Dan Jackson & Einar Thorsen
Whilst it feels like we have barely emerged from the same winter that contained the MeCCSA 2013 conference held in Derry, we can report that preparations for the next Annual Conference are in full swing. The organising committee have been confirming keynotes, designing websites, negotiating hotel deals and finishing the call for papers.
Your correspondents have also been arduously hitting the bars and pubs of Bournemouth in order to bring you the most informed recommendations for watering holes during your stay in Bournemouth. It was a tough assignment, but we were prepared to take one on behalf of the team on this occasion....
Bournemouth past & present
Two hundred years ago Bournemouth was little more than a remote and barren heathland, used only by smugglers and revenue troops. Since then it has grown to a population of over 180,000.
Bournemouth’s history is rooted in tourism: situated on the south coast of England, it is known as a famous seaside resort. Whilst many British seaside resorts have faced decline since their late-Victorian heyday, Bournemouth still attracts an average of 4.7m visitors each year. It was this heritage in tourism that inspired the visual theme of the MeCCSA 2014 conference – which draws on vintage postcards and the famous National Rail tourism posters.
Like the town itself, Bournemouth University is relatively young and is part of the post-92 group of universities. The university has historically been associated with outstanding teaching, practice and industry engagement, with the Media School at the forefront of this. However, the research profile of the Media School has increased considerably over the last decade. In this time we have seen the growth of a number of research centres such as the Centre for Journalism and Communication Research, the Centre for Media History, the Politics and Media group, Emerging Consumer Cultures Group, Public Relations Research Group, Advances in Media Management Group, and the Latin American Media Group. These days the School is positively buzzing with research activity, innovation and ambition, whilst retaining its strengths in media practice and education.
The School consists of four academic groups: Media Production, Journalism & Communication, Computer Animation, and Corporate & Marketing Communications. In addition, since 2004 the School has been home to the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice (CEMP), the only such media centre funded by HEFCE in the UK.
Media and the margins
The theme of the MeCCSA 2014 conference is ‘media and the margins’, the engagement of marginalised and minority groups with the media. Examining power relationships amongst groups in society has long been a preoccupation of media, communication and cultural studies, and the conference will build upon this body of work. We also seek new ways of advancing thinking on for example: changes to representation of marginalised groups, participation and power relations, new and alternative media practices, the role of media policy, public service media, development communication and media for social change.
The conference organisers plan to publish an edited collection based on the conference theme, which we hope will be an incentive for high quality and topical papers.
MeCCSA2014 will have a number of themed keynote panels, featuring leading voices in media studies and practice. Whilst the keynote schedule is still being developed, we can announce some of the confirmed speakers and panels:
Further details of keynotes and other planned events as part of the MeCCSA 2014 conference will be announced in due course. Keep an eye out in Three-D, on the conference website and the MeCCSA mailing list.
We look forward to seeing you in Bournemouth!