On February 10th, the master programme held its annual symposium, this year in a fully digital form. Under the theme “tranformations in media, culture and society” an entire day was dedicated to academic debate and an impressive showcasing on the diversity of past and ongoing work within the programme.
In the morning, invited keynote speaker John Corner, Visiting Professor in the School of Media and Communication at the University of Leeds held an Keynote adress on the topic “Figuring it out: statistics, media flows and the transformed public worlds of 2020”
He was followed by alumni students who have been chosen to participate in our annual edited collection, showcasing the top master theses of the 2020 cohort. Yunyi Liao presented her work “the Myth of ACGN Nationalism in China: Animation, Audiences and Nationalism” in which she studies construction of nationalism in communities engaged in what has been called ‘the rise of Chinese animation.’ She was followed by Jian Chung Lee, who discussed the understandings of news consumers in his talk “Parameters and performances of news engagement: a case study of Swedish audiences”. In a fascinating talk on the borderlines of virtuality and reality, Zhou Xin presented her work “Virtual YouTuber Kizuna AI: Co-creating human-non-human interaction and celebrity-audience relationships” She was followed by Cheryl Fung who held a talk on “Canvas of Dissent: A Study of Visuals and its Significance in Group Formations and Communications During the 2019 Hong Kong Anti-ELAB Movement.”. The morning session was concluded with Yukun You talking about the “The gamification of sleep: A case study on user engagement with SleepTown in everyday(night) life”.
After a digital lunch buffet the afternoon was dedicated to current student work, where a record number of our second year students presented their ongoing thesis projects, grouped together under the themes of News and information; representation; Media engagement and imagined community; Media, diaspora and subcultures; Media and political engagement; Media and material and immaterial labour. They got comments from first year student rapporteurs (who we are very proud of for volunteering!) and staff, as well as the audience of first and second year students. The day ended with a celebratory book launch, where the editor Joanna Doona alongside programme leader Annette Hill, event organisers and book chapter authors said a few words, and were thanked for their hard work and engagement.
The programme and department thanks our amazing organising committee: Gabriella Gut, Jeanette Longo, NilufarHajirahimikalhroudi, Weixiong Huang, Joseph Thwaites and Josephine Waldenström. Special shout out to Gabriella Gut for the artwork on the symposium poster and Pelle Kronhamn for the Excellent Dissertations book cover. And of course a big thanks to professor Joke Hermes, for chairing the morning session.