Mediations Lecture SeriesMediations is a graduate student-run workshop and guest speaker series housed in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS) at The University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario Canada. The goal of the series is to establish a space in which to display the rich diversity of research and scholarship being pursued at FIMS to the broader Western community.
The Mediations Workshop sessions offer members of the FIMS community a venue in which to present any aspects of their work that engage with ‘Media Studies,’ defined as broadly as possible to incorporate many aspects of this rich, diverse, and loosely defined discipline. Sub-fields or approaches might include: Media and Cultural Theory, Political Economy, Technology/Technoculture, Media History, New Media, Journalism Studies, Library and Information Science, Popular Culture, Popular Music Studies, and Media Aesthetics, to name a few. We welcome both theoretically and empirically-based studies, as well as practice-based engagements with media. Each 1.5-hour session consists of one 30-40 minute presentation followed by two respondents (5-10 minutes each). The remainder of the sessions are devoted to questions from and discussion with the audience.
Mediations Presents, a guest speaker series, invites both FIMS and the broader Western community to engage with the work of leading scholars engaging with questions regarding media and mediation, across a variety of interdisciplinary intersections.
For questions please contact the mediations organising committee: mediationsFIMS@gmail.com.
Additional support provided by the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing.
2017/2018 Mediations Lecture & Workshop SeriesPrime-Time Minister: Politics, Entertainment and Justin Trudeau
Thursday, November 9, 2017
4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Presented by Tiara Sukhan, Media Studies PhD candidate.
Abstract: When Justin Trudeau told an elated crowd in Ottawa in the fall of 2015 that “we’re back!” he was referring to more than just the return of the federal Liberal party to power. A life-long quest had been fulfilled and “Trudeaumania” was back. Popular culture has reinforced this messaging, various examples suggesting that “Just-in time” Justin’s celebrity status is intrinsic to his political power, an integral aspect of the Trudeau brand and key to his style of governance. His reported desire for authentic interpersonal connection has been revealed through a multiplicity of appearances to be part of a calculated branding campaign designed to blur the boundaries of public and private, celebrity and fan. There is a myriad of ways in which Trudeau’s celebrity status is cultivated and reflected in North America media, but this analysis will focus particularly on examples from popular and entertainment media which include television, comic books, fashion magazines, and photographs. The “politics of hype” he deploys through these media work to obscure the fundamental insignificance of any real change he delivers.
Human Dignity Between Declaration and Curation: The Human Rights Exhibition Album as Cultural Technique
Thursday, September 28, 2017
4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Presented by Amy Freier, PhD Candidate, Media Studies
Responses by Katie Oates and Sonya de Laat
Abstract: In 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was put into effect, ushering in a new era of human rights and a new prominence for the concept of human dignity. As dignity became part of a declarative instrument, it also became something of a modern technology. In this document dignity is positioned as a “durable materiality” (Durham Peters), as something that is meant to exist between and across cultures and times as a relatively stable property. Using UNESCO’s Human Rights Exhibition Album (1950) as an anchor to this paper, I aim to show how human dignity’s new declarative functions during this period should be tempered with its visual translations and traces that accompanied its emergence. Exhibitions, I argue, are critical to a contemporary understanding of human dignity. The Human Rights Album demonstrates an important, if not optimistic and progressive view of how human rights and human dignity evolved from disparate cultures and at times radically different understandings. Its visual form, as an album and curatorial medium, effectively open up dignity’s declarative functions to issues of cultural techniques, or those properties closely tied to the human form and history. As a “form of map-making that opens new routes through a city, a people or a world” (Obrist) curation helps to undo the enduring assumptions that frame dignity within the declaration and instead positions this concept as a contemporaneous issue.
Pandemic Fame and its Consequences: The Inattention Economy of Online Culture
Friday, September 8, 2017
4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Presented by Dr. David Marshall, Visiting Scholar at FIMS and Chair in New Media, Communication and Cultural Studies at Deakin University, Australia.
Abstract: Dr. Marshall's work covers a number of areas related to media, new media, cultural studies and communications. More specifically, he has been developing the field of Persona Studies. This is connected to his work on public personality systems that operate across many cultural fields including entertainment and politics. He is extending this research into the way in which we, via social media, are all collectively engaged in producing mediatized versions of ourselves - or personas. His recent publications in this area include an edited book entitled Contemporary Publics (2016, Palgrave), a sole-authored book entitled Celebrity Persona Pandemics (2016, Minnesota University Press) and an edited collection, A Companion to Celebrity (2016, Blackwell Wiley).
Previous Workshops and Lectures
Sept: Fake News or Truth? Using Satirical Cues to Detect Potentially Misleading News
Presented by: Victoria L. Rubin, Niall J. Conroy, Yimin Chen, and Sarah Cornwell
Responses by Vicki O’Meara and Darryl Pieber
Nov: The Entreprecariat: Recording Artists in Extreme Metal Music Proto-Markets
Presented by Jason Netherton
Responses by Norma Coates and Ryan Mack
Feb: Aspirations and Precariousness in the life of Indian IT support service workers
Presented by Indranil Chakraborty
Responses by Edward Comor and James Steinhoff
March: Lewis Hine’s First World War Photographs for the American Red Cross: Interpretations in/of the past for humanitarianism today
Presented by Sonya de Laat
Response by Amy Freier
March, Special Event with PMCP:
A Public Lecture by Dr. Kimi Karki, University of Turku, Finland on Metal Music and Nationalism
For an archive of presentations please visit our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/mediationsfims