Sunday, 15 November 2015

The Last Post

Dear Colleagues,

Your Blog editor is moving to pastures new and it therefore seems timely to close down this blog.

I'll leave it up online as an archive, and note that we have had 56,156 pages views in total, clocking in at 1-3,000 month across its lifetime --- and hits from around the world!

All news about PGR related and research events in the Great Manchester area is now via the SAMPGR Facebook page, so please do join and keep an eye on the many exciting things that continue to happen.

best -


Tuesday, 3 November 2015

NWCDTP PhD scholarships in Media/Communication

We warmly invite expressions of interest further to applications for PhD studentships (full and part-time) from the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership, in the Media and Communications and Cultural Studies Pathways.

The Studentship covers all PhD fees, provides an annual stipend for the duration of your study (£14,057 for the coming academic year for full-time students), and access to addition funding for field research and further training.

Deadline for Expression of Interest: Friday 4th December 2015

The University of Salford is a member of the North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership (NWC DTP), which includes non-HE institutions such as the BBC, Home/Cornerhouse, Tate Liverpool, Opera North, FutureEverything, and FACT (Liverpool). In 2014, the Partnership was awarded £14 million of funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to deliver postgraduate supervision, training and skills development. 

The School of Arts and Media at the University of Salford has an international reputation for cutting edge research, both theoretical and practice-based, and is especially strong in the area of Media and Communications, as demonstrated by its performance in the 2008 RAE and 2014 REF in the Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management area of assessment (ranked 21st nationally, according to the power ranking).

Our media research environment is based at the heart of MediaCityUK, allowing for a unique access and engagement with media institutions like the BBC and ITV, reinforced by a rich programme of research events with both an industry and academic focus. NWC PhD students will be invited to work with our non-HE partners, so as to engage in research, placements and internships. We particularly welcome applications that seek to engage with our non-HEI partners in research / industry / showcase / training capacities (see

Media research within the School of Arts and Media is diverse, interdisciplinary and collaborative and has seen numerous internationally recognised outputs from academics as well as successful PhD completions and publication outputs.

Areas of expertise of our academic staff include: Film practice; Film history and theory; Media policy; Journalism studies; Celebrity studies; Media theory; Digital culture; Social media; Radical and alternative media; Internet regulation and governance; Television studies; Media politics; Transnational media; Urban cultures; Creative industries; noise; Celebrity studies; Cultural studies; Popular culture; Popular music and media; media and cultural theory. 

Notable Salford media academics include: Prof Seamus Simpson, Professor Garry Crawford, Dr Michael Goddard, Dr Andy Willis, Dr Kirsty Fairclough-Isaacs, Dr Lloyd Peters, Dr Carole O’Reilly, Dr Sharon Coen, Dr Steve Ward, Dr Anthony Smith and Dr Richard Hewett.

How to Apply:
Prospective applicants who are interested in applying ­and eligible for funding ­will need to submit a draft PhD proposal by Friday the 4th December, 2014. Please send this directly to the Salford NWC media pathway rep Dr Michael Goddard ( and
We would expect you to have a first degree, and a completed or current MA, or equivalent professional experience.

Following that it will be necessary to complete a formal application for PhD study at the University of Salford by the 22nd of January, 2016, which is available here: and ultimately an application to the Northwest Consortium before 5PM, on the 12th of February.

and further information is available, including eligibility criteria and scholarship stipend rates, at NWC DTP site:
If you have further queries about the research specialisms in media or cultural studies in the School of Arts and Media, and the potentials for working with our non-HE partners, please contact the media pathway leader Dr Michael Goddard:

If you have any questions regarding the formal application procedure please contact

Monday, 19 October 2015

Full Graduate Programme for 2015/2016

Our Facebook group: SAMPGR

MCUK Room 2.19 or  2.20, University of Salford campus at MediaCityUK.

Internal speakers, 3.30-4.25pm; External speakers, 4.30-5.45pm.

26th of October, 12 to 2PM, PGR room, Adelphi Building
PGR Welcome Event
Prior to the start of the Graduate Programme we are holding a special welcome event to welcome all new PGRs who registered this year. This event will be held in the postgraduate room in Adelphi building from 12pm. Lunch is provided.

28th of October, Room 2.19 MediaCity
Internal Speaker: Dr Ben Halligan (Performance/CCM)
Progression Points, Regulations, Submissions and Vivas
This session with review paperwork required by all PGRs across the course of the year, offer tips for successful completion and registration, and offer guidance on the “before and after” of the Viva experience.

External Speaker: Dr Brad Evans (University of Bristol)
Dead in the Waters
Continental Europe is currently facing the most challenging refugee crises since the Second World War. As many fleeing the conflict raging in Syria and elsewhere, set out onto the treacherous Mediterranean seas, images of dead bodies- including children- now appear in widespread circulation. While such images have, on occasions, notably shifted the political debates, evidencing in the process the power of social media, they are nevertheless still framed and mediated in order to regulate their effects. Indeed, as the images provide an intimate portrait of the encounter with contemporary violence, speaking directly to the questions of human sacrifice, the status of the victim, notions of militaristic valor, onto the aesthetic mediation of suffering – including political expediency, cultural and theological resonance, and beautification, so they point to the complex relationship between sacrificial violence, which is central to its continuum.
Brad Evans is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations. He is also founder/director of the Histories of Violence project. His co-directed movie Ten Years of Terror received international acclaim, screening in the Solomon K. Guggenheim museum, New York during September 2011. Brad has recently been a visiting fellow at the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University, New York (2013-14). He regularly writes for prominent news sources such as The Guardian, Independent, LA Review of Books, World Financial Review, Al Jazeera, TruthOut, Counter-Punch and Social Europe. His projects have been featured in various outlets including the New York Times, CBS news, El Pais, and Art Forum to name a few. Brad sits on the editorial boards for a number of reputable international academic journals in the fields of political philosophy. He also serves as a consultant on violence to a number of cultural organisations.

11th of November, Room 2.19, MediaCity
Internal Speaker: Professor Seamus Simpson
Making Your Way in Academia
Academic careers have always been challenging to develop. Securing a PhD is often only the start of a long process presenting many exciting opportunities, but also challenges. Given the level of competition, many young scholars are now plotting a career strategy whilst they are in the throes of a PhD. In this session Michael Goddard and Seamus Simpson give a perspective on what to do, and what to avoid, in the development of an academic career. In this session, intended to be informal and interactive, we will focus on:
•          Deciding whether or not an academic career is for you
•          Development of a publication portfolio
•          Participation in professional academic communities of interest
•          The relationship between teaching and research

External Speaker: Professor Felicity Colman, (MMU)
Punk Prayers: The Feminist Manifesto in Algorithmic Times
Manifestos of the twentieth century modernists were used as signals of a time, a place and an attitude. They are historically event situated. This talk will address the “punk prayers” of the 21st century feminist manifesto as manifesto actions – taking the examples of Pussy Riot and #FEMEN – to critically question can and how have forms of manifesto actions signal and enable epistemic change? Can a pronouncement of an event within algorithmic environment capture its dynamism in the positioning of a radical sentiment or attitude, or call for action? What forms of inscription have digital manifestos created? For the feminist, the activation of time in the manifesto offers a break from the machinic subjectivity of patriarchal systems, and this regendered temporal mode can manifest the motive power required to move communities into different collective feminisms. Digital art manifestos reflect on a range of topics – from sexuality, to gaming cultures, to the manifesto form itself. As a word, object, and performative action (occupation, demonstration, social media movement) the manifesto presents a material record of an eventual aesthetic and politic of the philosophy of Feminicity, as a new twenty-first century movement.

Felicity Colman is Professor of Film and Media Arts at the Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University. She is the author of Film Theory: Creating a Cinematic Grammar (Columbia University Press, 2014), Deleuze and Cinema (Berg, 2011), and editor of Film, Theory and Philosophy: The Key Thinkers (Acumen, 2009), and co-editor of Global Arts & Local Knowledge (Lexington, 2015), and Sensorium: Aesthetics, Art, Life (Cambridge Scholars, 2007). Felicity is Vice-Chair of the Horizon 2020 COST [European Cooperation in Science and Technology] Network Grant Action IS1307 on New Materialism: Networking European Scholarship on 'How Matter Comes to Matter [2014-2018]. Her two current book projects are: “Digital Feminicity” and “Materialist Film”.

16th of November, MCUK
Challenging Media Landscapes Conference/Salford International Media Festival
Cultures and Industries of Creativity in Contemporary Media Landscapes
The terms ‘creative’ and ‘cultural’ industries are now part of common parlance and discourse in academia, the media and related industries, and urban and transnational policy circles. Academic analysis of questions of creativity tends to centre on the media and cultural industries as the key sites for its incubation, production, marketing and exploitation. For academics, to engage with creativity in media and cultural contexts raises critical questions of autonomy and control, creative labour and its exploitation, the development and functioning of urban and virtual environments, as well as artistry and expression within constantly evolving conditions where the formerly clear boundaries between related industries are increasingly blurry.
This one day conference will be followed by an evening wine reception

Keynote Speakers
Professor David Hesmondhalgh
Professor Angela McRobbie

27th of November
Special event with Brazilian Media Theorist Professor Erick Felinto (UERJ, Rio de Janeiro) in cooperation with MMU
Venue: 70 Oxford Rd (former Cornerhouse)
Vilém Flusser’s “Philosophical Fiction”: Science, Creativity and the Encounter with Radical Otherness.

Czech philosopher and media theorist Vilém Flusser is probably one of the most overlooked prophets of the “digital revolution”, having achieved only moderate international fame because of his popular 1984 book on photography, Towards a Philosophy of Photography. However, along with the rise of so-called German media theory, Flusser’s work has been recently garnering a great deal of attention. The author, who lived in Brazil for over 30 years and left a prolific work composed in 4 different languages (Portuguese, German, English and French), is now a significant reference for several monographs in fields as diverse as art studies, media theory, ecology and cultural studies. The aim of this talk is to introduce one of Flusser’s most ingenuous theoretical constructs, the notion of “philosophical fiction”, developed since the 1960s and central to many of his most experimental writings, such as Vampyroteuthis Infernalis (1989) and The History of the Devil (1965). Closely related with much later philosophical musings – for instance, Nick Land’s “hyperstition” or Peter Szendy’s “philosophiction” –, Flusser’s philosophical fiction proposes to fray the borders between fiction and reality in order to achieve novel and creative ways to perceive and describe reality. By means of his philosophical fiction, Flusser elaborates an intriguing form of “creative epistemology” that proves to be immensely useful for artistic explorations and cultural theory – especially under the conditions of life in the digital age. After a detailed presentation of Flusser’s notion and its resonances with contemporary theoretical practices, we will focus on the fruitfulness of philosophical fiction for a perspectivization of thinking and the creation of new models of subjectivity.

Professor Erick Felinto has been a Professor in the Department of Media Studies at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) since 1999. He is the author of five books (in Portuguese) on film studies, literary theory and cyberculture. He was President of the Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Communications (Compos) from 2007 to 2009. He holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from UERJ/UCLA and is currently a researcher for CNPq (the Brazilian National Council for Research and Development). He also worked for the Flusser Archive on the production of the DVD “We Shall Survive in the Memory of Others” (translation and transcription of Portuguese subtitles). His last book, Avatar: the Future of Cinema and the Ecology of Digital Images (with Ivana Bentes) was published in 2009. He is currently the Scientific Director of the Brazilian Association of Researchers in Cyberculture (Abciber).         

9th of December, MediaCity, Room 2.19
Internal Speaker: Dr Pal Vik, Sociology/Politics
Recruiting interviewees - practical, theoretical and methodological considerations
The qualitative research interview is one of the most common methods in academic research and maybe especially for postgraduate research. It is feasible to conduct on a small budget and can generate rich insights into various phenomena. This session will cover both practical and academic aspects of recruiting research interviewees, including who to interview, why and how many, where to find and how to recruit interviewees, and the link between research framework and recruiting interviewees.

External Speaker: Professor Garin Dowd
Dislocations: framing and agency between cinema and architecture

This paper will explore the framing qualities of architecture in conjunction with the framing operations of cinema. In doing so it will refer to philosophical inquiry into architecture and to architectural philosophy as well as to attempts to think film and the architectural together. In what sense or senses can architecture be considered ‘primary’ in relation to cinema? This first question will be explored by considering the inscription or encompassment of the architectural (which term here encompasses generic buildings, specifically located, named buildings, architectural styles, the built environment as well as set decor and set construction) as a foundational gesture in cinema. Even if film does not necessarily figure the built environment, even if it need not be dependent on the presence or generative force of buildings, film will always participate in its own version of architecture’s modelling into a form of territory.
Professor Garin Dowd is Professor of Film, Literature and Media at the University of West London, UK. He is the author of Abstract Machines: Samuel Beckett and Philosophy after Deleuze and Guattari (Rodopi 2007), co-author (with Fergus Daly) of Leos Carax (Manchester University Press, 2003), co-editor (with Lesley Stevenson and Jeremy Strong) of Genre Matters: Essays in Theory and Criticism (Intellect Books, 2006). His most recent publications include a co-edited volume (with Natalia Rulyova) entitled Genre Trajectories: Identifying, Mapping, Projecting (Palgrave Macmillan 2015) and book chapters in Ardoin, Gontarksi and Mattison (eds) Understanding Deleuze, Understanding Modernism (Bloomsbury 2014), Buchanan, Matts and Tynan (eds), Deleuze and the Schizoanalysis of Literature (Bloomsbury 2015) and Wilmer and Zukauskaite (eds),  Deleuze and Beckett (Palgrave Macmillan 2015). His work has been published in the journals Angelaki, Australian Journal of French Studies, Deleuze Studies, Forum for Modern Language Studies, The Journal of Beckett Studies, New Review of Film and Television Studies and Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd’hui.
This will be followed by the SAM PGR Festive End of Year Party in MediaCity from 6PM

25-29 January
Graduate Week, MCUK room 2.36
This is a week of training activities and research presentations covering practice led research, key research methods, progression points from enrolment to Vivas, making the best use of supervision, PhD by published works, building academic and publication profiles and post-study employability, among other topics.

10th of February, MediaCity room 2.20
Internal Speaker: Dr Chris Murphy (Politics)
Using Freedom of Information for academic research
Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation came into force in the UK on 1 January 2005. While it has been used extensively by both the general public and the press, its use by the academy has been far less pronounced. The purpose of this session is to outline possible uses of FOI as part of a successful research strategy, along with some practical do's and dont's about making an FOI request.

External Speaker: Dr Athina Karatzogianni (University of Leicester)
Hack or Be Hacked: The Quasi-Totalitarianism of Global Trusted Networks
This talk focuses on digital surveillance ideology by examining specific empirical examples drawn from media reports of the Snowden affair, in order to nuance the politics, ethics, values and affects mobilized by governments and corporate elites to justify the collect-it-all practices by a ménage à trois of “trusted” global networks. It charts this political space as a sphere of action emerging against the backdrop of what we call ‘quasi-totalitarian’ mechanisms, which are fostered by alignment, collusion and imbrication of the three trusted authoritative networks. This approach accounts for a particular vexing problem in the articulation of digital politics. That is, the process of political disenfranchisement by corporations looking to profit, governments looking to regulate information flows, and coopted groups in civil society looking to appropriate the legitimate concerns of users for their own political and financial subsistence. The distinct features of this quasi-totalitarianism include:
a. the monopoly of digital planning on surveillance resting on back-channel and secret communication between government, tech corporate elites and, sometimes, NGOs;
b. the role of civil society NGOs as mechanisms for circumventing democratic processes
c. enterprise association politics that ensures that the dual goal of state (security) and capital (profit) continues unabated and unaccounted;
d. the unprecedented scope in the form of total structural data acquisition by western intelligence matrixes;
e. the persecution and prosecution of journalists, whistle-blowers and transparency actors outside the scope of civil society groups and
f. the significant if insufficient contestation by members of the public concerning the infringement on civil liberties.
Dr Athina Karatzogianni’s research has focused on the intersections between new media theory, resistance networks and global politics, for the study of cyberconflict and the use of digital technologies by social movements, protest, and insurgency groups. Her research revolves around different aspects of cyberconflict theory, which I developed and applied to non-state actors and their use of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs). She is passionate about researching what is a period of intense encounters of the cyber with the global political arena: the proliferation of sociopolitical activist networks, as well as ethnoreligious, insurgent and terrorist networks; social-media enabled political protests and mobilizations leading to social or political change; increased resistance to surveillance and censorship of global communications, including leaks from government employees and new media organizations, uncovering significant tensions in the use of ICTs both by states and corporations

24th of February, room 2.19
Internal Speaker: Professor Steve Davismoon
Traversing the Creative Musical Search Space Constellations
This presentation will discuss the enormous creative search space that opens up to composers through digital technologies; it will outline methodologies for how computing techniques can assist practice-led research compositional work in terms of music modelling, interaction and production; bringing new design dimensions to the role of the composer; at times bringing into question traditional notions of authorship.   It will discuss the dialectic relationship that should exist when working creatively with digital technologies - celebrating the enormous advantages as well as recognising the profound limitations that such technologies bring to the creative act.

External Speaker: Dr Paolo Gerbaudo (King’s College, London)
The Mask and the Flag: The Rise of Anarchopopulism in Gobal Protest
From Tahrir Square, to the indignados of Southern Europe, Occupy Wall Street, the Gezi protest in Turkey and Brazil's June Movement, contemporary protest bears the mark of anarcho-populism, a hybrid political culture in which the Guy Fawkes mask of anarchism is overlaid by the national flag of democratic populism. Emboldened by popular calls to mobilise citizens against economic and political oligarchies, these movements have broadened participatory practices previously confined to neo-anarchist countercultures. They have built assemblies, protest camps, and used social media as platforms for mass mobilisation, often winning widespread support. This talk argues that the populist turn has allowed protestors to break out of the activist ghetto and to tackle the fragmentation of identity politics. Paradoxically, an obsession with flat and acephalous organisational models has made them incapable of integrating those they first mobilised in mass protest, ultimately condemning them to defeat by state repression and internal exhaustion. Despite its evanescence, this protest wave has propagated an inclusive spirit of popular solidarity and led to the foundation of new initiatives and organisations which will shape politics for years to come.

Dr Paolo Gerbaudo is Lecturer in Digital Culture and Society at King’s College London. Previously he had been an Associate Lecturer in Journalism and Communication, at the Media Department at Middlesex University, and an Adjunct Professor of Sociology at the American University in Cairo (AUC). Apart from his academic work Paolo has also acted as a journalist covering social movements, political affairs and environmental issues, and as a new media artist exhibiting at art festivals and shows. He holds a PhD in Media and Communications from Goldsmiths College.

16th of March, room 2.19
Internal Speaker: Professor Robin Bargar (Director of Salford International Innovation Studio (SIIS))
Computational models as a canvas for cross-media composition

External Speaker: Dr Debra Ramsay (Univeristy of Exeter)
The Archive and the War Diary
This paper investigates the pressures and possibilities created by digital change on the preservation practices of The National Archives (TNA) in Kew as part of the AHRC’s ‘Technologies of memory and Archival Regimes project’ (ref:AH/L004232/1).  It does so by examining TNA’s curatorship of War Diaries – daily reports kept by every unit in the British Army of their experiences from World War I through to current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The Diaries are analysed to demonstrate how technologies of media shape the reporting and the memory of war, with the goal of understanding the changing nature of warfare itself.
Dr Debra Ramsay lectures in Film Studies at the University of Exeter.  She is the author of the monograph American Media and the Memory of World War II (Routledge, 2015) and has published articles on the impact of digital technology in various forms on the relationships between war, history, memory and media, including an article on the First Person Shooter and the memory of World War II (Cinema Journal,  54:2, February 2015).  Most recent research includes work on the AHRC funded project, Technologies of Memory and Archival Regimes, which investigates the impact of digital change on the history and memory of warfare in the British Army. 

20th of April
Internal Speakers: Dr Annabelle Waller and Dr Lloyd Peters
Practice led research in Media Industries
            This talk from two Salford academics who successfully passed their PhD by Published Works recently, will present some of the issues surrounding practice based and led research in contemporary media industries

External Speaker:
Dr Winston Mano
Does China’s Increased Media and Soft Power in Africa Matter?

Winston Mano is a Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for the Graduate Diploma in Media and Communication Studies at the University of Wesminster. He studied English and Economic History at the University of Zimbabwe (1989-1991) before receiving a scholarship to go to Norway where he studied Media and Communications at the Institute for Media and Communication at the University of Oslo from 1995-1997. He briefly worked as an editor for Africa, Film & TV but later decided to teach Communication Media courses at the University of Zimbabwe from 1997-2000. Winston Manos research mainly focuses on African Radio, Music, Audiences, Globalisation, Media Democracy and Development. Since 2004, Mano has helped organise the CAMRI Africa Media Series: Reporting Zimbabwe: Before and After 2000 (2005); Media and Social Change in Africa (2006); Media and Democracy in Africa (2007) and the Media and Development in Africa (2008). He is currently researching on African Radio and Modernisation in a Global Context.

4th of May, MediaCity, room 2.20
Internal Speaker: Dr Richard Hewett
Methods for Researching Media Historically

External Speaker: Dr Deborah Jermyn (Roehampton)
The Wrong Kind of Woman Filmmaker: Nancy Meyers, Romantic Comedy and Cultural Value
 Nancy Meyers is the most commercially successful woman filmmaker of all time (Wiggers, 2010). Yet despite this Meyers remains marginal in accounts both of contemporary Hollywood cinema, and feminism and film. Her exclusion seems less odd, however, when one reflects on her oeuvre. Described as Hollywood’s ‘romcom queen’ (Babb, 2010), Meyers has been positioned as sovereign of a genre which, in the hierarchies of critical esteem and academic gravitas, is the cinematic bottom-feeder lurking somewhere beneath the action movie. This paper will explore how Meyers’ association with the most critically derided of genres has worked to debar her from the various canons of Hollywood cinema and Film Studies she might lay claim to. Her work has held little interest for scholarship, since romcom is still widely assumed to be what one might call, to paraphrase Bordwell, Thompson and Staiger’s description of Hollywood cinema (1988), ‘an excessively obvious genre’. The derision directed at it is intrinsically bound up in the cultural, critical and industrial gendering of the genre; often used interchangeably with the term ‘chick-flick’, the presumed audience, address and perspectives of the genre are positioned as peculiarly female. My discussion will explore how this landscape has delimited proper recognition of Meyers’ work and, and argue for a more nuanced approach to her oeuvre which recognises the culturally observant and critical perspectives sometimes at work in it.
Dr Deborah Jermyn is Reader in Film and TV at the University of Roehampton. Her books include Sex and the City (2008) and Prime Suspect (2010), and most recently she was co-editor (with Su Holmes) of Women, Celebrity and Cultures of Ageing: Freeze Frame (2015). She is currently writing a monograph about Nancy Meyers for Bloomsbury.

18th of May, MediaCity room 2.20
Internal Speaker: Dr Jo Scott
Practice as Research and Emergent Methodologies
This talk presents my PaR project in live intermedial practice, focusing on the particular methodologies which emerged from this research, as well as how they were reflected in the presentation of the project. As part of this discussion, I will address the role and positioning of an ‘insider account’ (Nelson 2013) and how writing around and in response to practice can weave together reflections, analysis and documentation towards a clear formulation of the emergent insights and knowledge.

External Speaker: Dr Raphael Cohen-Almagor (University of Hull)
Book celebration: Confronting the Internet's Dark Side -- Moral and Social Responsibility on the Free Highway.
Confronting the Internet’s Dark Side is the first comprehensive book on social responsibility on the Internet. The book aims to strike a balance between the free speech principle and the responsibilities of the individual, corporation, state, and the international community. This book brings a global perspective to the analysis of some of the most troubling uses of the Internet: cyberbullying, cybercrime, terrorism, child pornography, hate and bigotry. It urges net users, Internet service providers, and liberal democracies to weigh freedom and security, finding the golden mean between unlimited license and moral responsibility. This judgement is necessary to uphold the very liberal democratic values that gave rise to the Internet and that are threatened by an unbridled use of technology.
Dr Raphael Cohen-Almagor received his DPhil in political theory from Oxford University. He is Professor and Chair in Politics, and Founder and Director of the Middle East Study Group, University of Hull, United Kingdom. In Israel, he was Founder and Director of the Center for Democratic Studies, University of Haifa; Co-Founder and Chairperson of "The Second Generation to the Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance" Organization; Founder and Director of the Medical Ethics Think-tank at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. In the United States, Raphael was The Fulbright-Yitzhak Rabin Visiting Professor at UCLA School of Law, Visiting Professor at Johns Hopkins University, Fellow at the Hastings Center, New York, and Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. In The Netherlands, he was Visiting Scholar, Department of Metamedica, Faculty of Medicine, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. Among his more recent books are The Right to Die with Dignity (2001), Speech, Media and Ethics (2001, 2005), The Scope of Tolerance (2006, 2007), The Democratic Catch (2007, Hebrew), Voyages (poetry 2007, Hebrew), and Confronting the Internet's Dark Side: Moral and Social Responsibility on the Free Highway (2015).

1st of June, MediaCity, room 2.20
Internal Speaker: Dr Michael Goddard:
From Conference to Publication
This session will examine one of the most productive and straightforward ways of publishing your research--via conference participation. Many academic conferences have specific publication outcomes (sometimes already mentioned in the call for papers), and even when they don't there are frequently opportunities for disseminating and publishing your work that emerge from conference participation. This session will cover such issues as selecting the best conference to present your work (subject specific, postgraduate or not, connected to an association), preparing conference abstracts, conference networking, conference organisation, revising your abstract for publication, and the publication process. As it is impossible to generalise, a range of examples will be presented but there will also be the opportunity to present your own experiences and issues regarding both conference participation and the publication process.
External Speaker: Professor Roberta Pearson
Intertextuality and the Sherlock Holmes Franchise
Sherlock Holmes has been a ubiquitous figure in popular culture for more than a century, appearing in all media forms.  Over 200 films and television programmes have featured the Great Detective as have countless books, comic books, advertisements and so forth.  This talk considers the implications of this dense layering of text upon text for current Holmes adaptation such as the BBC's Sherlock.  How do producers and writers navigate this dense intertextual web in order to produce something that is both recognisably Holmes whilst simultaneously distinguishing themselves from their predecessors?

Roberta Pearson is Professor of Film and Television Studies at the University of Nottingham. Among her most recent publications are the co-authored Star Trek and American Television (Berkely: University of California Press, 2014), and the co-edited Many More Lives of the Batman (London: BFI, 2015) and Storytelling in the Media Convergence Age: Exploring Screen Narratives (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). She is in total the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of thirteen books, and author or co-author of over eighty journal articles and book chapters.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

GradProg talks Weds 3 June: Manchester & Porto Alegre Music Scenes // Metaphysics of the Drone's Eye in the Sky

Wednesday 3rd June 2015

Room 3.17 MCUK. All welcome!
External Speaker: Dr Fabricio Silveira (International Visiting Researcher from Unisinos, Brazil); (3.30-4.30)

Mapping Underground Popular Music Scenes in Manchester and Porto Alegre

Drawing on fieldwork conducted as part of the CAPES/Science without Borders project, “Creative Industries, Cities and Popular Music Scenes,” as well as his own sabbatical project in Manchester, Dr. Silveira will present his research into mapping underground music scenes, primarily in Manchester, and how cartographic and media archaeological methodologies can be used to enhance popular music and creative industries research.

Dr Fabricio Silveira is a Brazilian researcher into popular music and contemporary media based at Unisinos, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. He has numerous publications on popular music scenes including the recent monograph Instantaneous Ruptures: Entering and Leaving Pop Music. He is one of the leading researchers on the Science without Borders Special Visiting Researcher project in collaboration with Dr. Michael Goddard.

External Speakers: Dr Dean Lockwood and Dr Rob Coley (4.30-5.30)

Dream of the Drone

Our illustrated talk begins by diagramming an oneiric Lincolnshire in which puzzle pieces of the drone enigma are gathered and condensed. In preparation for World War 3, we commence with a flying lesson in Kirton-on-Lindsey before journeying on to RAF Tealby Moor, in the quantum environs of which we will map a confluence of magic, mediation, flight and warfare. We are constructing our own ‘Perturbative Adjacent Field’, but it will not be complete until we conclude the expedition four miles south of Lincoln, at RAF Waddington. Finally, in Waddington’s drone room, we can at last be ‘diverted’ into new realms of desire. The drone is the ‘signature device of the present moment’ (Noys) and a metaphysics of the drone, foregrounding divine powers of search and destroy, has captured the imaginations of many. What is at stake in the dream of the drone? Through what vectors is the drone exerting its transformative impact upon philosophy, media, aesthetics, social and cultural theory and how might these disciplines exploit the fabulatory function of the drone?

Cahal McLaughlin and Catherine Wheatley talks


Archiving voices from the Troubles, prisons as sites for recollection and re-enactment; moral retribution and the bind of the confessional, landscapes as imprisonning. Our thanks to Cahal McLaughlin and Catherine Wheatley for their fantatsic talks on media matters Irish.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

GradProg talks this Weds (20/5): Prison as Conflict Memory Archive / "Calvary", Faith and Doubt

External Speaker: Prof Cahal McLaughlin (Creative Arts, Queens University of Belfast)
3.30-4.30, Room 2.20. MediaCityUK, University of Salford campus.

The Prisons Memory Archive: Representing Memories from a Conflict

The Prisons Memory Archive is investigating ways that narratives of a conflicted past are negotiated in a contested present in Ireland. The Haas (2013), Eames-Bradley (2009), and the Bloomfield (1998) Reports all recommended storytelling as a way of engaging with this issue that is both politically and psychically sensitive. Given the government’s failed attempts at established an official process for addressing the legacy of the past, there are a number of community and academic initiatives that have taken up this task. The Prisons Memory Archive is one such project, whose aim is to research the possibilities of engaging with the story of the ‘other’ in a society that is emerging from decades of political violence. The Prisons Memory Archive (PMA) filmed interviews back inside the prisons with those who passed through the Maze and Long Kesh Prison and Armagh Gaol, which were both touchstone and tinderbox during the 30 years of violent conflict in the North of Ireland. Using protocols of co-ownership, inclusivity and life-story telling, we filmed a range of participants including prison staff, prisoners, visitors, teachers, chaplains and probation officers.

Cahal McLaughlin is chair of Film Studies at Queens University Belfast. He is a documentary filmmaker and director of the Prisons Memory Archive. His latest films are We Were There (2014) on the role of women in the Maze and Long Kesh Prison, and We Never Give Up II (2012) on reparations in South Africa. His publications include Recording Memories from Political Conflict: a filmmakers journey (2010: Intellect).

External Speaker: Catherine Wheatley (Kings College London)
4.35-5.30, Room 2.20. MediaCityUK, University of Salford campus.

John McDonagh's 'Calvary' a Place Between Faith and Uncertainty
Following the last days of Catholic priest Father James (Brendan Gleeson), John Michael McDonagh’sCalvary contemplates the place of religion in contemporary Ireland, a country hit badly by the economic collapse and struggling with revelations of sexual abuse by priests and its institutional covering-up. McDonagh describes the film thus: “The mise en scène indebted to Andrew Wyeth. The philosophy to Jean Améry. The transcendental style inspired by Robert Bresson.” Yet while the film’s style and subject matter place it firmly in a cinematic tradition which starts with Carl Dreyer and moves through Bresson to, in different ways, Lars von Trier and Terrence Malick, the inclusion of dark humour reframes its consideration of faith and uncertainty. In my talk, I want to pay particular attention to how the director negotiates between satire and the serious possibility of grace in order to create a gap in which a genuine ambivalence towards the film’s subject matter can arise. We can connect this gap, this space which is inhabited by both Father James and by the film’s spectators to Gillian Rose’s concept of “the broken middle”, a place suspended between immanence and transcendence (Rose, 1992). This is precisely the position in which Father James finds himself. But this, says Rose, is where the sacred is to be found: in the space between religion and secularity; the personal and the institutional; faith and cynicism. Finally, I will briefly consider the film’s reception amongst critics and audiences, with whom Calvary has seen surprising success. I want to ask whether this critical success comes in spite or because of the fact that the film is, to quote Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw, “far less anti-clerical than one might expect” (Bradshaw, 2014).

Catherine Wheatley is Lecturer in Film Studies at King’s College London. She has published books on the films of Michael Haneke, Film and Ethics, and French Film in transit. Catherine is a regular contributor to Sight and Sound Magazine, and is currently writing a monograph on iterations of Christianity in contemporary European Cinema.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

"Awake in your Dreams"

Our thanks to Shemin B Nair for presenting his most recent (and award-winning) short film to the Graduate Programme. We look forward to a screening of the next one!

Monday, 11 May 2015

Grad Prog (13 May): Public Broadcasting to Internet Protocol / Screening "Awake In Your Dreams"

MedicCity UK, Room 3.17/3.18


Dr Marko Ala-Fossi (University of Tampere, Finland)

‘The Short Future of Public Broadcasting: Replacing Digital Terrestrial TV with Internet Protocol?’

According to recent European estimates, the life expectancy of broadcasting as a free-to-air television platform may not be more than 15 years. Both the BBC and YLE, the public service media companies in the UK and Finland – as well as the UK regulator Ofcom – have independently reached this conclusion in recent reports about the future of news, media distribution and digital terrestrial television (DTT). Although broadcasting is expected to be necessary at least until 2030, all three organizations assume that after that time DTT can be switched off and – under certain conditions – completely replaced with IP-based solutions for PSM delivery.

This is not the first time a new distribution technology has been expected to replace earlier one(s). Television was expected to replace radio, FM to replace AM, DAB to replace FM, etc. But so far the telegraph is the only communication technology that has been completely displaced by newer systems. In the light of retrospective analysis in this paper, the idea of IPTV taking over DTT is a more sophisticated version of this “black box fallacy”. Predictions of the early demise of the DTT are also contradictory. For example, in the UK Ofcom continues to support DAB digital radio broadcasting. The Finnish case is perhaps more straightforward as the spectrum for digital radio is used in clearing the 700 MHz band from DTT for mobile broadband use. But it is evident that in both countries the expectations of the growth of the mobile media ecosystem and economic profits are part of the force driving the latest version of an old idea.

Using a theoretical perspective combining new institutionalism and political economy of communication, this paper examines potential and existing problems in replacing one sort of socio-technological system, i.e. broadcasting, with a completely different one. There are crucial technical difficulties and normative questions also arise. Would it be possible to secure universal access to public service content on a common platform? Would new gatekeepers emerge with access to IP-related data on users’ identities and locations? How might data flows be tracked and managed? And how secure might such data remain?

430-530pm, Shemin Nair (Salford PhD sutdent)

Film screening and Q and A

Awake in Your Dreams

Laura needs a redemption from her haunting dreams.


Laura experiences her kid’s death in her dreams at the very same time it happens. But she can’t respond as she is in a state called as sleep paralysis. And she experiences a series of hallucinations and dreams. Louis tries to rescue her. The film has a surreal form and is non descriptive and non narrative.