Mediations Lecture Series

Mediations 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: for SHARP

Additional support provided by the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing.

2018/2019 Mediations Lecture & Workshop Series

Framing Climate Change: Why Does It Matter How We Frame Environment Challenges Today?
Thursday, March 21, 2019
FNB 4110
4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Presented by Giada Ferrucci, Media Studies PhD student.
Responses from Carol Hunsberger and Paul Mensink

Abstract: Climate change is the most relevant environmental story of our time its potential narrative elements include global economies, technical science, devastating extreme weather, and perhaps even the future of humanity. A growing body of research suggests that science communicators along with
communication professionals should focus more on how they present and frame evidence of climate change challenges and debates.

Framing, selecting, featuring and emphasizing certain aspects of a given issue by news organizations and journalists feature, has shaped climate change communication. Frames in the news can be examined and identified by the presence or absence of certain keywords, sentences, stereotyped images, and sources. Framing theory, applied to climate change communication in this context, highlights that information content sets the public agenda and implicitly influences a way of thinking about certain issues.

This paper analyses the journalistic coverage of climate change from the theoretical perspective of framing. Thus, the main research question is the following: which are the frames used by the media to cover climate change? The goal of this paper is to use framing analysis to explore the current coverage of climate change when the communication of this “news story” should shift from “Is climate change happening?” to “What should we do about it?”

Up Close and Impersonal: Locative Media and the Changing Nature of the Networked Individual in the City
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
FNB 4110
Presented by Darryl Pieber, Media Studies PhD student.
Responses from: Mason Brooks and TBA.

This presentation considers locative media apps – location-based apps on mobile devices – and their potential to change how individuals experience urban settings. Locative media further lead toward networked individualism. Networked individualism describes a shift toward multiple, shifting social networks rather than belonging to closely-bounded and often geographically based groups. Because locative media apps draw on how a person moves through an urban space, these apps can have a significant impact on the ways in which people interact with their cities and with each other. They mediate users’ relations with urban spaces by adding another layer to the sensorial overload common in urban spaces. They can also make visible formerly anonymous strangers nearby and facilitate ad hoc, transient relations. Locative media apps also have unintended social consequences linked to its location-based nature, such as heightened privacy concerns, negative experiences with strangers, invisibility through filtering, and a recalibrated sense of urbanity.

Re-Imagining Cataloguing: Evolution and Participation
Thursday, November 29, 2018
4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
FNB 4110
Presented by Alex Mayhew.
Responses from Melissa Adler and Denise Smith.

Abstract: This presentation applies the principles of phylogenetic classification and literary memetics to the phenomenon of bibliographic relationships in library catalogues. Current professional cataloguing uses hierarchies, and relies on top-down control. By implementing a system that supports associative relationships and encourages user participation, the library catalogue can become the site of unpredicted creativity.

Enter phylomemetics, the application of phylogenetic principles to memetics, the study of cultural inheritance, as a potential means of mapping the connections between texts that current catalogues don’t capture. Phylogenetic analysis does not follow the rigidly controlled hierarchies of traditional library catalogues; rather, it tracks relationships of kinship as they evolve over time. User contributed associative relationships can be infinitely divisible and can exist at any level of abstraction allowing for a significant enrichment of the catalogue as a means of exploring the information landscape.

I suggest three stages of applying phylogenetics in the future: enhancement of current cataloguing procedure, crowdsourcing user tags, and extracting relationship networks through big data analysis. Cataloguers will retain a more interesting curatorial role, users will have their voices heard, and Big Data will allow us to uncover even more connections.

Biography: Alex Mayhew is a PhD student in Library and Information Science in FIMS. He earned an MLIS in 2016 also at FIMS. Before that he earned an Undergrad degree in Philosophy at the University of Ottawa. He is interested in thinking tools and philosophical engineering, particularly knowledge organization.

The Wrong Story: Palestine, Israel, and The Media
Friday, November 16, 2018
3:00 p.m.
FNB 4110

Abstract: Media framing of Palestine-Israel frequently suggests that “both sides” have harmed each other to a comparable extent and are responsible for the absence of peace to a roughly equivalent degree. Another common perspective is that the bloodshed is because “extremists”—particularly those of a religious variety—have power and “moderates” do not. News outlets also explain violence in Palestine-Israel in terms of Israel’s supposed “right to defend itself” against Palestinian attacks. In the new book, The Wrong Story: Palestine, Israel, and The Media, Dr.Gregory Shupak dismantles these narratives and argues that any accurate version of the story of Palestine-Israel must begin with Israel’s violent colonization of the Palestinians. Join us for a discussion of Dr. Shupak’s book.

Bio: Gregory Shupak has a PhD in Literary Studies and teaches Media Studies at the University of Guelph in Toronto. His fiction has appeared in a wide range of literary journals and he regularly writes analysis of politics and media for a variety of outlets including Electronic Intifada, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, In These Times, Jacobin, Literary Review of Canada, Middle East Eye, Salon, This Magazine, and Warscapes. His book, The Wrong Story: Palestine, Israel, and The Media, can be purchased through OR Books’ website.

Previous Workshops and Lectures

2017 - 2018

Sept: Pandemic Fame and its Consequences: The Inattention Economy of Online Culture
Presented by: David Marshall, Visiting Scholar at FIMS and Chair in New Media, Communication and Cultural Studies, Deakin University, Australia

Sept: Human Dignity Between Declaration and Curation: The Human Rights Exhibition Album as Cultural Technique
Presented by: Amy Freier
Responses by: Katie Oates and Sonya de Laat

Nov: Prime-Time Minister: Politics, Entertainment and Justin Trudeau
Presented by: Tiara Sukhan

Jan: The Faked Death of Real News: Why Delusion is Here to Stay
Presented by: Andrew Woods, Centre for Theory and Criticism
Responses by: Victoria Rubin and Dylan Hughes

Feb: "I'm Not Evil. I'm Chaotic Neutral!": On the Classification of Internet Trolls
Presented by: Yimin Chen
Responses by: Chandell Gosse and kirstyn seanor

Apr: Capital and Post-Cybernetic Control: On Amazon's Patent for Anticipatory Package Shipping
Presented by: Atle Mikkola Kjøsen
Responses by: Warren Steele and Ryan Schroeder

2016 - 2017

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