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I was at a great conference this week, Science in Public. The conference draws together people from fields such as Science & Technology Studies, Science Communication, and the History of Science & Medicine, amongst others. Its focus also meant I had the rare opportunity to bring together the two main strands of my research: Animals and Social Media! I felt really lucky to have the chance, amongst other things, to be a discussant on a panel about Noortje Marres’s provocative and engaging new book Digital Sociology, co-convene and speak at a panel about post-truth, and present collaborative work (with Greg Hollin) on cultural responses to the resurgence of bedbugs in the US & North Europe. I also helped to co-organise a stream called Animals in Public that involved fantastic speakers (on topics as varied as the modernist penguin enclosure at London Zoo; attempts to commodify the charisma of giant pandas; different understandings of care in bovine TB controversies; and dilemmas about how to meaningfully communicate veterinary science to people in the face of the rise of dog breeds such as French Bulldogs). A busy, but fantastic, couple of days all-in-all, where I had the chance to catch-up with some great colleagues from different institutions.
I also ended up taking part in this ‘threaded-questions’ video, where I had to answer a colleague’s question then ‘pass one one’…
I am very pleased to share ‘Re-Stoked’ (2017) an excellent short documentary film produced by Keele University students Sammy Chadwick, Karen YL Chen, Carla Dobson-Perez and James Redgrove. The film interweaves the personal narrative of Stoke-based artist Frederick Phillips with the story of Stoke’s recent art led urban regeneration. The film was produced as part of a second year module on Documentary Theory & Practice on the BA Media, Communications & Culture programme.
Here is a short post from Carla Dobson-Perez (one of the student filmmakers) on the making of the film and its excellent reception by Stoke’s artistic and cultural community:
As part of a Second Year module (MDS-20032 Documentary: Theory and Practice) assessment we were asked to create a short documentary on any topic. A group of us decided to focus on the regeneration of Stoke-on-Trent, particularly through its arts and culture. We’d heard about the repurposing of the Spode factory in Stoke, where an organisation called ACAVA, in collaboration with the Council, had built 41 studios for renting by local artists of all sorts.
We travelled to the site and met the two artists featured in the documentary: Frederick Phillips (artist) and Andy Cooke (graphic designer) who became the leading stars in our piece. Spode factory as a location was fantastic to shoot, we were never short of scenic establishing shots and what seemed like an abundance of hidden gems just waiting to be filmed around the vast, and mostly abandoned, site.
Whilst interviewing our artists, we became aware of Stoke’s City of Culture bid for 2021. As our documentary featured the regeneration of Stoke’s cultural scene, we saw a fantastic opportunity to use our documentary as a form of promotion for the bid itself.
We shared the final piece with the artists residing at Spode Studios, Stoke-on-Trent council, those backing the bid at both Staffordshire University and Keele University, as well as ACAVA themselves. It received an extremely positive response, beyond what we’d imagined, and was shared by numerous people including Ben Eastop (Estates and Regeneration Manager at ACAVA), who featured it on the ACAVA Spode website (http://www.acavaspodeworks.org/events/new-film-re-stoked-stokes-artistic-revival/).
On the 8th June MCC hosted an international symposium on the dynamics of activism on social media. The organisers Dr Elizabeth Poole and Dr Eva Giraud (MCC) and Dr Ed de Quincey (Computer Science) arranged the event to present some of their findings from the British Academy funded project, ‘Who speaks for Muslims? Political frictions and the politics of appropriation in social media’.
A few snaps from this year’s MCC Final Year Show. Congratulations to all our Final Year students for their amazing work!
27th June, 2017
FREE EVENT, but due to limited space please register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-new-abnormal-the-cultural-politics-of-the-new-authoritarianism-tickets-34906353844 if you’d like to attend as space is limited!
Keele University, Chancellors Building, CBA1.021
(Though please keep an eye out on here for the venue, as it will change to a different room if attendance rises further)
10am – 10.30am: Coffee
10.30am – 11.00am: Mark Featherstone (Keele University, Sociology) – Introduction: ‘The New (Ab)Normal: Sociology in Extremis’
11.00am – 11.30am: Ronnie Lippens (Keele University, Criminology) – ‘Rothko’s Chapel in Houston, Texas (1970): Luciferian Notes on the Age of Light’
11.30am – 12.00pm: Eva Giraud (Keele University, Media) and Sarah-Nicole Aghassi-Isfahani (Keele University, Sociology) – ‘Has Critique run out of Memes? Interrogating the ‘Post-Truth’ Media Landscape’
12.00pm – 1.00pm: Deborah Frizzell (Art, William Patterson University, USA) – ‘Trajectories of Aesthetics and Ethics in the Chthulucene: A Case Study of “Outcast” Women Artists’
1.00pm – 2.00pm: Lunch
2.00pm – 2.30pm: Kirsten Forkert (Media, Birmingham City University) – ‘Austerity, Right Populism and the Public Mood’
2.30pm -3.00pm: Seb Franklin (Kings College, London) and Penny Newell (Kings College, London) – ‘The Economics of Abnormality’
3.00pm – 4.00pm: Steve Hall (Criminology, Teeside University) – ‘System Reboot: Steve Bannon’s Dream as the Restoration of the Pseudo-Pacification Process’
4.00pm – 4.30pm: Coffee
4.30pm – 5.45pm: Doug Kellner (Education, UCLA, USA) – ‘Donald Trump, Media Spectacle, and Authoritarian Populism’
6.00pm – 7.00pm: Arthur Kroker (Political Science, University of Victoria, Canada) – ‘Fake Futures’
Registration is now open for our one-day symposium on Ethnicities, Counterpublics, Appropriation and Social Media on June 8th 2017 at Keele University.
This symposium aims to explore the dynamics of minority representation and self-representation in social media.
Attendance is free but spaces are limited so please register below at your earliest convenience and by the latest on 25th May 2017 using the link below:
The programme is as follows:
9.00 am: Welcome coffee
9.30 am: Opening remarks
9.45 am: Speakers: Ed de Quincey, Eva Giraud and Elizabeth Poole, Keele University: ‘Who speaks for Muslims? Political frictions and the politics of appropriation in social media’
10.30 am: short break
10.45 am: Panel 1 – Examining Populist and Nationalist discourse on social media
12.15 pm: Lunch (provided)
1.15 – 2.15 Speaker: Pollyanna Ruiz, University of Sussex, ‘Protest, power and social media; The dynamics of masking in offline and online public spaces’.
2:15 -3.45 pm: Panel 2 – Self-representation and counter-discourse online
. Beth Johnson, University of Leeds, ‘#MoreInCommon: Empathy, Emotion and Intervention’
3.45 – 4pm short break
4-5pm Speaker 2: Dima Saber, Birmingham City University, ‘Winning the fake news battle amidst chaos: How Arab activists are taking back the narratives of their wars and revolutions’
5-5.15 pm: Concluding remarks
More information is available @ https://www.keele.ac.uk//counterpublics2017/
Please e-mail any further questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to seeing you there!