Ethnicities, Counterpublics, Appropriation and Social Media: Registration open!

Dear all

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

  • Gerwin van Schie, Utrecht University and Iris Muis, Utrecht University, “Liberation Begins with Stating the Facts” Rationalization of Discrimination through Data in Populist Rhetoric on Twitter ‘
  • Nicolás López Coombs, University of Antwerp and Gerwin van Schie, Utrecht Data School ‘Between Epistemic Empowerment and Epistemic Violence: Ethno-racial Categorization in Dutch Governmental Open Data’
  • Munira Cheema, University of Sussex ‘Revisiting patriotism: The rise of liberal Pakistan 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

  • Kaarina Nikunen, University of Tampere, ‘Migrant Tales: counter-voices in digital landscape’
  • Ally McCrow-Young, University of Copenhagen, ‘Protesting terror: Counter-narratives of the ISIS conflict’

.     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 @

Please e-mail any further questions to

We look forward to seeing you there!

Animals in Lund!

Last week I spend 3 fantastic days at Lund University, in Sweden, as part of an Erasmus exchange. I mostly taught on the module Critical Animal Studies: Animals in the Media, Culture & Society, but also had the opportunity for some tutorials with postgraduate students working on fantastic projects about online environmental activism.

The morning session was a more formal research-led lecture and workshop , which was focused on activism surrounding animals (see here for a sense of the subject matter I engaged with specifically). I worked with some fantastic scholar-activists with expertise in areas including animal ethology and the politics of civil disobedience, and a range of issues were covered – from corporate ‘greenwashing’ to theoretical debates surrounding animal ethics.

The afternoon was taken up with a seminar (also open to members of the public, as well as those enrolled on the course) that was focused on the politics of animal research. I presented work along with Nuria Almiron (from Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona). Although I enjoyed the whole day, I found the questions and discussion surrounding the afternoon seminar especially provocative – so many thanks to all who attended. Thanks also needs to go to the Lund University Critical Animal Studies Network – especially the teaching team Tobias, Jana, Kurt and Ally, for making me feel so welcome!

Here are a few photos from the week, more can be found here:

CfP: Science in Public 2017

The 2017 Science in Public conference, which examines the relationships between publics, science and technology, and the media, has just launched its call for papers. The whole list of panels looks really exciting,  and are topics that range from the social status of robots to public participation in environmental science. The full list is here:

I’m involved in two panels, which are currently calling for submissions:

Animals in Public: Care, Charisma and Knowledge (no. 27 on the above list), with Angela Cassidy


Why Has Truth Run out of Steam? – STS After Trump (no. 21), with Des Fitzgerald, Greg Hollin & Andy Balmer.

Our colleague Meritxell in Sociology is also promoting a fantastic sounding panel: (Non)Human Dimensions of STS Research (no. 24)

We’re looking forward to getting some interesting submissions!


Film and television after Brexit

Film and Television Studies after Brexit is a one-day research workshop looking into the impact of the EU referendum vote on this academic field. Gathering together a range of expert speakers from Film and Television Studies, the workshop will explore key questions relating to Brexit and its cultural and academic repercussions:

– In what ways does the EU referendum decision invite us to rethink both the past and present of ‘British’ film and television, and of national film and television histories?

– How has Brexit been narrated in film and television, and what are the implications of this?

– What are the potential implications of Brexit for film and television as UK industries, and for reception abroad?

– How does the decision to leave the EU impact upon Film and Television Studies as an area of study in the UK, and beyond?

All attendees will be invited to participate in a concluding discussion, identifying the significance of Brexit for their own research, and looking at potential directions for future work and collaborative projects.

Invited speakers:

Julian Petley (Brunel University)

Owen Evans (Edge Hill University)

Beth Johnson (University of Leeds)

James Leggott (Northumbria University)

Participation at the workshop, including lunch, is free. Places are limited, however, so please book if you intend to come.

To register please see here:

National Student Survey

Sadly I can’t top the last blog by Daniel, at least not in the interesting stakes, but I do want to flag up a few things that we did last year in response to feedback from the National Student Survey, to give a sense of why your feedback is important.

You said: You especially benefited from work experience opportunities

We: Expanded our Work Experience module and enhanced links with local creative businesses


You said: You enjoyed learning about changes in the contemporary media landscape

We: Made the analysis of online culture central to our core research methods and media theory modules

You said: You wanted further opportunities for feedback and advice in practical modules

We: Incorporated additional workshops and formative projects into our film-making modules

You can take part in this year’s survey here:


US election analysis

This (excellent) resource will be of particular help to those taking Making the News, but should be of interest in general to those who are concerned with the US election result (hopefully everyone.):


It’s a series of pieces, by leading media academics, who have reflected on the various dimensions of what happened in the US election. The team have also put together similarly helpful collections about Brexit and the last UK election, which can be found here and here.

MCC Research Events this week!

Just a reminder: We’ve got some really interesting events coming up this week research-wise in MCC. Today (10/10/16) Damian Guzek, a visiting scholar from the Institute of Political Science and Journalism, University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland will be talking about his research:

Damian’s talk is called: ‘Networked agenda-setting about religion: coverage of London 7/7 in the British, American and Polish press’
The London 7/7 bombings have found some, although not enough, recognition in the academic study of the coverage of attacks based on three perspectives: the dominance of the discourse of solidarity, commemorative aspects of the victim’s testimony in the context of the activation of participatory journalists and securitization of Muslim citizens in the United Kingdom. This presentation provides the setting for a comparative analysis of the London bombings, and particularly the religious issues in leading newspapers, from the UK, the USA, and Poland. He focuses on network agenda setting, instead of the individual attributes of the media agenda, and provides a more precise view of London 7/7.

The talk is in Claus Moser, CM0.12 at 4.30

Damian has also set reading for our first PGR reading group of the term on Wednesday (please contact me if you’d like further information about this!).

On Tuesday, the first session of the MCC-Sociology seminar series is taking place, with a talk by Siobhan Holohan entitled: “The Swarm on our Streets”: Neo-colonial discourses of otherness in the ‘refugee crisis’


This paper begins by exploring dominant media discourses surrounding human rights campaigns, focusing on the ‘refugee crisis’ in the summer of 2015. Taking as its starting point Hannah Arendt’s (1943) observations on the public/political response to the mass exile of Jews during World War Two, We Refugees, I want to argue that the mediatized reaction to those escaping conflict followed similar ideological patterns – fear, suspicion, antipathy. However, in this paper I also want to examine the role that human rights campaigners had to play in this construction, or indeed re-construction, of refugees as worthy of help. In other words, on what terms are migrants or refugees deemed acceptable and to what extent do those that seek to support them adopt what we might argue is a discourse of otherness?

There already exists a complex and sometimes fraught relationship between social campaigners and the media forums that they rely on to disperse their message, not least due to the rise in digital mediums that both bypass and intersect with traditional forms of media. However, at the same time as media platforms have become progressively more intertwined, ideologically complex, and perhaps as a result more responsive to shifting narratives and the changing public mood about the other, I argue that the message proffered by human rights campaigners becomes increasingly devoid of the ‘counter’ aspect of the counter-narrative. In response to this reading of the refugee crisis, I will offer the conclusion that while relationships between the various actors with a stake in the construction and counter-construction of the refugee discourse have become increasingly complex and dynamic, the discourse surrounding the event remains remarkably stable.

Siobhan’s talk is 12-1 in the Chancellor’s Building, CBC0.015

It would be great to see people at either, or indeed both, of these events!