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:

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

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:
Enquiries: or  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 - 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:
Twitter: @_ridiculusmus_

or contact Richard Talbot -

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 (

You can view it here:

We are launching the film with a panel discussion tomorrow, at the AHRC Creative Economy Showcase day, King's Place, London:

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:

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.