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Invited speakers

Photo: Fredrik Miegel

Titles, Abstracts and Biographies

Anna Reading, Kings College, UK

(Re) Mixing (de) Humanisation: Migration Storytelling across Art and Media

With climate change and multiple wars come mass migration. And with migration historically and today comes stories that dehumanise and demonise those human beings forced to move. How does the affordances of mixed modes of storytelling in the contemporary media and museum landscape create spaces of humanisation with new pathways to engagement through factual and artistic content? This talk draws on research that uses two loci of analyses – a project called Moving Hearts which involved social media, art, embodied storytelling, clay heart making; writing on shrouds; video, mainstream coverage by the BBC and the creation of a video for You Tube and an installation at the UK Museum of Migration in London. I examine how telling and witnessing stories of migration through mixed modalities humanises memories and imaginaries of migration.

Anna Reading, PhD is Professor of Culture and Creative Industries at Kings College. She is the author of Polish Women, Solidarity and Feminism (1992) The Social Inheritance of the Holocaust (2002); and Gender and Memory in the Globital Age (2016) and the co-editor and co-author of an additional four books. She is Joint Managing Editor of Media, Culture and Society.

Simon Dawes, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (France)

Simon Dawes: #Je (Ne) Suis (Pas) Charlie: Hashtags, memes and mundane media participation
The almost simultaneous emergence on Twitter of the hashtags #JeSuisCharlie, #JeNeSuisPasCharlie and other variants highlighted the conflicted and mediated nature of public reactions to the attack on Charlie Hebdo on 7th January 2015. In contrast to the mainstream media framing of events, particularly in France, in terms of an attack on ‘Republican values’ such as free speech and the right to offend, the viral propagation of these memes on social media demonstrated processes of cultural dis-identification, counter-discourse and counter-speech beyond absolutist arguments for or against free speech. It also turned attention to the formation of ‘ad hoc counterpublics’ and the role of ‘connective action’, as well as the performativity of social media participants and the capacity of the hashtags to generate value-driven as well as affective identifications. This paper approaches the memetic spread of these hashtags as examples of the mundane media practice of political participation and cultural citizenship, and considers them, and the mainstream media’s engagement with them, in terms of the limits of free speech.

Simon Dawes is Maître de conférences (Lecturer) at Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ), France, the founding editor of the journal Media Theory, and the author of British Broadcasting and the Public-Private Dichotomy: Neoliberalism, Citizenship and the Public Sphere (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).

Joke Hermes, Inholland University, Netherlands

Joke Hermes: Mixing Media, checking messages: Television news and the quest for trust and authority
 
If anything, the coming into being of social media and platform television has transformed the meaning of news for audiences. Bizarre stories of candidates running porn rings out of pizzeria’s (Clinton, USA 2016), rumours of rigged voting machines (Brazil 2018), and reports of Russian fake news factories (2017 in the Netherlands) certainly suggest the end of news as a citizenship tool. Is it though? Using qualitative audience research this paper will argue that platform television does not imply the end of linear viewing and that national news programmes are credited with more rather than less authority now that ‘news’ is not to be trusted at face value. However, rather than a sign of media literacy, the standing of national news programmes appears to be predicated on brand loyalty. This can be read as signalling a need for what Silverstone (1994) citing Giddens calls ‘ontological security’ which social media are ill prepared to deliver. Television’s historical link to nation building does offer a sense of safety and trustworthiness signaled in two signature strategies teenagers employ when it comes to news: asking your mother and turning on the television are felt to be the best way to check what has really happened when you hear rumours of scary events unfolding.
 
Joke Hermes is a Professor of Practice-based Research in Media, Culture and Citizenship at Inholland University. Her research focuses on participant design and audience research in relation to media and diversity. She is founding co-editor of the European Journal of Cultural Studies.

Jane Roscoe (University of West of England, UK)

Jane Roscoe: Media Mixers: Creative Producers as the DJ’s of Creative Industries

As the landscape of the screen and media industries continually shifts and evolves, future content creators have to be able to move across platforms, weave their way through emerging technologies and engage with every genre and form. These shifts and changes challenge our thinking about creative processes, practice, business models and importantly, training. Mixing genres and aesthetic choices is already common across the creative industries, but how do we prepare, and conceptualise the media mixing that exists around the idea of creative enterprise? In this paper I will draw on examples from a number of disciplines such as fashion, graphic design, as well as film and music to explore what it means to be a creative content producer in a mixed media landscape, and draw out some of the learnings for future training and education.

Jane Roscoe
is Pro Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean for Arts, Creative Industries and Education at The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol). Her research focuses on documentary, television industries, film, ethnicity and diversity. Her career has spanned higher education and industry – including roles as Director of the London Film School, Head of International Content at the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) and Head of Channels at SBS Corporation. Alongside this career, she has published more than 50 articles and books.

Kristian Møller, IT University, Denmark

Kristian Møller: On mixing representational, infrastructural and user analysis. The case DIY chemsex porn and the masturbation event

This paper reflects on the erotic imaginary of transgression in porn and porn use, with fear and shame being inseparable from the desire that it conjures. Materially, it focuses on “chemsex”, sexual encounters between men who have sex with men (MSM), in which certain drugs are consumed. The analysis mixes porn representations, infrastructures, and user narratives, specifically a genre reading of DIY chemsex porn videos, a mapping of the affordances and semiotic patterns of the platform pornhub.com, and interviews with chemsex porn users. The mixing is conceptualized through assemblage theory as ‘masturbating-to-chemsex events’) an emerging phenomenon of semiotic, material and social elements (Deleuze & Guattari 1987:25).


Kristian Møller is a postdoctoral fellow at IT University, Denmark. He is currently working on a research project related to the medicalisation of masculinity, and chemsex porn assemblage, and has published various articles on his research in international journals.

Annette Hill, Lund University

Audiences Assemble

There is a way of understanding audiences through the process of becoming; not audiences as an  object of study, or fan production as construction, but the nascent ideas, hopes and dreams of audiences. Audiences assemble is a play on both Ingold and Wetherell’s research into ‘trails of becoming’, using the notion of production as processes of hope and growth, and the notion of patterning as path trails of becoming. One of the key strengths of exploring this meaning of assemblage is that it allows a glimpse into how audiences assemble themselves through their engagement and participation in popular culture, suggesting patterns and flows within their affective practices that can illuminate their hopes and dreams, their processes of becoming audiences and producers.

Annette Hill is Professor in Media and Communication at Lund University, Sweden. Her research focuses on audiences and popular culture, with interests in media engagement, everyday life, genres, production studies and cultures of viewing. She is the author of eight books, including Reality TV: Key Ideas (2015).