ICE blogs

March 24, 2013

Citizen media focus for colloquium

A two-day colloquium on citizen media is to be held 13-14 June 2013 in the Manchester Conference Centre. It is being organised by the Division of Languages and Intercultural Studies, at the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, University of Manchester.

The rapid shift from a mass media to a digital media culture in the past couple of decades has been the subject of considerable research. One important facet of this shift has been the process of media convergence and the concomitant blurring of boundaries between production and consumption practices in a wide range of contexts, including citizen journalism (news reporting, community radio and television, documentary filmmaking), individual or participatory co-creational work (self-broadcasting, crowdsourcing, fansubbing, scanlation, gaming), networked platforms of public deliberation (blogging, wikis) and other performative expressions of publicness (graffiti and citizen photography). Focusing on the involvement of citizens in this emergent digital culture, this two-day colloquium aims to bring together researchers and citizen media practitioners from different disciplinary and professional backgrounds with a view to sharing experiences and debating a number of recurrent themes in the field. These include:

• interrogating the ‘citizen’ in ‘citizen media’: what senses of ‘citizenship’ are activated in citizen media practices, and with what implications;
• the dialectic between citizen media and new technologies: empowering synergy or regulative tension;
• strategic vs therapeutic forms of self-mediation: activism, hacktivism, alter-globalism, altruistic humanitarianism and narcisstic exhibitionism;
• citizen media and protest movements;
• the ethics of witnessing and solidarity;
• playful forms of self-mediation (parody, satire);
• the threat of co-optation: containing the subversive within existing structures of political and corporate power;
• citizen media and the discursive constitution of public selves;
• citizen media and the construction of communities;
• citizen media and ‘the democratic deficit’;
• citizen media practices and piracy.

The programme is designed to ensure maximum participation by all attendees, and to allow sufficient time for discussion and exchange of views. There will be no parallel panels, and presentation slots are, therefore, limited. Plenary speakers are:

• Stuart Allan, Professor of Journalism and Director of the Centre for Journalism and Communication Research at Bournemouth University, UK. He has published widely on the emergence and development of news on the Internet, the online reporting of war, conflict and crisis, science journalism, and citizen journalism. His most recent book, Citizen Witnessing: Revisioning Journalism in Times of Crisis, was published by Polity in January 2013.

• Bolette Blaagaard, Assistant Professor at Aalborg University, Denmark and former Research Fellow at City University, London, where she was involved in setting up an international network to debate issues of citizenship and journalism, as well as carrying out research on citizen journalism and its implications for journalistic practices and education. She is co-editor of After Cosmopolitanism (Routlege 2012) and Deconstructing Europe (Routledge 2011).

• Simon Lindgren, Professor of Sociology at Umeå University, Sweden. He researches digital culture with a focus on social connections, social organization and social movements. He is actively taking part in developing theoretical as well as methodological tools for analysing discursive and social network aspects of the evolving new media landscape. His publications cover themes like hacktivism, digital piracy, citizen journalism, subcultural creativity and learning, popular culture and visual politics. Simon is the author of New Noise: A Cultural Sociology of Digital Disruption (2013).

• Ivan Sigal, Executive Director and co-founder of Global Voices, a community of more than 700 authors and 600 translators around the world who collect and make available reports from blogs and citizen media everywhere, with emphasis on voices that are not ordinarily heard in international mainstream media. He is author of White Road (Steidl Verlag 2012) and has extensive experience in supporting and training journalists and working on media co-productions in the Soviet Union and Asia.

If you are interested in presenting a paper, please send an abstract of 300 words by 15 April 2013 to Mona Baker (mona.baker@manchester.ac.uk) or Luis Pérez-González (Luis.Perez-Gonzalez@manchester.ac.uk). Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by 25 April 2013.

Registration fees (to include lunch and refreshments on 13 and 14 June): Full registration: £50. Student registration: £30.

• See http://citizenmediacolloquium.wordpress.com

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