PhD students to host 2015 MeCCSA PGN conference

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By Poppy Wilde, PhD Student.

Summer 2015 will see Coventry University host the Media, Communication, and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA) Postgraduate Network annual conference on 2-3 July. Three PhD students who study within the Media Department at Coventry University submitted the winning bid to host the 2015 conference, and are now well on their way to organising a memorable event.

MeCCSA is the subject association that represents academics teaching or researching within those fields in Higher Education. The Postgraduate Network (MeCCSA-PGN) aims to bring together postgraduate students in media, communication and cultural studies from different intellectual traditions and cultural backgrounds in order to form research, and teaching and learning networks and ensure peer support. The annual MeCCSA PGN conference is a significant part of this, and offers Masters, PhD and early career researchers with a supportive environment to present their research and establish valuable contacts.

Coventry School of Art and Design as well as The Centre for Disruptive Media at Coventry University have been supportive of the bid from the outset, and have each contributed financial assistance to help fund the conference further to funding from MeCCSA PGN.

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The theme for the conference, ‘Transformative Practice and Theory: Where We Stand Today’ is a direct response to the challenge that the multidisciplinary fields of media, communication and culture face – that of constantly responding to the changing landscape which they study. In recent years, these fields have shifted considerably due to the rise in digital and open media, which have opened up new spaces for debate. Our negotiation with, and use of, theory has been transformed through the turn to affect, and the ways in which we are now articulating the relationship between bodies, images and environments as permeable and interconnected. Practice has also been transformed, as engagement with what were traditionally more “static” objects has been affected due to the disrupted power relations between producer and consumer, allowing for further engagement beyond production. In response to these changes the conference focuses on unique approaches to review the way pre-existing notions, ideas and practices in research can be reimagined.

Francien Broekhuizen, Danai Mikelli and Poppy Wilde, the conference organising committee, each research the impact of these transformations in their own individual PhD projects at Coventry University, and were keen to invite speakers who they felt were particular relevant to this timely theme. They are excited to welcome the speakers for the conference, Dr. Clare Birchall, Prof. Lisa Blackman, Dr. Rebecca Coleman, Prof. Gary Hall and Associate Prof. Mandy Rose.

Dr. Clare Birchall is a Senior Lecturer at King’s College London. Alongside more traditional scholarship, Birchall is involved with a number of digital projects and her most recent research is concerned with the relationship between secrecy and transparency in the digital age. Lisa Blackman is a Professor in the Department of Media and Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London. She works at the intersection of body studies and media and cultural theory. She is currently working on a new project, Haunted Data: Social Media, Weird Science and Archives of the Future. Dr. Rebecca Coleman is Senior Lecturer in the Sociology Department at Goldsmiths, University of London where she researches and teaches on visual and sensory culture; temporality, especially the present and future; the body and materiality; feminist and cultural theory; and inventive

methodologies. Gary Hall is a media theorist, writer, editor and independent publisher working on politics, philosophy and technology. He is Professor of Media in the School of Art and Design, and Director of the Centre for Disruptive Media, at Coventry University, UK. Mandy Rose is an Associate Professor and Director of the University of the West of England’s Digital Cultures Research Centre. Her research looks at the intersection between documentary and networked culture. Mandy is Co-Director of the i-Docs research group.

In addition to offering delegates the chance to hear from these acclaimed academics and present their own research projects, the conference will have a social programme in order to allow for further opportunities to network.

If you would like to submit an abstract for the conference please view the CFP at www.meccsapgn2015.co.uk/call-for-papers – the deadline for submissions is 23 March. For further information about the conference please visit www.meccsapgn2015.co.uk or follow the conference twitter feed @MeCCSAPGN2015

Logo for MeCCSA PGN Conference

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