will mark the film’s 50th anniversary accompanied by an exhibition curated by Stirling Archives. The film will be introduced by Prof John Izod, principal investigator on Lindsay Anderson AHRC-funded project.

On the morning of the conference (9 January), we will take ‘only the brave’ delegates for a ‘Wake Up with Wallace!’ walk to the iconic Wallace Monument, situated in a proximity of Stirling Campus and offering stunning views of Stirling and its surroundings.

We will host a Stirling-themed conference reception with Stirling archives exhibition on Wednesday evening in an iconic Pathfoot Building, followed by a pub quiz in the Meadow Park, a short walk from the Stirling campus, offering 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 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 tastings during the conference. Amongst the cultural events, we will offer a tour of the Stirling Archives and set up Listening & Viewing stations, showcasing fascinating work of Stirling production staff and students.

Conference registration

The conference registration is open and will close on 4 January 2019 (see www.stir.ac.uk/meccsa2019 for details). The delegates can register through the Stirling online shop, where they can also book the MeCCSA conference dinner, accommodation at the Stirling Court Hotel (the official conference venue) and register for social and cultural events.

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!

Posted by Einar Thorsen