Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Salford MA graduate wins high profile film festival award

 
















University of Salford MA Wildlife Documentary Production graduate, Tom Rowland has picked up the award for Best Cinematography at the prestigious Screentest National Student Film Festival for his film, Adapting Anolis. 

Tom’s award adds to the University’s excellent track record for MA Wildlife Documentary students, as he joins the likes of Salford alumni Tania Escobar and Amber Eames who in previous years have picked up awards for Best Documentary and Best Cinematography at the glitzy ceremony held at London’s South Bank.
His film documents the many varieties of Anolis lizards that dominate Cuba’s rainforests and their various adaptations that make them suitable for life high in the trees, in the undergrowth or by water, and that also make them one of the planet’s most diverse and evolutionary significant animals.
To make Adapting Anolis, Tom spent a month on location in Cuba collecting footage in the dense jungles as well as at the Cuban film school Escuela Internacional de Cine y TV, where he and production co-ordinator Ivan Medina set up a special lab that replicated the rainforest environment. It was here that he was able to spend time getting up close with the lizards, filming them with cutting edge macro and long lens techniques.

Of winning the award, Tom says; “I was pretty taken back and was not at all expecting it - especially since the competing films in my category were of such a high standard. You wouldn’t have thought they were student films at all.

“I was also nominated for Best Film and Best Documentary – as this was the only wildlife film in the festival, to get nominated was also a real honour. It was great to be flying the natural history flag alongside the many great fiction based films and human-based documentaries.”

He has been involved in media production and drama since the age of 10, always knowing he wanted to pursue a career in television. That, coupled with his keen interest in biology and animals, meant that working on wildlife documentaries was an easy career decision to make.
When deciding where to complete his Master’s degree, Tom had already heard good things about the University of Salford, and once he saw the facilities on offer at the MediaCity UK campus, he was sold.

As well as the world class facilities, Tom also puts his award down to being able to work with world-renowned wildlife film professionals such as Paul Reddish, who he says gave him “a real insight into the industry, the skills needed to break into it and the knowledge of how to make a good wildlife film.”

Not one to rest on his laurels, Tom is continuing to travel the world as a wildlife documentary maker, working as a researcher for National Geographic’s Wild Brazil as well as making films for the ‘Save the Rhino’ charity in South Africa.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

The Regional Studies Association - Early Career Conference 2014


ICOSS, University of Sheffield, UK, Thursday and Friday 30-31 October 2014


Call for Papers

Abstract submission deadline: Friday 29 August, 2014


The Regional Studies Association encourages submissions of abstracts to our annual Early Career conference, to be held in Sheffield in October 2014. This exciting conference, sponsored by new open access journal Regional Studies, Regional Science, will provide PhD students and early career researchers with the opportunity to network, collaborate and socialise with others working in regional studies and science. The objective of the conference is bring together students and early career researchers to present and debate their work in a welcoming and stimulating environment, with a view to getting invaluable feedback and new ideas and learning more about how and where to publish their research results. One session will focus on how the publishing environment is changing and the new opportunities it creates. A number of distinguished Plenary Speakers will be in attendance, in addition to the Editors-in-Chief of Regional Studies, Regional Science. Participants working in the following areas are invited to submit an abstract, though we welcome all submissions with a regional studies or regional science focus.



· Urban and regional development and policy
· New challenges in urban planning
· New economic geography
· Big data and regions
· Climate change and sustainability
· Urban and regional governance
· Politics and territory
· Innovation and knowledge
· Mega-regions
· City regions
· Regional mapping and visualisation
· Clusters and smart specialisation
· Labour markets and migration
· Spatial justice


Abstract submission will be available online from April 2014. For more information and updates on this event, please go to
Conference Format
The conference will begin and end with a series of plenary lectures. In between these sessions a number of parallel workshop tracks will be held, all within the ICOSS building at the heart of the University of Sheffield’s city centre campus. Papers will be grouped thematically after submission. We will also hold a special ‘how to get published’ session with journal editors and devote one session to more innovative presentation formats.
Information About the Venue
The conference venue is 300m from the nearest tram stop, which connects directly to Sheffield train station (accessible directly from most major UK cities). For international visitors, there is a direct train from Manchester Airport to Sheffield. There are many bars, restaurants and hotels within walking distance of the venue.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Salford Uni talk: "Pseudonym Publics, Sexual Cultures and the Real Name Web" (25 June)

Digital and Social Media


Pseudonym Publics, Sexual Cultures and the Real Name Web

Seminar presenter: Visiting Honorary Professor Ben Light, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Wednesday 25th June, 4.30pm to 5.30pm

Mary Seacole Building, room 1.51

 
Through an Actor-Network Theory method informed analysis of the hook
up site Squirt, I demonstrate, in a UK context at least, how publicly networked social media and digital devices inform, and allow for, the co-existence of a broad spectrum of sexual politics, sexual preferences and sexual practices. Such an analysis suggests a need for critically reflexive interpretations of the potentials of networked publics and the assumptions of publicness that can be attached to them when they become interwoven with discourses of the real name web. With this analysis, I illustrate the existence of what I term pseudonym publics. Such publics display the characteristics of networked publics, hold the potentials for connection and disconnection with physical worlds but do not demand an engagement with the heteronormative assumptions of the real name web.

 

To register your interest in attending this free event, please go to this link: Digital and Social Media Seminar in order for us to provide appropriate refreshments.

Monday, 16 June 2014

GradProg talk: Brazilian Popular Music Scenes (18 June)

 

Exploratory Notes on Brazilian Popular Music Scenes: from post-punk to “Gaucho Rock” to “Funk Ostentação”.

Dr Adriana Amaral (Unisinos, Brazil)

In this talk I´ll discuss some peculiarities on different Popular Music Scenes and its urban environments throughout Brazil. From the dark São Paulo Underground post-punk and darkwave bands and electronic music scene in the southeast; to the colorfoul and economic and comsuption cycle of Tecnobrega´s scene in the North and the “Gaucho Rock” genre in the South. Since the 80s, Brazil has had a great variety of different popular genres and scenes in its different cities with different features and elements that sometimes connect them to the music produced in other countries and, on the other side, have their particular cultural meanings and contexts. The objective of this talk is to debate some main discussions on the field of music, media and performance regarding Brazilian Music Scenes and also to bring some details on the research that is being done between Salford and Unisinos.


Dr. Adriana Amaral has a PhD in Social Communication. She is Professor of the Post-Graduate Program of Communications Sciences at UNISINOS (Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos) and a Researcher of CNPq (National Council of Scientific and Technological Development). She has published extensively on digital and social media, as well as music scenes and genres and is technical coordinator for the Science without Border/CAPES funded research collaboration between Salford and Unisinos on popular music scenes, cities and creative industries.

The talk will be followed by a discussion on the work currently being undertaken in this international research project with Dr Amaral and Dr Michael Goddard.
 
 
Room 3.17, MediaCityUK campus, 4-5pm. 

Friday, 30 May 2014

Social Media and Health Seminar (11/June)

Social Media and Health Seminar


Disconnecting with Social Networking Sites: Implications for Health, Wellbeing and Beyond



Seminar presenter: Visiting Honorary Professor Ben Light, Queensland University of Technology, Australia


Wednesday 11th June, 12.30pm to 1.30pm


Mary Seacole Building, Room 1.36, University of Salford



"Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected."

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder Facebook


The quote above is the opening line of Mark Zuckerberg’s letter to potential investors prior to Facebook’s floatation on the US stock market in 2012. In the letter Zuckerberg makes an impassioned plea for the creation of infrastructure that can facilitate the maximisation of the raw tools we have at hand to share, think, feel and do with whomever we want to. The maximisation of the infrastructure he argues is necessary because there is a ‘huge need and huge opportunity to get everyone in the world connected’. Connection above anything else is what should be valued according to Zuckerberg, and he is not alone in this view. In contrast, this study concerns how we disconnect with Social Networking Sites (SNSs) such as Facebook. However, I am not simply referring to issues of non-use in relation to those of use. I am concerned with disconnection as something that we do in conjunction with connection. For example, we might engage in the deletion of relationships in a given SNS but keep others in tact or we might use backchannels to create spaces within which we can interact with selected individuals or groups within our broader connected networks. Disconnection is pervasive in our use of SNSs and I argue for the need to have a nuanced understanding of this. Analyses of disconnection need to go beyond discussions of use and non-use and to encompass understandings of how we make SNSs work for us, or not, on a daily basis in terms of their diversity and mutability. Drawing upon qualitative interviews, and with a focus on health and well being issues, a theory of disconnective practice as related to SNSs is put forward. This theory incorporates attention to: geographies of disconnection; disconnectors; modes of disconnection; disconnective power; and the ethics of disconnection.



All University staff and PGR students are welcome to attend.


To register your interest in attending this free event, please go to this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/social-media-and-health-seminar-disconnecting-with-social-networking-sites-tickets-11788807641 in order for us to provide appropriate refreshments.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Grad Prog talks 4 June: PhD progression panels // Big Social Data

Please find below details for two talks on the graduate programme next Wednesday-in the first aimed at postgraduate researchers, Benjamin Halligan will give advice on preparing presentations for assessments and Vivas, and the second one at 4PM Mark Cote will be talking on the uses and misuses of Big Social Data...all are very welcome.

Wednesday 4th June 2014, Media City room 2.20 from 3PM

 
Internal Speaker: Dr Benjamin Halligan (Director of Postgraduate Research, College of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Salford)
“Slide Away”: PowerPoint Presentations and PhD Panels (3-4pm)
This session will consider the do's and don'ts of PowerPoint presentations for IAs, IEs and Vivas. There is a minimum expectation that such presentations will be delivered by the candidate, but there is little consideration as to how they are to introduce, summarise, reflect and enhance the work under examination. Often a badly conceived and executed PowerPoint presentation will ensure that the candidate gets off to exactly the wrong kind of start! This session will provide some strategies for a good use of a PowerPoint presentation, in the context of a discussion about the challenges of talking about often highly complex research and analysis.



 
External Speaker: Dr Mark Cote (Kings College, London)
Big Social Data: 'This Initial Supersaturation of Being?' (4-5pm)
We generate data at an unprecedented pace at virtually every moment in our lives as ‘digital humans.’ Exposure of NSA/GCHQ programmes reveal that metadata is used to target ‘drone assassinations’ while the big social data we generate has become a key engine of growth for digital capital. Is this the dystopian end to our digital future? Are there radical political possibilities within the data we generate? This talk will examine the algorithmic practices that increasingly proscribe life, and consider how they might be rearticulated to create new kinds of potential through new relations of big social data.
 
Mark Coté is Programme Director of the MA in Digital Culture and Society at King’s College London. He has written extensively on social media, autonomist marxism, and the human and technology. He is Co-Investigator on the AHRC funded research project ‘Our Data Ourselves’ which examines ‘big social data’.
 
 

Salford symposium: Carnivalising Pop: Music Festival Cultures (13 June)


a one-day international symposium at the University of Salford

Friday June 13, 2014


Guest speakers:

· Dr Gina Arnold, Stanford University, USA, author of Route 666: On the Road to Nirvana, Kiss This: Punk in the Present Tense

· Alan Lodge, independent photographer and festival activist, discusses some of his classic images from 1970s free festivals and 1980s/1990s free party scene.

Other contributors include:

· Dr Nick Gebhardt, Birmingham City University

· Dr Roxanne Yeganegy, Leeds Metropolitan University

· Prof George McKay, University of Salford

· Dr Anne Dvinge, University of Copenhagen

· Dr Mark Goodall, Bradford University

· Prof Andrew Dubber, Birmingham City University

. Dr Emma Webster, Oxford Brookes

. Dr Benjamin Halligan, Salford

. Prof Robert Kronenburg, Liverpool University.

… Newport. Beaulieu. Monterey. Notting Hill. Woodstock. Glastonbury. Nimbim. Roskilde. Reading. Stonehenge. Castlemorton. Love Parade. Burning Man… Popular music festivals are one of the strikingly successful and enduring features of seasonal popular cultural consumption for young people and older generations of enthusiasts. Notwithstanding the annual declaration of the ‘death of festival’, a dramatic rise in the number of music festivals in the UK and around the world has been evident as festivals become a pivotal economic driver in the popular music industry. In 2010, there were over 700 music festivals in Britain alone, and it is estimated that three million people attend music festivals a year. Today’s festivals range from the massive to community and ‘boutique’ events.

The festival has become a key feature of the contemporary music industry’s commercial model, and one of major interest to young people as festival-goers themselves and as students. But the pop festival also has a radical past in the counterculture, a utopian strand in alternative living, some antagonistic anti-authoritarian history, an increasingly mediated other presence, as well as a strong current ethical identity. In the community/communitas of festival, interpretations vary from Temporary Autonomous Zone to festival as pollutant of the rural, from celebration to destruction of the genius loci.

To mark the start of the summer festival season, we have organised this event. The purpose of the symposium is to discuss and explore the significance of music festival cultures. In part the event presents work in progress from the forthcoming collection The Pop Festival: History, Music, Media, Culture (McKay ed., Bloomsbury, 2015). But we may also have some space for other current researchers in the field to share their work too—please do get in touch, soon. The day will be of interest across disciplines, from Popular Music, Media and Cultural Studies, Performance, Film, History, Sociology, American Studies, Business, Tourism and Leisure, Organisation Studies. And it will be of interest to festival organisers and festival-goers, too, as well as music media.

Draft programme via: http://georgemckay.org/festivals/symposium-2014/

Registration and further information

This is a free event, as part of the AHRC Connected Communities Programme. It is organised by Prof George McKay, Connected Communities Leadership Fellow (g.a.mckay@salford.ac.uk).

However advance registration is essential—contact Dr Deborah Woodman, conference administrator, d.woodman@salford.ac.uk, +44 (0)161 295 5876, for registration and all enquiries.

From Total War to Total Trivialization?

One day symposium at Salford University.

Free to attend. Full details: http://blog.helion.co.uk/from-total-war-to-total-trivialization-free-one-day-conference-30-may-2014/



This one-day conference, supported by the Vice-Chancellor’s Office, University of Salford, aims to fulfil a need and bring together those working in the media and museums with the academics who conduct research on the First World War and the development of the collective memory of the conflict in Britain and abroad.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Thursday, 15 May 2014

GradProg talks Weds 21/5/14: Pop Music & Disability / Punk Sounds and Northern Ireland

MediaCityUK, room 2.20, Weds 21st May. First talk 3-4pm, second talk 4.10-5pm. All welcome.

Popular Music and Disability
George McKay will speak about his newest book, Shakin' All Over: Popular Music and Disability (University of Michigan Press, 2013). It was supported by a grant from the AHRC. George has compiled a fascinating Top Ten of disability pop songs connected with the book at http://georgemckay.org/shakin-all-over/top-ten

George McKay is a writer on alternative cultures, popular music/media, cultural politics, disability. From jazz to punk. Via gardening. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1960 though mostly raised in Norfolk, England. He is Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Salford, UK, and currently a Leadership Fellow for the Arts & Humanities Research Council. George's website is packed with information and links: http://georgemckay.org


External Speaker: Dr Liz Greene

Good Vibrations: punk montage sequences and audio-visual representations of Northern Ireland.

This paper will consider the use of montage sequences in fiction and non-fiction film and television programmes about Northern Ireland. Political and socio-economic representations are often problematic within film texts due to the need for brevity within the medium. However, the montage sequence contains a double bind, that of further time constraints and often the need for popular music to package an experience. In this paper I will consider both drama and documentary film and television programmes and will discuss the problematic relationship of framing history through the youthful (MTV) prism of fast edits through the theoretical frame outlined by Kay Dickinson in her work, “Pop, Speed, Teenagers and the “MTV Aesthetic” and Paul Virilio’s work in Speed and Politics. Considering punk music here, this paper will chart youth counter cultures that have stood in opposition to state repression and will assess how well these representations have been served by the montage sequence. Problematising notions of nostalgia, here I turn to Martin McLoone’s writing on “Punk music in Northern Ireland” to question, who are the perceived audience for contemporary punk films?

Dr Liz Greene is a sound practitioner and academic whose main research interests are in the theory, history and practice of film sound. She teaches film and television studies in the School of Cultures and Creative Arts at the University of Glasgow. She teaches and writes about film sound design and specialises in sound effects, the voice and sound archiving. Liz also creates sound art, music, and radio shows. She is currently creating the sound design for a documentary film on women’s experience of Long Kesh/The Maze prison during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Film Workshop for students with Frank Cottrell Boyce

From Fr Tim Byron, SJ:

Subject: Free Film Workshop for students with Frank Cottrell Boyce

We are holding a Screenwriting Workshop hosted by Frank Cottrell Boyce at 7pm next Weds (14th) at the Catholic Chaplaincy, 337 Oxford Road, M13 9PG. (opposite the Academy and U of M Students Union). We would be delighted if you could join us and any promising students you know. This is a unique opportunity to meet one of the UK's top author/screenwriter's Frank's work includes the recently acclaimed movie ‘The Railway Man’ as well as /24 Hour Party People, The Olympic Opening Cermony,and much more.

Admission is free but you have to book a ticket online and limited numbers are available now at http://tinyurl.com/kgd26gp , we are expecting they will go quickly as we have only just announced it.

"Performing Citizenship" talk

Thursday 12th June – 5.15pm Martin Harris Centre SL01

Professor Stephen Coleman (University of Leeds): "PERFORMING CITIZENSHIP"

 
Stephen Coleman is Professor of Political Communication at Leeds University, and one of the UK's leading experts on citizenship (among other claims to fame, he advised on the establishment of the YouGov polling organisation). His recent research has been preoccupied with cultural and performative expressions of political voice.
 
In this informal presentation, Coleman will discuss how people perform citizenship in their everyday lives; how civic practices are both inherited and institutionalised and improvisational and disruptive. What do we know about these performances of citizenship in various contexts and how can scholars, across disciplines, develop new ways of researching and understanding civic performance?

As with other sessions in the Cultivating Research series, the presentation will be structured to invite active discussion and reflection among all participants present.
Stephen Coleman's latest book is 'How Voters Feel' (CUP; out in paperback in July).


Friday, 9 May 2014

GradProg talks this Weds: Media Studies as Mickey Mouse Studies











Weds 14th May, 4-5pm, Room 2.20 MediaCityUK

External Speaker: Prof James Curran (Goldsmiths College, London)

Mickey Mouse Squeaks Back

What are the main grounds for dismissing media and cultural studies as a 'Mickey Mouse' subject? What underlies these attacks? Are they justified in full or in part? A media studies academic surveys the field, and responds to its critics.

James Curran is Director of the Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre and Professor of Communications. While at Goldsmiths, he has held a number of visiting appointments including McClatchy Professor (Stanford), Annenberg Professor (UPenn), Bonnier Professor (Stockholm University) and NRC Professor (Oslo University). He has written or edited 22 books about the media, some in collaboration with others. These include Media and Democracy, Routledge, 2011, Power Without Responsibility (with Jean Seaton), 7th edition, Routledge, (2010), Media and Society, 5th edition, Bloomsbury, 2010 and Media and Power, Routledge, 2002 (translated into five languages). His latest book is Misunderstanding the Internet (with Natalie Fenton and Des Freedman), Routledge, 2012, arising from Leverhulme funded research. His work falls mainly into two linked areas: media history and media political economy. In media history, he has sought increasingly to relate the development of the media to wider changes in society, while in media political economy he has turned to comparative media research, drawing on quantitative methods. This has resulted in three comparative studies, two funded by the ESRC (for outputs see 'publications' above). More recently still, he has been evaluating the impact of the internet and new communications technology.

The Salford Lectures: Walking Into New Vocabularies



Register for the next free Salford Lecture  
The University is hosting a special event to mark the conclusion of this year’s diverse and thought-provoking Salford Lectures series.

It will feature two accomplished and renowned figures from the worlds of art and literature.
You can register now to hear critically-acclaimed sculptor Sokari Douglas Camp CBE and award-winning poet and writer Jackie Kay MBE who have been invited to the University on 22 May to share their creations with the audience and provide an evening of fascinating conversation.

Sokari, who was born in Nigeria, has represented Britain and Nigeria in National Exhibitions and has hosted more than 40 solo shows worldwide.

One of her most memorable public artworks was ‘Battle Bus: Living Memorial for Ken Saro-Wiwa’ – a full replica of a Nigerian steel bus, which stands as a monument to the late Niger delta activist and writer.
In 2003, Sokari was shortlisted for the Trafalgar Square Fourth Plinth and in 2005 she was awarded a CBE in recognition of her services to art.  She is recognised globally, with permanent collections at The Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC, Setagaya Museum, Tokyo, and the British Museum, London.
In more recent years, Sokari’s work ‘All The World Is Now Richer’, a memorial to commemorate the abolition of slavery, was exhibited in the House of Commons 2012.

The work has been touring since 2013 and has been displayed in Bristol Cathedral, Norwich Cathedral and St George’s Hall, in Liverpool.  The sculptures are currently being exhibited at St Paul's Cathedral, London, until 31 May 2014.

Jackie was born in Scotland, daughter of a Scottish mother and Nigerian father, and was raised by much-loved adoptive parents in Glasgow.

Her poems, books and short stories have won an array of awards and prizes – including the Guardian Fiction Award, Forward Prize, a Scottish Arts Council Prize, the Scottish Book of the Year Award and the London Book Award.  She has also written extensively for stage and television.

Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University, Jackie was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002 and awarded an MBE in 2006. She is currently working on her new novel, ‘Bystander’.
Through their chosen languages of expression, Sokari and Jackie will forge new vocabularies at this special event.

Walking Into New Vocabularies: A conversation between Jackie Kay and Sokari Douglas Camp will take place in Chapman Building on Thursday, 22 May, at 6pm.

"Are you reading enough women?"



While gender bias in academia is widely discussed, it is not always easily documented. That’s why B.F. Walter, Daniel Maliniak, and Ryan Powers collected data to demonstrate how it plays out in a key metric of academic life: citations. Their study focused on 12 leading journals in international relations, examining 3,000 articles published between 1980 and 2006. The researchers analyzed “citation counts” because, Walter notes, “they are increasingly used as a key measure of a scholar’s performance and impact”—the currency of influence and prestige, as well as factors in hiring and promotion. - See more at: https://chroniclevitae.com/news/472-are-you-reading-enough-academic-women#sthash.dlvqMU5y.dpuf
While gender bias in academia is widely discussed, it is not always easily documented. That’s why B.F. Walter, Daniel Maliniak, and Ryan Powers collected data to demonstrate how it plays out in a key metric of academic life: citations. Their study focused on 12 leading journals in international relations, examining 3,000 articles published between 1980 and 2006. The researchers analyzed “citation counts” because, Walter notes, “they are increasingly used as a key measure of a scholar’s performance and impact”—the currency of influence and prestige, as well as factors in hiring and promotion. - See more at: https://chroniclevitae.com/news/472-are-you-reading-enough-academic-women#sthash.dlvqMU5y.dpuf
While gender bias in academia is widely discussed, it is not always easily documented. That’s why B.F. Walter, Daniel Maliniak, and Ryan Powers collected data to demonstrate how it plays out in a key metric of academic life: citations. Their study focused on 12 leading journals in international relations, examining 3,000 articles published between 1980 and 2006. The researchers analyzed “citation counts” because, Walter notes, “they are increasingly used as a key measure of a scholar’s performance and impact”—the currency of influence and prestige, as well as factors in hiring and promotion. - See more at: https://chroniclevitae.com/news/472-are-you-reading-enough-academic-women#sthash.dlvqMU5y.dpuf

Full article: https://chroniclevitae.com/news/472-are-you-reading-enough-academic-women

Friday, 2 May 2014

Grad Prog talk 7 May: Martin Hall on the Violence of Things and Hannah Arendt

MediaCityUK (Salford Campus): Room 2.07. 3pm-4pm. All welcome

The Violence of Things            

Things and their images can carry complex, pre-verbal meanings that derive their valency from not being spoken. For example, the rich public archive of Buddhist iconography in Sri Lanka may, simultaneously, convey the principles of non-violence and also the trauma of recent extrajudicial killing. Similarly, the extreme violence of crucifixion is celebrated as religious art or a mark of forgiveness, but may also evoke memories of conquest and genocide. In her On Violence, published in 1969, Hannah Arendt insisted that, rather than being an extreme manifestation of power, violence has an independent instrumentality. This insight, that has remained undeveloped in subsequent work on materiality, has provocative implications for the material world of things. Understanding the ways in which the material archive is central to the instrumentality of violence leads, in turn, to appreciating the ways in which the archive interacts with the performance of public life. 



Professor Martin Hall is a historical archaeologist and strategic leader. He joined the University of Salford in April 2009 as VC Designate, before taking up his role as VC on 1 August, 2009.

Born in Guildford, Professor Hall holds dual British and South African citizenship. After undertaking undergraduate and post-graduate studies in archaeology at the University of Cambridge he moved to South Africa in 1974. He was for a time President of the World Archaeological Congress and General Secretary of the South African Archaeological Society. After working at two major museums in the 1980s, he moved to UCT in 1983, where he led the Centre for African Studies and later became the Head of the Department of Archaeology. He was the inaugural Dean of Higher Education Development between 1999 and 2002 when he was able to exercise another of his interests, academic technology for innovative teaching and learning – particularly the use of digital and new media.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Postgraduate Week

Postgraduate Week – 12 -16 May 2014
For the very first time, Salford Students’ Union is hosting a very special Postgraduate Student Week.
Running from Monday 12 – Friday 16 May, your week involves fun and exciting events, activities and sessions designed to give all post-grads to opportunity to socialise and learn what your life at Salford can hold.
Our centrepiece of the programme will be a special conference with guest speakers and development opportunities as well as a smashing lunch!
Mishal Saeed, Students’ Union President says “We hope that this student led event will be the start of something great for our Postgraduates community. I’m very excited to be involved, and looking forward to meeting as many students as possible.  We are anticipating a fun week, with something for everyone. Also, I can’t wait to share with you all, the exciting things that your Students’ Union can do.”



For more information please visit: http://www.salfordstudents.com/events/postgraduate-week or email Kimberley Ashworth student-representation@salford.ac.uk

Friday, 25 April 2014

GradProg talk this Weds: Too Much Heaven -- The Kitsch Epiphany

Graduate Programme talks this Weds 30 April, 4-5pm.
Room 2.07, MediaCityUK

Dr Gavin Hopps (University of St Andrews)

Too Much Heaven: The Kitsch Epiphany

Most people in the contemporary western world are familiar with what Noel Coward, that connoisseur of kitsch, referred to as the extraordinary potency of cheap music – that is, the experience of being bowled over, 'carried away' or profoundly elated by an art-form that seems able to 'give more than it has'. But is it of any theological significance? Pop, rock, rap and rave have all been used in religious worship, but what about outside the church? Might such music be able to elicit what Paul Tillich refers to as an experience of 'revelatory ecstasy'? Does it make any sense to speak of a 'kitsch epiphany'? That music is capable of engendering such affects is of course something of a commonplace. Karl Barth, for example, famously claimed that it is possible to hear in Mozart’s music the goodness of the created order and, as such, that it may even serve as a kind of theodicy, since it communicates a sense of the lux perpetua in which the darkness of the world is enveloped. And yet such arguments, which have been cogently defended in recent years by Jeremy Begbie, Albert Blackwell, Richard Viladesau and others in relation to classical music in general, are rarely applied to popular forms. Since it seems unlikely that musical affects can be so neatly prescribed in advance, and that a medium of such peculiar potency should be excommunicated in its entirety, this paper will explore the possibility that pop music may be capable of eliciting the kinds of affects that Barth attributes to Mozart.




Gavin Hopps is Lecturer in Literature & Theology and Director of the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts at the University of St Andrews. He has been a Lecturer in English at the universities of Aachen, Oxford and Canterbury Christ Church and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge. He has published numerous articles on Romantic writing, a collection of essays on spectrality in Byron, and a monograph on the singer-songwriter Morrissey. He is currently working with Jane Stabler on a new edition of the complete poetical works of Lord Byron (to be published by Longman in 6 volumes), a monograph on popular music and radical wonder, entitled The Kitsch Epiphany, and another on the levity of Byron's Don Juan.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

“Creating Our Future Histories”

 “Creating Our Future Histories”
2014-15
AHRC Collaborative Skills Training Programme
(Public Engagement and Partnership Building)
Institute of Humanities and Social Science Research (IHSSR)
Manchester Metropolitan University
CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS

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)
Eligibility:
  • 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

CHALLENGING MEDIA LANDSCAPES CONFERENCE 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:
artdes-cmlabstracts@salford.ac.uk.
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,
MediaCityUK,
Salford Quays,
Salford.
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.