“Media, Communities, Cultures” was a Big Success
The MeCCSA PGN Conference 2018 was held at Canterbury Christ Church University on 5th – 6th June 2018. The conference featured three keynote speeches by Dr Einar Thorsen, Prof Nico Carpentier and Dr Kaitlynn Mendes and the roundtable discussion “From MeCCSA PGN to an academic career”.
The first keynote speech by Dr Einar Thorsen, “Fact, Flak, and Freedom: Media in A New Age of Surveillance and Uncertainty” touched the issue of news media politics and truth claims in the digital era. Afterwards, the keynote speech by Prof Nico Carpentier from Uppsala University, “Culture as an Integral Part of the Discursive-material Knot” proposed a new theoretical model that can be used to analyse media by transcending the theoretical divide between discourse studies and new materialism. Finally, Kaitlynn Mendes introduced her research on “#Metoo and the Promise and Pitfalls of Challenging Rape Culture through Digital Feminist Activism”, which analyses online communities of feminist activists. The roundtable discussion “From MeCCSA PGN to an academic career” involved Tianyang Zhou, Chair of MeCCSA PGN, Dr Ruth Sanz Sabido, Chair and founder of MeCCSA Social Movement Network, Dr Kaitlynn Mendes, member of MeCCSA Women Media Studies Network and Dr Einar Thorsen, member of MeCCSA executive board and co-founder of Networking Knowledge. The guests of the roundtable, all former/current member of MeCCSA PGN, discussed the hurdles of building their career and how their involvement in MeCCSA PGN helped their efforts.
In addition to the four plenary events, the conference saw the involvement of 38 participants, of which 23 presented their research in one of the 7 panels that animated the two-day event. The conference also featured four workshops that touched on issues that are relatable for many postgraduates: teaching, writing, funding, and personal branding on social media. The organising committee, composed by Nicholas Furze, Emma Kaylee Graves and Aurora Patera, would like to thank Dr Ruth Sanz Sabido and all members of Christ Church University’s staff who helped make this event possible.
MeCCSA PGN New Executive Committee
After the AGM during the MeCCSA PGN Conference 2018 this summer, we now have a new executive committee for as follows: Tianyang Zhou (Chair), Aurora Patera (Vice-Chair), Emma Graves (Communication Officer), Nicholas Furze (Communication Officer), Umar Suleiman Jahun (Training Officer), Madhushala Senaratne (Journal Editor), Olivia Gable (Journal Associate Editor), Maria Faust (Journal Associate Editor). MeCCSA PGN new executive committee will continue to strive to improve postgraduate student experience.
Networking Knowledge Update
Recent publications of Networking Knowledge explored the themes of ‘sex and sexualities in popular culture’ (Vol 10, Issue 3), and ‘exploring the intersections of fashion and film studies’ (Vol 11, Issue 1). Two more issues are planned to be published this year. The upcoming regular issue, to be published in July, will draw on the theme of global perspectives with its wide range of articles exploring Astroturf lobbying in Europe, health communications in Kenya, and Israeli culture, among others. In November, a special issue guest edited by Tianyang Zhou and Dr Yan Wu will be published consisting of outputs from the UK-China Media and Cultural Studies Association annual conference, along the broad theme of ‘Chinese entertainment TV: a 20-year review’. A special issue on ‘parodying humanitarianism online’ has been commissioned for 2019, while two issues will also be published with outputs from the MeCCSA PGN 2018 conference on the theme ‘media, communities, cultures’, and the PGN regional event on ‘participatory communications research and digital activism’.
Two new associate editors joined the Networking Knowledge editorial board, with a fresh call for associate editors to be published in July, in order to expand our team. A new call for guest editors was published with the aim of commission issues for 2020, while there is also an ongoing call for peer reviewers. With the aim of adding further value to the journal, and enhancing reach, the journal also aims to introduce two new sections – books and conference reviews, and an interview section. Work is also underway to create DOIs for the upcoming issues, having completed the process of obtaining the DOI prefix recently.
Join Us in Brighton and Bangor for Our Regional Event and 2019 Conference
This year, MeCCSA Postgraduate Network is holding its regional event at University of Brighton on 16 November 2018. The event is a collaboration between MeCCSA PGN, the Participatory Communication Research section of IAMCR and Centre for Digital Media Cultures, University of Brighton. All three organisations are contributing to the funding of this event. The aim of this event is to provide a platform for the critical dialogue between Participatory Communication Research communities and media practitioners (such as activists, filmmakers etc.) to examine the issues of social, political and cultural change in the times of digital media, giving a particular focus on ‘digital citizenship’. It aims to bring together international academics and media practitioners to explore the creative participatory methods. We are keen to involve not only academic presentations, but also workshops and film screenings by media practitioners at the event, giving them the chance to present their work, ideas and practices to an international audience.
The one-day event will consist of paper presentations, workshops, film screenings, panel discussions and keynote addresses. So far, we have one confirmed keynote speaker: Professor Nico Carpentier from Uppsala University. The central theme of the seminar is “Post-Representative Participations: Engaging with civic action in the times of digital citizenship”. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
- Participatory Communication
- Participatory Methodology
- Representation and civic action
- Digital Citizenship
- Digital Activism
- Social Media and Social Movement
- Mobile Communication and Activism
- Activism, Surveillance and Datafication
- Digital Literacy and manufactured consent
- (Digital) Nomadism and civil participation
MeCCSA PGN executive committee together with the Participatory Communication Research section of IAMCR and Centre for Digital Media Cultures, University of Brighton look forward to welcoming you to our forthcoming regional event!
The MeCCSA Postgraduate Network is also glad to announce that our 2019 annual conference will be held in Bangor. The University of Bangor presented a captivating proposal and was voted as next host of the conference by the committee. The theme of next year’s conference will be Evolution. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
- Evolution of Media
- Evolution of Creator
- Evolution of Recipient
- Evolution of Practice
- Evolution of Communication
- Evolution of Culture
- Evolution of Experience
- Evolution of Enhancement
More details and a full call for papers will be shared soon.