Three-D Issue 22: Chair’s report

TimTim O’Sullivan
De Montfort University

This is the first edition of Three-D this year, slightly later than usual, and the academic year has seemed to accelerate to its end of assessments, Exam Boards and Graduations, with planning for Clearing and the new academic cycle already well under way. It is that time of year when non-academic friends and colleagues often assume that we have nothing to do until the end of September; unaware of the ways in which many aspects of our work have changed considerably over the last thirty years.

More than ever, the summer recess is now a period of intensive catching up and a period of preparation: of completing or developing overdue research and writing projects, of summer school or postgraduate teaching, of designing new courses, reviewing and evaluating the experience and feedback from the last cycle and so on and so on… In between these demands and activities, it may just be possible to squeeze in a period of annual leave, but the ubiquity of e-mail and related mobile networks make these increasingly difficult to ‘ring-fence’…

Following the highly successful MeCCSA Annual Conference at Bournemouth in January, the Executive Committee has met on three occasions, in late February, mid-April and in June. The agendas of these meetings have been full and have combined ‘usual’ business with a number of urgent and significant issues that are addressed and updated in this issue.

The February meeting confirmed the new Executive for 2014, following from the ballot results taken at the AGM in Bournemouth and elected officers and confirmed membership of our three, vital sub-committees. The amended composition of the new Executive and these sub-committees is in the box opposite and also published on the MeCCSA website. The meeting also received an update on preparations for the forthcoming Annual Conference at Northumbria (January 2015) and also agreed to issue invitations to bid for the Annual Conference venues and themes for 2016-17.

A significant recommendation of the February meeting was to proceed with the sponsorship of a research project exploring the current state and context of undergraduate applications in the MeCCSA field and their impact on various University and Departmental strategies and structures. The project will be undertaken at Goldsmith’s College, by Giannina Warren, under the supervision of Natalie Fenton. You may have recently received requests related to this project, please participate! See further details in this issue.

The April meeting received an update on progress on this project, and discussed three additional issues: ESRC Doctoral Training developments, the new BFI Educational Strategy (presented by Dr Paul Gerhardt) and the Media Education Association concerns regarding the future of Media Studies and Film Studies at GCSE and ‘A’ level. Our responses to the ESRC proposals and the developments regarding Media and Film Studies at ‘A’ level are detailed in this issue of Three-D.

Finally, at our meeting in June, the Executive Committee reviewed and discussed five strong proposals for the MeCCSA Annual Conference 2016-17. After discussion, it was agreed to invite Canterbury Christ Church University to host the 2016 Conference and Leeds University to host the 2017 Conference. We also received an update on the outcome of our activities and involvement in lobbying at the Dfe with regard to the future of Media and Film Studies at ‘A’ Level, again, see Pete Fraser’s overview and update in this issue.

In February, all in the field would have been saddened by the news of the death of Stuart Hall. Stuart’s work was fundamental to the development and openness of the field and to the emergence of MeCCSA. We mark his passing in this issue of Three-D with a short appreciation from MeCCSA and further tributes noting his many contributions. Such was his influence that we plan to return with further tributes in future issues too.

This issue also contains reports and updates from the vibrant MeCCSA Networks – there is a great deal going on with all sorts of important activities planned in the months ahead. You will also find reports and our response regarding future REF metrics consultation and Julian Petley provides his trenchant assessment and update on the post-Leveson-Hacking trial and its outcomes. There is also a roundup of our Annual Conference in Bournemouth and preview of the forthcoming Annual Conference in Northumbria.

Finally, two points. First, please ensure that you and your institution subscribe to MeCCSA, the most significant and essential representative of your interests in the field at this time. Our membership is strong and growing but there are still some institutions and areas that really should join and access the benefits of MeCCSA (visit: or view box below). Second, you will have noticed that this editorial is not written by Sue Thornham, who stepped down as Chair of the Executive after a very significant period of service. She continues as a member of the MeCCSA Executive Committee that she first joined in 1998, but I am sure that we all wish to record our thanks for her unstinting work and strategic abilities, determination and awareness over the last 16 years (the lifespan of Google, no less). Sue is about to embark on a well-earned sabbatical from her duties at Sussex, and she has promised me that she will not fall out of any more windows! We wish her well in the future.

With very best wishes to all for some rest and recuperation over the summer.


MeCCSA Executive Committee for 2014

Chair: Tim O’Sullivan, 2013-2014
Vice-Chair: Natalie Fenton, 2014-2015
Hon Sec: Peter Golding, 2013-2014
Treasurer: Karen Ross, 2014-2015

Helen Baehr 2014-2015
Anita Biressi, 2013-2014
Lee Cadieux, 2014-2015
Joanna Callaghan, 2013-2014
John Downey, 2014-2015
Janey Gordon, 2013-2014
Agnes Gulyas, 2014-2015
Mark Jancovich, 2013-2014
Stephen Lax, 2014-2015
Máire Messenger-Davies, 2013-2014
Heather Nunn, 2014-2015
Jeanette Steemers, 2013-2014
Sue Thornham, 2013-2014
Einar Thorsen, 2014-2015
Milly Williamson, 2013-2014

Association Activities:
Anita Biressi (Convenor); Janey Gordon; Agnes Gulyas; Mark Jancovich; Karen Ross; Einar Thorsen, and Milly Williamson.

Administration and Communications:
Einar Thorsen (Convenor); Natalie Fenton; Stephen Lax; Jeanette Steemers; Milly Williamson.

Academic Development:
Peter Golding (Convenor); John Downey; Natalie Fenton; Máire Messenger Davies; Sue Thornham.

MeCCSA Executive’s Network Liaison: Anita Biressi
Online Communications and Newsletter Editor: Einar Thorsen

Climate Change Network Chairperson: Neil Gavin
Disability Studies Network Liaison: Alison Wilde
Policy Network Coordinator: Máire Messenger-Davies
Postgraduate Network Chairperson: Rachel Tavernor
Practice Network Chairperson: Joanna Callaghan
Race Network Chairperson: Currently inactive
Radio Studies Network Chairperson: Eleanor Shember-Critchley
Social Movements Network Chairperson: Ruth Sanz Sabido
Women’s Media Studies Network Chairperson: Milly Williamson


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