Tuesday, 1 April 2014

“Creating Our Future Histories”

 “Creating Our Future Histories”
AHRC Collaborative Skills Training Programme
(Public Engagement and Partnership Building)
Institute of Humanities and Social Science Research (IHSSR)
Manchester Metropolitan University

Public engagement and external partnership building have become an important factor in the career progression of up-and-coming academics; it is now a standard requirement for all researchers to account for the relevance and impact of their research.
All of us are advised to incorporate public engagement and partnership building into the research process from the very conception of a new project; rather than simply integral to the research, public engagement must be constitutive of it, determining its genesis rather than merely accompanying its dissemination.
This new ‘ ideal’ research scenario not only raises questions regarding the appropriation of traditional research procedures, but also exposes a huge skills gap concerning effective methodological innovation. Our proposed training aims to fill this gap by equipping PGR/ECRs with ‘hands-on’ research partnership experience regarding the collaborative excavation, representation and recording of our community-based local histories.
In response to these demands, the Institute of Humanities and Social Science Research (IHSSR) are pleased to be hosting a new AHRC-funded collaborative skills training programme for 2014-15.
The programme consists of a series of practice-led workshops and multidisciplinary peer-group activities designed to equip PhD students and early-career researchers from a whole range of Arts and Humanities disciplines (including History, English & Creative Writing, Human Geography, Information & Communication Studies, Film Studies and Art) with public engagement and research partnership-building skills. The aim of the programme is to set up actual partnerships with local community groups and organisations interested in excavating and recording their histories. Our partners for this project will include:
GMVCO Ardwick Green Heritage Project
Moss Side Millennium Powerhouse
Dance Manchester
Ancoats Dispensary Trust
The Pankhurst Centre
The programme draws on the expertise of:
Manchester Centre for Regional History (MCRH)
University of Central Lancashire’s Institute for Local and Family History
People’s History Museum
Manchester Histories Festival
These groups will work in collaboration with additional experts in participative research, media representation and impact generation.
The individual workshops will focus on contact management, consultation and collaborative project design, media liaison, co-ownership of research results, as well as effective impact capture and evaluation.
The programme will be delivered as five workshops (including two two-day residential weekends) and a public exhibition event. The period between the workshops is dedicated to actual and virtual fieldwork, which will see the participants developing their partnerships with the community groups assigned to them. Participants will consolidate their understanding of public engagement by working through online materials made available by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement
Time schedule
Please note that to maximise access to the training, the workshops will run at weekends. The venue for the workshops will be the People’s History Museum
Orientation Day (6 September 2014)
Workshop 1 (two-day residential: 27-28 September 2014)
Workshop 2 (two-day residential: 22-23 November 2014)
Workshop 3 (7 February 2015)
Workshop 4 (a Saturday in late March 2015, exact date TBC)
Public exhibition event (May 2015, exact dates TBC)
Workshop 5 (20 June 2015)
  • The programme is open to all PhD students enrolled at a British HEI as well as early-career researchers who have completed their doctoral studies since 2010. Priority will be given to final-year PhD students, especially if they are AHRC-funded. Additional preference will be given to ECRs not currently in full-time employment.
  • Applicants are expected to sign up for the whole programme.
  • Applications are invited from PhD/ECRs with a background in any Arts and Humanities discipline within the AHRC’s funding remit, but it is anticipated that at least three fifths of the 20-25 participants will be from a History background.
  • Due to the programme’s focus on Manchester, many participants will be based in the region, but this is by no means a prerequisite. Participants will be able to claim back travel expenses, and overnight accommodation (for the two residentials) is provided.
How to apply:
Please submit one pdf file, including:
  • - your CV (two pages maximum), including contact details of two academic referees
  • - a synopsis of your current research (500 words maximum)
  • - information on any prior public engagement experience, if applicable (200 words maximum)
  • - a personal statement detailing your interest in the training, particularly important if your home discipline is not History (200 words maximum)
Please submit your application to Mrs Helen Malarky (IHSSR Project Manager) at h.malarky@mmu.ac.uk by 15 May 2014. Applicants will be  informed of the outcome of their application by no later than 20 June 2014.

GradProg talks at MCUK 2/4: Radical/Alternative Media, Multitudes and Activism

Wednesday 2 April, Room 2.04, MediaCityUK --- all welcome.

Internal Speaker: Michael Goddard (University of Salford, Media and Broadcast directorate), 2-3pm

Media Ecological Approaches to Alternative and Radical Media

This presentation will explore some of the issues in approaching alternative and radical media drawing on and extending the work of Downing et al (2000) on Radical Media and Atton on Alternative Media and An Alternative Internet (2001, 2004). In particular it will use the concept of media ecologies as developed by Matthew Fuller (Fuller 2005), as a way of approaching a range of case studies drawn from both analogue and digital media. Using examples ranging from free and pirate radio and guerrilla television to cyber-activism, this talk will look at how media ecologies and approaches to self organisation can shed light on both small scale media and activist use of larger media forms (television, social media etc).

External Speaker: Dr Joss Hands (Anglia Ruskin University), 3-4pm

Collective Idiocy: Of Digital Multitudes and Mobs

One of the most revisited concepts in critical and media theory is that of ‘general intellect’, as originally outlined by Karl Marx in his celebrated ‘Fragment on Machines’. The concept is often framed as containing a liberatory promise via the destruction of the value of labour power, and thus the capacity of capital to generate surplus value. While autonomist theories have speculated that this concept pre-empts characteristics of the digital revolution and the creation of cooperative common, there is a potential dark side of a digitally enhanced general intellect. The paper will ask whether such intelligence is indeed ‘intelligent’. This paper explores the question of whether this is actually closer to a general ‘idiocy.’ It will explore the idiotic tendencies embodied in such thinkers as Clay Shirky, James Surowiecki and Charles Leadbeater and the likely decomposition of the common into what Heidegger refers to as the ‘they’. The paper will ask whether such collective idiocy is part of our technical condition and what, to use a pointed phrase, is to be done?

Joss Hands teaches Communication and Media Studies at Anglia Ruskin University Cambridge,
where he is also director of the Anglia Research Centre in Media and Culture. He is author of @ is for Activism: Dissent Resistance and Rebellion in a Digital Culture published by Pluto Press.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

PhD Scholarships at Salford

For entry for October 2014:  two funding streams, 50 places on offer --
Graduate Teaching Scholarships
Pathway to Excellence Scholarships.

Deadline: end of March 2014.

Full info and application via: http://www.salford.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/fees-and-funding/funded-phd-studentship?utm_source=salfordhomepage&utm_medium=homeslider&utm_campaign=phdstudentships

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Salford conference Call for Papers: Challenging Media Landscapes 2014


Date: Monday 17-Tuesday 18 November 2014

Venue: University of Salford, MediacityUK, Salford, Manchester.

The theme of the Challenging Media Landscapes conference is Exploring Media Choice and Freedom. It is hosted and organized by the University of Salford at MediacityUK and is part of the five day 2014 International Media Festival, Salford.

Conference Aim
The aim of the 2014 Challenging Media Landscapes conference is to undertake an exploration of a range of the main conceptual and practice based issues which have framed the academic analysis of ideas, practical expressions and critiques of freedom and choice in media environments over the course of at least the last decade.

Papers may have as their focus empirical cases, conceptual and theoretical contributions, or both. They may also report on practice based research across the range of media scholarship. Research which is of an exploratory and interdisciplinary orientation is welcome. Broadly speaking, papers are invited which address the range of actors, institutions, structures, instruments and processes in media environments that affect and challenge in some significant way our understanding of media freedom and choice.

Below is a set of five core themes, to be interpreted flexibly, around which contributions might be centred, though ideas for papers which do not sit in or across one or more of these areas, but which address the core aim of the conference, are also welcomed.

Theme One: Freedom, Choice and Privacy in Media Environments
Debates about privacy in media environments, particularly the online world, burn as strongly as they ever have. Some even contend that we are already in a post-privacy age, with the envelopment of professional and personal interactions and relations through social media and the melding of the two spheres, manifest, for example, in forms of immaterial labour. Concerns are expressed about surveillance, the treatment of protest by the State, and abandonment of respect for privacy by commercial organisations.  Yet, high profile dissenting organisations and analysts, such as Wikileaks, IndyMedia and The Invisible Committee, for example – provide evidence of a more complex, contested environment. Wikileaks’s maxim “privacy for individuals and transparency for institutions” is suggestive of a new paradigm of what must be private, and what will be public. This theme calls for papers which explore the contemporary nature of privacy.  What imperatives arise from its protection and what challenges arise in trying to secure it?

Theme Two: Policy Choices and Freedom in Changing Media Environments
The Internet is eroding the boundaries between the press, broadcasting and new, on-demand media services. The re-articulation of traditional Public Service Broadcasting as Public Service Media has now arguably been well-established. The rise of social media has created a set of new online communications environments where the associated commercial and governance protocols are still very much in their infancy and thus contested. What are the different ways of considering freedom and choice in this evolving era of media convergence? What are the key challenges that are developing in converging communications  environments in terms of broadening and maintaining choice and what are the implications of this? How has this been manifest in the consideration of  issues such as market regulation and the prescription of base line public service? This theme of the conference calls for papers which evoke new thinking in areas such as: new media market environments; possible subsidisation of media content, copyright regulation, ‘net neutrality’, and the possible regulation of social media.

Theme Three: The Growth of Big Data and Media Freedom
Debates about freedom, choice and control have been heightened by exponential growth in the range and amount of digitally collected and stored information. This has led to claims that the application of so called “Big Data” offers unparalleled opportunities to: understand social problems; track changes in public behaviour; and to develop more precise, incisive and nuanced policy responses to the needs of people as citizens, audience members, readers and consumers. More fundamentally, Big Data has been seen as challenging what we know and how we know it. However, superficial and deterministic assumptions that Big Data can automaticially produce solutions to a range of social problems ignore key questions around the interests which gather and have access to such data; exercise control over data flows; and undertake action to analyse and interpret such data. These concerns are already important sites of analysis and contestation in academic, governmental and media circles and this theme calls for contributions which will take forward the important debates this activity has generated.

Theme 4: Journalism, Media Freedom and Democracy
The principle of journalistic freedom centres on ideas about democracy, the Fourth Estate and the public sphere. However, the Leveson Inquiry (2012) in the UK was a potent reminder both of the limits of those freedoms and of their capacity to be abused. Globally, journalists are struggling to establish and maintain their freedom in fledgling democracies, such as the post-Arab Spring countries. The emergence of participatory (or ‘citizen’) journalism represents another important development, including a challenge to the professional status and values of journalists and to their ability to foster and regain public trust. Some argue that we are witnessing a democratisation of media through growing interactivity in journalism and apparently decentralised social media. This theme focuses on the range of possible responses to ideas about freedom in journalism in a variety of contexts in the twenty-first century. It welcomes both specific case studies of the notion of freedom in journalism and new attempts to theorise and  explain critically the evolving and often elusive nature of this idea.
Theme 5: Articulations of, and Barriers to, Creativity, Freedom and Choice in Media Practices
Media practice has long been a core manifestation of  creativity, and the exercising of freedom and choice in the pursuit of excellence. However, media technologies and practices, individual and collective, commercial and non-commercial,  are constantly changing. This theme calls for contributions which explore key changes in media practice from the perspective of creativity, freedom and choice. Papers and other contributions (such as audiovisual materials) may train their focus on the gamut of media practice from screenwriting to distribution and exhibition, from performance practices to cinematographic practices, from directing to sound design, from animation to games designs. Papers which explore multi-disciplinary and converged media practices, creative forms and business models are particular welcome.

Submission of Abstracts
Abstracts of no more than 400 words should be submitted in Word document format by 9 June 2014 to:
Your abstract should address one of the above themes (please indicate which) and have a separate cover sheet providing your name(s), institutional affiliation(s) and e-mail address(es). You will be notified of acceptance by 15 July, 2014. Full papers are due no later than 1 November, 2013.
It is the intention of the organisers to put together an edited volume of the conference contributions.
Details on booking registration and accommodation options will follow on acceptance of your proposal.

For further enquiries, contact the conference director:
Seamus Simpson,
Professor of Media Policy,
Director of the Communication, Cultural and Media Studies Research Centre,
University of Salford,
Salford Quays,
Manchester M502HE
Email: s.simpson@salford.ac.uk

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Events around "The Commons" at MMU

Common Senses is a series of exploratory events and discussions around 'the commons'. In a time of sociopolitical crisis and economic austerity, we are witnessing an increasing interest on the intersections between collectivity and communality; the right to knowledge and the city; shared experiences in and around the private and public sphere; existing and possible practices of resistance.

2 April, 16.00 - 19.00
Public, Private or Commons
Following the global economic crisis and subsequent austerity programmes, communities throughout the world have begun to redefine public space, questioning the roles of both private interests and the state. Do people have a right to ’the commons’, or is it a space that is contested, negotiated and imagined? 

Presentations, discussions with The Provisional University (Dublin-based group of activist researchers) and Orsalia Dimitriou (Architect, PhD Goldsmiths), followed by a screening of her film Avaton (Sanctuary).

30 April, 14.00 - 18.00
The Public Library Project, Marcell Mars
As academic researchers, we are concerned with the increasingly restricted access to knowledge as a result of financial cuts and privatisation. In addition, the internet, which once heralded ease of access to knowledge, is now subject to control under the pretexts of national security and in the interest of profit. What does the future hold for our access to knowledge?

Marcell Mars (founder of the Multimedia Institute - mi2 and net.culture club mama in Zagreb) will propose an emancipatory infrastructure where everyone can be a librarian – sharing books, sharing interests and sharing knowledge and will run a workshop on the digitising and sharing libraries.

Both events will take place at MIRIAD, Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University, Righton Building, 1st floor Open Space, Cavendish Street, Manchester M15 6BG.

Events are free and all are welcome.

North West Symposium on LANDSCAPES OF IDENTITY (9/4)

North West Symposium on LANDSCAPES OF IDENTITY (LOI14)

A student-led symposium for postgraduate researchers, their supervisors and early career researchers. It will present diverse perspectives on identity of place and society from leading experts who have made their marks on fields such as architecture, urban landscape design, arts and media, popular culture, music and animation. Join us for a multi-disciplinary symposium, networking opportunity, and debate that will focus on the socio-cultural-physical characteristics of Manchester and visions of its future.

Chair: Emma Anderson (The Atkinson)
Guest Speakers:
Tom Bloxham MBE (Urban Splash) - Identity through Urban Regeneration
Chris Woodworth (Travellers' Tales Warner Bros) - Virtual Identity
Dave Haslam (Fac 51 The Haçienda) - Representation of Identity through Nightclubs and Music Venues
Paul Harris (Paul Harris Dance) - Identity through Movement
Jason Prior (AECOM) - Place Identity

Registration: tea, coffee and cakes (4.15-5pm)
Presentation, debate, networking: wine and canapés (5-8pm)

LIMITED spaces on first-come first-serve basis. To obtain your FREE ticket, please register:

For detailed information on topic(s), speaker(s) and programme: www.miriad.mmu.ac.uk/landscapesofidentity
Enquiries: yatie@hotmail.co.uk or m.trustram@mmu.ac.uk  0161 247 1118
Twitter: #LandID #LOI14 #MIRIAD

This information is also attached.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Salford Symposium: "Transgression, Creativity, and The Comedy Business"


Transgression, Creativity, and The Comedy Business

17th March 2014, 10am-4.15pm
Digital Performance Lab
University of Salford
Media City UK, Salford Quays, M50 2EQ

Comedy often broaches the most fraught issues in our lives and cultures, standards of gender performance, types of sexuality, social, ethnic and cultural difference transgressing boundaries as it seeks to create laughter. Yet comedy has been intrinsically important in the development, influence and impact of radio, film and television and its importance for these media industries and its role in their construction of our cultural landscape are clearly linked.

How do comedic transgression and creativity play their part in the business of comedy?

Presentations by Dr Sharon Lockyer,  (Brunel University), Dr David Huxley and Dr David James (Manchester Metropolitan University) and Dr Sarah Ralph (UEA).

Performances by Ridiculusmus (Conversations about Comedy and NEW show
The Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland)

Plus - Salford Comedy Festival, BBC Writers' Room Comedy Workshops, and Salford University Comedy Showcase (18th March)


BOOKING: Please contact Richard Talbot - r.talbot@salford.ac.uk to book.



Ridiculusmus at Salford University 17th & 18th March


Monday 17th March, 2pm, Digital Performance Lab, University of Salford, Media City,




in association with Sick! Festival, Brighton

Monday 17 March, 7.30pm - 9.15pm
Tuesday 18 March, 3.00pm - 4.45pm

Venue: Robert Powell Theatre, Allerton Building, University of Salford, M6 6PU
Admission: £5 Full / £4 Concessions

“Mediterranean roasted vegetables. Finnish Folk and Margaret Drabble. Adolf Hitler and the knitted cover for a toilet roll. An audience split in two experiencing auditory hallucinations.”

The School of Arts & Media presents the first in a planned trilogy of events from Ridiculusmus Theatre Company, focusing on mental health issues and their treatment. This new work is inspired by a treatment method for psychosis developed by Dr Jaakko Seikkula in Finland, which has virtually eradicated schizophrenia from Western Lapland. It conjures up a comic nightmare of delusion while offering a hopeful world of polyphonic uncertainty, a world where dialogue can transform your life.

The text is syncopated and harmonised throughout with duets on words and phrases, cooking up a dizzying concoction of memory, delusion and reality that culminates in a unified third act of final set between the past and present – the crucial defining moment of the protagonist’s life.

For further information visit: www.ridiculusmus.com
Twitter: @_ridiculusmus_
Facebook: facebook.com/ridiculusmustheatre

or contact Richard Talbot - r.talbot@salford.ac.uk

Performances funded by Wellcome Trust, Arts Council, Salford Comedy Lab, Salford School of Arts & Media and Performance Research Centre.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

AHRC supported jazz research

Colleagues might be interested in a new 15-minute film we have made called Carnivalising the Creative Economy: AHRC-Supported Research on and with British Jazz Festivals, as part of the showcasing of such research projects. It brings together academics and festivals directors from 5 recent / current AHRC funded projects in the field, who discuss the benefits and findings of such collaboration.

The film was made by Gemma Thorpe (http://www.gemmathorpe.com).

You can view it here: http://vimeo.com/88583574

We are launching the film with a panel discussion tomorrow, at the AHRC Creative Economy Showcase day, King's Place, London: http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/Funded-Research/Research-Creative-Economy/Creative-Economy-Showcase-2014/Pages/Programme.aspx

Those involved:
John Cumming, Director, London Jazz Festival
Jill Rodger, Director, Glasgow Jazz Festival
Tony Dudley-Evans, Artistic Advisor, Cheltenham Jazz Festival
Prof Tony Whyton, University of Salford
Prof Martin Cloonan, University of Glasgow
Alison Eales, Collaborative Doctoral Award student, University of Glasgow

Thursday, 6 March 2014

GradProg (12/3): Digital / Social Media and Activism Double Bill

*** Update: Dr Vlavo won't be able to join us tomorrow afternoon, 
but Dr Gerbaudo's talk will go ahead at 3pm ***

Wednesday 12th March 2014, Media City 2.20

Double external session on Digital/Social Media and Activism

External Speaker: Dr Paolo Gerbaudo (King’s College, London). 3-4pm

Social Media Activism and the Generic Internet User, between Homogenisation and Disintermediation

Paolo Gerbaudo is Lecturer in Digital Culture and Society at King’s College London. Previously he had been an Associate Lecturer in Journalism and Communication, at the Media Department at Middlesex University, and an Adjunct Professor of Sociology at the American University in Cairo (AUC). Apart from his academic work Paolo has also acted as a journalist covering social movements, political affairs and environmental issues, and as a new media artist exhibiting at art festivals and shows. He holds a PhD in Media and Communications from Goldsmiths College.

External Speaker: Dr Fidele Vlavo (King’s College London). 4-5pm

Disobedience, Occupation, and Performance: Reframing Online Protest

Electronic civil disobedience (ECD) emerged as a new form of socio-political activism in the early 1990s. However, though ECD was practised in support of the Zapatista uprising and as part of the alter-globalisation movement, it remains unclear as to whether it is a legitimate form of protest, a form of 'slacktivism', or a mode of information politics which disrupts data flows. This paper offers a critical assessment of the concepts and discourses that have encouraged the development of cyberprotest through an examination of key cases. It examines critical responses to early ECD actions including legal prosecution, criticism from activists and public disapproval. It also considers more positive responses on the future of ECD centred on three aspects: a reconsideration of the legacy of civil disobedience praxis; a reformulation of cyberspace as a site of resistance and, a conceptualisation of the performative quality of online disturbance.

Fidele Vlavo joined the Department of CMCI in January 2012. She was previously lecturing at the department of arts and media at London South Bank University where she completed her doctoral research. Fidele holds a BA (Hons) in Arts Management (London South Bank University) and a degree in Film studies (Sorbonne-Nouvelle Paris). Her PhD examined the concept of electronic civil disobedience and the practice of online activism. It provided a discursive analysis of the use of cyberspace as an exclusive site for political protest. Prior to her PhD, Fidele worked on digital projects at the Courtauld Institute and the British Museum.

Monday, 3 March 2014

BBC Writers Room / Uni of Salford masterclasses event

BBC Writers Room in partnership with the University of Salford will be running two comedy masterclasses on Tuesday 18th March in the DPL at University of Salford, MCUK.   Details of the masterclasses and how to book are via the link below.  

The link also includes details on how to book tickets for the  University of Salford Comedy Showcase – A Celebration of the Performance Comedy Pathway Graduates, on the evening of Tuesday 18th March in the DPL, MCUK. 

Please book early.

Grad Prog talks at MediaCityUK: "Language and Motion" / Poetry as Research Practice

Wednesday 5th of March, Room 3.07

Internal Speaker, 3PM: Dr Scott Thurston
Language and Motion: Postmodern Poetry and Dance

Poets have been fascinated by dance for centuries, seeing in its expressive, yet elusive, gestures an analogue for their own handling of language. In the twentieth century, this fascination led to a series of encounters between poets and dancers, such as those which took place in the multi-disciplinary milieu of the Judson Dance Theater in New York City (1962-66). Judson, however, is only part of a larger story of how poets and dancers on both sides of the Atlantic in the postmodern period sought ways to bring their respective art forms into dialogue with each other in order to create new and exciting works of the imagination. My current research hopes to shed light on how we relate to, and seek to express, our embodied self in language and movement, and will explore how the tension between the constraints on our being and the possibilities for overcoming these constraints becomes the subject of groundbreaking artistic endeavour.

External Speaker, 4PM: Allen Fisher (Emeritus Professor, MMU)
Articulating a Research Practice.

A personal summary of the tactics, plans and methods used in my poetics and artistic practice, in the facture of poetry and visual imagery. The talk will discuss some of the conceptual and pragmatic ideas involved and will include examples.

Allen Fisher is a poet, painter, publisher, editor and art-historian and has produced over one hundred and twenty chapbooks and books of poetry, graphics and art documentation. A major figure in British Linguistically Innovative Poetry, he worked for over thirty years on two massive projects in multiple books, Place (now published in a complete edition from Reality Street, 2005) and Gravity as a consequence of shape, now collected across three volumes: Gravity (Salt, 2004), Entanglement (The Gig, 2004) and Leans (Salt, 2008). He has intensely engaged with the history of ideas, science, art and architecture.

Grad Prog at MCUK: introduced screening - "Preempting Dissent" (19/3)

Wednesday the 19th of March, The Egg, 3PM

Special Event: Dr Greg Elmer presents Preempting Dissent (2014)

The creative commons documentary Preempting Dissent (2014) builds upon the book of the same name written by Greg Elmer and Andy Opel. The film is a culmination of a collaborative process of soliciting, collecting and editing video, still images, and creative commons music files from people around the world. Preempting Dissent interrogates the expansion of the so-called “Miami-Model” of protest policing, a set of strategies developed in the wake of 9/11 to preempt forms of mass protest at major events in the US and worldwide. The film tracks the development of the Miami model after the WTO protests in Seattle 1999, through the post-9/11 years, FTAA & G8/20 summits, and most recently the Occupy Wall St movements. The film exposes the political, social, and economic roots of preemptive forms of protest policing and their manifestations in spatial tactics, the deployment of so-called ‘less-lethal’ weapons, and surveillance regimes. The film notes however that new social movements have themselves begun to adopt preemptive tactics so as not to fall into the trap set for them by police agencies worldwide: www.preemptingdissent.com

Greg Elmer is Bell Globemedia Research Chair and Professor of Media at Ryerson University where he heads the Infoscape Research Lab. Greg is currently visiting faculty fellow at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Greg Elmer has published 7 books, including the co-authored book with Alessandra Renzi: Infrastructure Critical: Sacrifice at the Toronto G20 summit. He is currently working on a new book project that investigates the role that accounting practices and forms have played in the financialization of new media companies and users. He is also in preproduction for his next film DPRK 1989, a film that documents Canadian student participation in the 1989 World Festival of Youth and Students (WFYS) in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Salford Symposium: "Transgression, Creativity, and The Comedy Business" (17/3)


Transgression, Creativity, and The Comedy Business

How do comedic transgression and creativity play their part in the business of comedy?

Monday 17th March 2014, 10am-4.15pm

Digital Performance Lab
University of Salford
Media City UK, Salford Quays, M50 2EQ

Comedy often broaches the most fraught issues in our lives and cultures, standards of gender performance, types of sexuality, social, ethnic and cultural difference transgressing boundaries as it seeks to create laughter. Yet comedy has been intrinsically important in the development, influence and impact of radio, film and television and its importance for these media industries and its role in their construction of our cultural landscape are clearly linked.

The Salford Comedy Symposium features presentations by Dr Sharon Lockyer,  (Brunel University), Dr David Huxley and Dr David James (Manchester Metropolitan University) and Dr Sarah Ralph (UEA). The event includes a performance by Ridiculusmus of ‘Conversation About Comedy’.


Please contact: Richard Talbot - r.talbot@salford.ac.uk to book.

Salford University has hosted and co-hosted Comedy Conferences since 2005 and the Comedy Studies journal, published by Intellect has emerged from this.

On the same day at 7.30pm in the Robert Powell Theatre Ridiculsumus will present their new production, The Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland (Tickets are £5 - contact Richard Talbot, see below). See http://www.ridiculusmus.com. The event also coincides with the Salford University Comedy Showcase and performances by students on the BA (Hons) Performance: Comedy Practices Pathway.


Friday, 21 February 2014

Talks at MMU

17.00 - 18.00 in the Open Space on first floor of the Righton Building, Cavendish Street,
Manchester M15 6BG
All speakers are from the School of Art
Enquiries: Dr Myna Trustram (m.trustram@mmu.ac.uk)

12 February Conflict and compassion. Contemporary visual culture from UK and Asia
Alnoor Mitha The talk will give a background to the research on the Asia Triennial Manchester (ATM)
26 Sept - 23 Nov 2014. Alnoor is the artistic director for the third ATM and will curate a major
international show at the Imperial War Museum North.

19 February Treacle Country: New landscapes of the imagination
Prof John Hyatt

12 March Patterns that disconnect: “... designing ecology into the city”
Dr David Haley The effects of climate change are accelerating and nine billion people will be living in cities that are
no longer fit for purpose. If ecological perturbation also offers opportunities for diverse creative
responses, resilience and ‘capable futures’, how might such seismic transformations of cultural
norms and ecological forms be choreographed with grace? The talk will include examples of David’s
ecological arts projects.

19 March Each day at a time: Writing and collecting in mourning
Dr Myna Trustram ‘Art is the means by which we lose the object in order to call it back in a new form’ (Ellman 2005).
This performative talk is an account of writing in mourning. Following a bereavement, I documented in a
diary a kind of slow, controlled collecting of flowers in order to recover a habit of writing a diary. I
consider whether the diary was in part a melancholic response to loss - a repetitive search for beauty
and its decay.

26 March Martial hauntology
Dr Toby Heys A sonic, visual and spoken word history of sound as a weapon.

14 May Serge Tisseron on how objects acquire agency.
Dr Philip Sykas Since the 1970s, the French psychiatrist, Serge Tisseron, has explored the role of the object as a
mediator of mental activity. The object can be a place in which we bury memories and experiences in
order to put these out of our mind for a period. Tisseron questions our relation with objects, treating
them as an extension of the human mind. As his work is not yet available in English, this talk presents
Tisseron’s ideas to those who cannot read them in French.

21 May Pylons and Birds Eye: Women’s Institute scrapbooks
Dr Rosemary Shirley This paper centres on a set of scrapbooks created by the rural women’s organisation the Women’s
Institute. They were made in 1965 by WI’s all over the country to celebrate the organisation’s Golden
Jubilee, and were intended to provide a snapshot of village life at that moment. The books reveal
something of the complexity of how modernity has been felt in rural places, evidencing dramatic yet
uneven changes in the landscape, in consumption and in the home.

28 May The transformative power of thread
Alice Kettle Using thread for its narrative potential, Alice Kettle will look at recent projects such as the 'Garden of
England' at the Queen’s House (Royal Museums Greenwich) and Unravelling at Uppark
House (Petersfield).

11 June Duchess, dogs, Detroit and dragons, handles and cherrypickers - Travels in the Spode
Dr Paul Scott Excavating and re-animating the forgotten remains of an industry. A journey through engraved
landscapes, digital harvests, rivets and staples.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Des Freedman talk at MediaCityUK

Our warm thanks to Prof Des Freedman of Goldsmiths for his "Reflections on Media Power": old moguls and new media, Twitter and imperialist intrigues, MediaLens and illiberal bias, the popular press and anti-war movements, and approaches to reform in the post-Levenson age.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Reworking Ranciere talk (24/2)

MMU are hosting a public talk by Prof Tina Chanter entitled ‘The Public, The Private and the Aesthetic Unconscious: Reworking Ranciere’

Monday February 24th starting with refreshments at 5pm.

Details are here:

The event is free and open to all.

Suffragette Legacy conference (8 March)

(includes a presentation from Salford's own Dr Benjamin Halligan on slutwalking activism)

Friday, 7 February 2014

Reflections on Media Power: Grad Prog talk this Weds (12/2), MediaCityUK

Wednesday 12th of February, room 2.20 Media City, 4PM

External Speaker: Professor Des Freedman (Goldsmiths College, London)

Reflections on Media Power

Media power is a crucial, although often taken for granted, concept. Does it express the economic and political prowess of particular ‘media moguls’? Does it refer to the media’s capacity to modify attitudes and beliefs, transform social circumstances and exert influence over other social institutions? Does it refer to the ability of media to provide other state or corporate actors with a valuable resource to assert their own dominance? Does it point to a concentration of symbolic influence that is mobilized in quite personalized contexts or to the growth of economic blocs that are all the more significant in 21st century ‘knowledge’ and ‘information societies’? Are we to believe that the media are increasingly the locus of power or, as Castells argues, that ‘the media are not the holders of power, but they constitute by and large the space where power is decided’? As a way into thinking through some of these issues, the paper identifies four paradigms of media power. As with any conceptual model, it is filled with holes and probably fails to address all the complexities of media power. However, in thinking through different frames through which to assess the dynamics of media power, it may be a useful starting point.

Des Freedman is a professor of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of The Politics of Media Policy, co-author (with James Curran and Natalie Fenton) of Misunderstanding the Internet and co-editor (with Daya Thussu) of Media and Terrorism: Global Perspectives. He is the chair of the Media Reform Coalition and is working on his new book, The Contradictions of Media Power. 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Talks at Manchester University

Cultivating Research – spring 2014

Thursday 20th February, 5.15pm – Martin Harris Centre SL01

Professor Helen Nicholson (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Participation: Commodity or Community?

This paper will open questions about the politics of participation. Historically, debates in applied theatre tended to make sharp distinctions between active participation and passive consumption - with assumptions that see participation as necessarily emancipatory or morally virtuous. This view seems outdated in a context in which many different forms of theatre invite participation, where museums have become participatory theme parks, and when shopping is regarded as integral to an experience economy. Affect sells, and participation has been commodified. So what’s left?

The first part of the talk will open some of these assumptions about the political porousness of participation for critical scrutiny, asking how participation in theatre shifted from a utopian ideal of communitarian equality to a valuable commodity. Thereafter, a forum-style discussion will consider examples of practice that challenge, test or affirm the perception that participatory performance (in its broadest sense) is being reshaped and reconceptualised in the 21st century.

Thursday 20th March, 5.15pm – Martin Harris Centre SL01

Professor Maggie Gale and Dr. Jenny Hughes (University of Manchester)

In the Beginning was the Grant…

In this session, Maggie and Jenny will each introduce and discuss their new research projects, starting in 2014, that are funded respectively by Leverhulme and AHRC grants (brief info below). The discussion will also open up to consider the challenges and benefits of pursuing extended grant awards.

A Social History of British Performance Cultures 1900 -1939: Law, Surveillance and the Body. Maggie Gale’s new project will develop research that critically interrogates early twentieth-century British performance cultures. The research explores the ways in which repeated motifs of estrangement, fear of the ‘other’, and transformations in the experience of identity and citizenship, can be understood through a social history of cultural production.

Poor theatres: a critical examination of theatre, performance and economic precarity. Jenny Hughes’s project explores the relationship between theatre, performance and poverty by interrogating their interstices at three distinct historical junctures (in the 1830s, 1980s, and the 2010s). The research develops a contribution to the understanding of social welfare and resource management systems in times of economic austerity and ecological uncertainty.

Wednesday 14th May – 5.00pm Martin Harris Centre G16

Professor Simon Shaw-Miller (University of Bristol)

The Art of Marcel Duchamp, Nam June Paik and the Modernist Musical Paradigm

This is the first guest lecture in a series curated specifically to bring together colleagues across the Division comprising Music, Drama, Art History and Visual Studies, within the larger of the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. It considers two avant-garde figures of importance in all three fields.

“Marcel Duchamp has already done everything there is to do – except video. He widened the entry but narrowed the exit. That very narrow door is video art and only through video art can we get ahead of Marcel Duchamp.” So said Nam June Paik in 1974. This talk will pause on the notion of ‘video’ (sight) and link it to ideas about music (sound), for it is with music that both Paik and Duchamp’s aesthetic have foundational roots. The talk addresses key moments in the formation of modernism and argues for the centrality of ideas about music as a governing paradigm, moving from idea to object to action.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Emma Rees talk

Our thanks to Emma for her talk on "Vulvanomics"... Medieval censorship, hygiene products, lexical tensions, activism and academe.

Monday, 27 January 2014

MMU 21st Century Feminism event (5/3)

Programme and details http://www.hssr.mmu.ac.uk/hip/21st-century-feminism/

"Timed to lead up to International Women’s Day, this one-day public forum will consider contemporary gender issues and persistent sexism. What does it mean to be a feminist in the 21st century and what are the new challenges facing women in an era marked by on-going global conflict and economic crisis? A panel of internationally renowned feminist thinkers will discuss the feminist now and the feminist future, alongside a day of networking opportunities and activities."

Vivienne Parry talk at Salford: Science in the Media (30/1)

Full info / booking (free): http://www.salford.ac.uk/news/the-salford-lectures-vivienne-parry-science-in-the-media-breakthroughs,-scares-and-frankenfoods

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Information for North West Consortium / Salford Uni PGR & PGT applicants

For those who wish to apply for PhD scholarships from the North West Consortium:

a) Apply online to Salford, with your proposal, here:
Deadline: 12 Feb.
NB: We will need your two references filed by this date. Please note on the application that this is for North West Consortium consideration.

b) You will hear back from us, with an acceptance or rejection, on 13/14th Feb

c) Apply online to the North West Consortium, with your proposal, here: http://www.nwcdtp.ac.uk/howtoapply/
Deadline: 21 Feb

For those who wish to apply for the Research Preparation (MA) scholarships from the North West Consortium:

a) Apply online to Salford, for the MA of your choice, here: http://www.salford.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/applying
Deadline: 12 Feb.
NB: Please note on the application that this is for North West Consortium consideration.

b) You will hear back from us, with an acceptance or rejection, on 13/14th Feb

c) Apply online to the North West Consortium, with your proposal, here: http://www.nwcdtp.ac.uk/howtoapply/

Deadline: 21 Feb

NB: You will need to have a first, or be heading for a first, in order to be applicable for an MA scholarship.

Grad Prog talks this Weds (29/1): Public Service Journalism // Talking about Vaginas

Location: 2.20, MediaCityUK (unless otherwise stated)

Time: Internal speakers, 3-3.50pm; External speakers, 4.00-5.30pm.

All welcome!

Internal Speaker: Professor Seamus Simpson (University of Salford; English and Journalism directorate and head of CCM)

Public Service Journalism and Converging Media Systems

Concepts and practices of public service have been an integral part of the evolution of communication media systems for decades in Europe and beyond. However, the process of media convergence has called forth an examination of the place of public service in communications. Ideas of public service have been an important part of the development of journalism and have too come under increasing pressure in the era of media convergence. This session will commence with an exploration of some of the key ideas that have shaped articulations of public service in media systems and journalism. It will then go on to explore some of the challenges and opportunities for public service journalism which have arisen from the development convergent media platforms and services. It will conclude by exploring the extent to which public service journalism is relevant today in our diverse-yet-converging, highly commercialised, digital multi-media systems.

External Speaker: Dr Emma Rees (University of Chester)

Vulvanomics: How We Talk About Vaginas. 

In Vulvanomics, Emma considers why British and US culture has such a problem when talking about the female body; she maps the long history of advertising that profits from the taboo of the vagina, and she reflects on how writers, artists and filmmakers have been influenced by, or even perpetuate, this ‘shame’.

Dr Emma L. E. Rees is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Chester. Her research and teaching interests include Shakespeare studies; early modern literature and culture; film theory; and gender studies. Her new book is The Vagina: A Literary and Cultural History. Her first book was Margaret Cavendish: Gender, Genre, Exile, and she has many other publications on Cavendish, and on gender and representation. She has also co-authored an essay on Led Zeppelin, and has published on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.