Three-D Issue 32: MeCCSA Conference 2020: Media Interactions and Environments

Ewan Kirkland & Julie Doyle
University of Brighton

The Conference Committee at the University of Brighton have been working hard to ensure that MeCCSA 2020 represents the diversity of the organisation and engages with key issues in media and cultural studies, under the broad banner of Media Interactions and Environments. We hope to provide delegates with an event that showcases the research environment of the University’s School of Media, as well as the unique cultural flavour of Brighton itself. The MeCCSA Research Networks have been very helpful in ensuring the event is representative, inclusive, and engages with all branches of the research community. 

The call for papers was launched in May. Abstracts and enquiries have been pouring in ever since. So far three keynote speakers have been secured. Our international guest is Trine Syvertsen from the University of Oslo, who has just received funding for a project to study media ambivalence, media resistance and digital detox. Goldsmith University’s Sarah Kember, whose work includes the future of publishing (as Director of Goldsmiths Press), smart media, questions of mediation and feminist science and technology studies, will also join us. Our other keynote is Deborah Gabriel from Bournemouth University, Founder and Director of Black British Academics, who works on issues of social justice and gender equality in media education. The call deadline has been extended to August 31. A committee comprising members of the School of Media and the Executive Committee has been formed to oversee the peer review process.

Various social events have also been planned for the conference. Wednesday evening’s wine reception will take place in Brighton Museum and Art Gallery. Located in the Royal Pavilion garden, at the heart of the city’s cultural quarter, this historic building houses the town’s art collection and examples of local craft. This will be followed by the pub quiz in The Walrus in Brighton’s famous Lanes, where we have booked the venue’s spacious basement cabaret bar. Thursday night’s dinner will be held at the even more famous Palace Pier in the newly refurbished Palm Court Restaurant. Our conference team have managed to secure delegates wristbands, at no extra cost, so everyone can enjoy the attractions this iconic Brighton landmark has to offer. 

In early June the MeCCSA Executive Committee were invited to join us at the University of Brighton in Edward Street where the majority of the conference will be hosted. It was fortunate that this visit coincided with our Degree Show, which included painting, sculpture, illustration, sound and moving image, from creative degree programmes across the campus. In keeping with the environmental theme of the conference, it was agreed that all university catering was to be vegetarian. Also the Conference Committee will invite Brighton’s Real Junk Food to provide lunch on one day of the event. This organisation reclaims food which would otherwise be discarded and turns it into healthy meals as part of a range of community projects across the city. 

It was also agreed that the conference would host the following roundtable discussions, designed to capture the interests of the MeCCSA community, Research Networks, and the specific research specialities of the University of Brighton’s School of Media:

  • Living in/with the Anthropocene
  • Sound, Music, Space and Place
  • Media, Memory and Trauma
  • Mediation and Screen Performance
  • Photography and Urban Image Making
  • Diversity and Homogenisation in the Media Industries

If any delegates are interested in contributing to these discussions, please contact Julie Doyle ( and Ewan Kirkland (

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