We’ve made some good progress on the conference preparations for Leeds MeCCSA 2017 (11-13 January) since Anna Zoellner’s last update in July. Not least, Anna has handed over the lead role on the organising committee to me and is currently on maternity leave – so we’d like to pass on congratulations to Anna and her family.
We have been delighted with the response since to our call for papers. Following review of 237 submissions, we have selected 14 ready-made panels and 2 practice screenings, plus another 116 abstract proposals – altogether we have around 166 presentations within our panels. In addition to this, we are looking forward to a number of roundtable sessions, such as ‘Ofcom and Media Academics: Working together’ with discussion on why academic voices matter to Ofcom, and ‘Media and the Public Interest’, in response to BBC Charter renewal, Channel 4 privatisation and similar developments. On the Friday (13 January) we also have a lunchtime session, ‘What Media Studies Academics Should Know About Open Access’ with three publishers from Goldsmiths Press, Huddersfield UP and University of Westminster Press leading an informal panel and Q&A on the benefits and some of the downsides to this messy evolution of scholarly communication.
The conference theme ‘Culture, Media, Equality and Freedom’ has never felt more relevant, and we’re already inspired by the range of submissions we’re received that approach these themes through various perspectives – whether on social justice, inequality, austerity, cultural production and media reform, to name a few. Our keynote speakers have also now confirmed the titles for their talks: reflecting on the rights of workers in ‘creative labour’ (Andrew Ross), continuing concerns of racism and nationalism (Paul Gilroy), digital participation for low income young people (Shakuntala Banaji) and how journalism might respond to the Brexit and Trump victories (Barbie Zelizer).
We hope you’ll agree this is a rich programme of events and we haven’t even mentioned the festival of local beers yet. For those of you who cannot be with us ‘in real life’, we will be live-streaming the keynote addresses and making them available later at the MeCCSA YouTube channel. We’ll be tweeting updates from @MeCCSA2017 and using the #MeCCSA2017 hashtag.
If you have any questions about the conference, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org