Conference organised by the Communication and Media Research Institute, CAMRI, University of Westminster in association with Fluminense Federal University, Brazil

In an age of ongoing global protest, an economy in crisis and systems of governance and democracy in question, a re-assessment of the disciplines of media and cultural studies is called for. Traditional paradigms for conceptualising the media are further challenged by shifts in the media environment resulting from the growth of digital and mobile media. This is a defining moment for the field and a time for reflection and re-evaluation.

The production of academic knowledge and the development of fields of enquiry into the media, culture and society have always been linked to both intellectual formations within the academe and historical events taking place outside it. Critical theory and much later cultural studies and media studies were not only a reaction to the pathologies of modern times, but played an active role in naming and identifying them, thus serving as the harbingers of changing times. Conceptual and methodological frameworks used within these disciplines have also changed through time as international scholars attempted to grasp broader shifts in historical, cultural and social processes, showing that the analysis of media in different parts of the world may require different frameworks.

This conference thus invites us to reframe and rethink media/cultural studies in light of recent waves of global crises and new media developments. As such, it offers a space that transcends false binaries – between cultural studies and political economy, or new and old media, or global north and south – allowing us to reflect on the concepts and methods that can help us address the important issues of our time.

Some of the questions we will be considering include:

  • What are the questions that media studies and cultural studies should be asking to respond to a world in crisis?
  • What are the new concepts, theories and methodologies emerging from the field’s response to current challenges?
  • How have global protests and people’s everyday responses to a world in crisis challenged current theories and methodologies in media and cultural studies?
  • How have changes in media technologies altered the questions that media and cultural studies scholars are asking or the methodologies that they use? What is it that remains the same?
  • How are developments in media/cultural research and theorising around the world enriching and challenging the field?

The conference will be organised around four key themes, each headed by a plenary discussion:

Panel 1: Reframing Media Studies/Cultural Studies in the Age of Global Crisis: What are the questions?

Plenary Discussion 1:
Paddy Scannell, Dave Morley, Annabelle Sreberny, David Gauntlett

Panel 2: Global Crisis and Media Theory

Plenary Discussion 2:
Paolo Gerbaudo, Anastasia Kavada, Jeremy Gilbert, Colin Sparks

Panel 3: Rethinking Internationalising Media Studies/Cultural Studies

Plenary Discussion 3:
Daya Thussu, Fernando Resende, Jaeho Kang, Tarik Sabry

Panel 4: New/Old Theory in Media Studies/Cultural Studies

Plenary Discussion 4:
Joanna Zylinska, Christian Fuchs and Kaarle Nordenstreng

Programme and registration

This two-day conference will take place on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 June 2015.

The fee for registration (which applies to all participants, including presenters) is £199 standard. The special rate for students is £99. Registration fees cover all conference documentation, refreshments, lunches, wine reception and administration costs.

Registration is open until Thursday 11 June 2015.

Please download the registration form and send it to Helen Cohen [email protected].

Download the draft schedule.