Under the motto “Knowledge for Economic & Social Development” a group of more than 250 Chileans met in Paris between the 4th and the 6th of July in the University Pierre and Marie Curie. This was the 6th version of the conference Encuentros, where the participants gather to discuss the state of the Chilean research covering a wide range of fields: from architecture and economy to communication and public policy.
The Education and Communication session was divided in two main thematic panels. Dr. David Buckingham (Loughborough University) was the main speaker in the “Communication for Citizenship and Inclusion” section, where the new technologies and its possibilities were broadly discussed. Rocío Rueda Ortiz from the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional de Bogotá (Colombia) presented about “Young citizens, technologies and political turn”, while Ximena Martinez offered a talk on “Considering Possibilities for Social Development in Chile through Inclusive Education”. Finally Amaranta Alfaro Muirhead, PhD Candidate at the GMaC, gave a talk about her research project “Civic Engagement through Social Media in Chile”. The second section was lead by Dr. Francesc Pedró, Head of the UNESCO Education Policy Advice Group, and its main focus was “Innovations in Education”, where the role of the teachers and their training was particularly stressed. Each session had also poster presentations, where many of the emergent speakers participated exhibiting their research work.
During the three day event the participants had the privilege of enjoying two very interesting Keynote Presentation. The first one from Dr. Saskia Sassen, Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and Co-Chair Committee on Global Thought. Her research and writing focuses on globalization issues, including social, economic and political dimensions, and immigration and terrorism in global cities. The second one was the talk of Prof. Bernard Seguin, jointly awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize as a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which authored the Fourth Assessment Report on Climate Change.
– Amaranta Alfaro Muirhead –
At first glance attending the annual conference of the SCSMI (Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image) sounds somewhat old-fashioned: “Cognitive film studies? That’s so 1970s!” … But far from it! The SCSMI is a living scientific community which keeps renewing its object of research as well as its methodological toolbox. Together with Kathrin Fahlenbrach, also member of the Research Center for Media and Communication (RCMC), I was invited to this year’s SCSMI conference that took place 13-16 June 2012 in Bronxville, New York.
Highlights of the conference were the keynote lectures by Alva Noë, David Bordwell and Noël Carroll as well as a night of fascinating experimental 3D films by Ken Jacobs.
These lectures and the various other paper presentations made it quite clear that the majority of research within the SCSMI no longer focuses solely on modeling film viewers’ cognitive activity of ‘information processing’ (as one might expect with regard to the ‘cognitivist’ label) but on the viewing experience as a whole, covering moods, perception, emotions and the diverse ways of relating to fictional characters.
This became also apparent in the paper Kathrin Fahlenbrach and I presented: It was titled “Emotional Mechanics” and discussed the way video games structure players’ emotional responses to video game characters and their behaviour. The conference ended on June 16 with a banquet at New York University.
– Felix Schröter –
Looking back on the uprisings in the Arab world and in other corners of the world, it is legitimate to rethink and analyze the role of media in these revolution’s processes and their outcomes. It is actually compulsory to have this debate, and no better place than the academia to step out of this effervescence.
The international conference Media & Participation, celebrated on the 29th of March 2012, at the Media and Communication Research Department in Lund University (Sweden) did exactly that, providing a platform for international scholars to debate on the role of media in participation, involvement and citizenship.
John Corner opened the keynote panel pointing out the roles played by media as “agents of collective experience as well as agencies of individuation”, underlining the invitational function of media projects as stages of performances of participation; later Natalie Fenton presented a critical point of view on the democratic results which emerge from these´spectacular moments´, referring to what happened in the Arab Spring. She called not to fetishize participation, noting that what happens next is central.
Kristina Riegert presented on blogs as alternative counter-publics with special focus to Lebanese and Egyptian bloggers before and during the revolution. On the other hand, Peter Lunt took an approach from the concept of ´fairness´ and its role in media regulation; while Peter Dahlgren focused on the invitational nature of participation, referring to its power distribution and co-deciding character. In the same direction, Nico Carpentier performed a detailed and interesting analysis of the concept participation; he stated that ´power´ is the key defining element. Kim Schrøder presented on the five stages of citizenship, and how mediated citizenship transforms into political participation.
Other scholars approached the issue from a different perspective, focusing on a particular medium or format. Such as Tobias Olson, who developed an appealing parallel between participation and branding in digital media, or Stina Bengtsson, who looked at “professional avatars” working in Second Life. In terms of TV and its programming, two presentations lead the discussion, on the one hand Annette Hill, who a approached the issue from a case study of reality entertainment formats; and on the other hand Raymond Boyle, who took the approach from sports-TV, closing the day with the statement “where is passion is profit”.
- Conference website: http://mediaparticipation2012.se/
- Conference videos on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/mkvlunduniversity
- Conference program: http://mediaparticipation2012.se/programme/
- Speakers’ bios and presentation abstracts: http://mediaparticipation2012.se/keynotes/
– Amaranta Alfaro Muirhead –