Friday, 30 May 2014

Social Media and Health Seminar (11/June)

Social Media and Health Seminar

Disconnecting with Social Networking Sites: Implications for Health, Wellbeing and Beyond

Seminar presenter: Visiting Honorary Professor Ben Light, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Wednesday 11th June, 12.30pm to 1.30pm

Mary Seacole Building, Room 1.36, University of Salford

"Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected."

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder Facebook

The quote above is the opening line of Mark Zuckerberg’s letter to potential investors prior to Facebook’s floatation on the US stock market in 2012. In the letter Zuckerberg makes an impassioned plea for the creation of infrastructure that can facilitate the maximisation of the raw tools we have at hand to share, think, feel and do with whomever we want to. The maximisation of the infrastructure he argues is necessary because there is a ‘huge need and huge opportunity to get everyone in the world connected’. Connection above anything else is what should be valued according to Zuckerberg, and he is not alone in this view. In contrast, this study concerns how we disconnect with Social Networking Sites (SNSs) such as Facebook. However, I am not simply referring to issues of non-use in relation to those of use. I am concerned with disconnection as something that we do in conjunction with connection. For example, we might engage in the deletion of relationships in a given SNS but keep others in tact or we might use backchannels to create spaces within which we can interact with selected individuals or groups within our broader connected networks. Disconnection is pervasive in our use of SNSs and I argue for the need to have a nuanced understanding of this. Analyses of disconnection need to go beyond discussions of use and non-use and to encompass understandings of how we make SNSs work for us, or not, on a daily basis in terms of their diversity and mutability. Drawing upon qualitative interviews, and with a focus on health and well being issues, a theory of disconnective practice as related to SNSs is put forward. This theory incorporates attention to: geographies of disconnection; disconnectors; modes of disconnection; disconnective power; and the ethics of disconnection.

All University staff and PGR students are welcome to attend.

To register your interest in attending this free event, please go to this link: in order for us to provide appropriate refreshments.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Grad Prog talks 4 June: PhD progression panels // Big Social Data

Please find below details for two talks on the graduate programme next Wednesday-in the first aimed at postgraduate researchers, Benjamin Halligan will give advice on preparing presentations for assessments and Vivas, and the second one at 4PM Mark Cote will be talking on the uses and misuses of Big Social Data...all are very welcome.

Wednesday 4th June 2014, Media City room 2.20 from 3PM

Internal Speaker: Dr Benjamin Halligan (Director of Postgraduate Research, College of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Salford)
“Slide Away”: PowerPoint Presentations and PhD Panels (3-4pm)
This session will consider the do's and don'ts of PowerPoint presentations for IAs, IEs and Vivas. There is a minimum expectation that such presentations will be delivered by the candidate, but there is little consideration as to how they are to introduce, summarise, reflect and enhance the work under examination. Often a badly conceived and executed PowerPoint presentation will ensure that the candidate gets off to exactly the wrong kind of start! This session will provide some strategies for a good use of a PowerPoint presentation, in the context of a discussion about the challenges of talking about often highly complex research and analysis.

External Speaker: Dr Mark Cote (Kings College, London)
Big Social Data: 'This Initial Supersaturation of Being?' (4-5pm)
We generate data at an unprecedented pace at virtually every moment in our lives as ‘digital humans.’ Exposure of NSA/GCHQ programmes reveal that metadata is used to target ‘drone assassinations’ while the big social data we generate has become a key engine of growth for digital capital. Is this the dystopian end to our digital future? Are there radical political possibilities within the data we generate? This talk will examine the algorithmic practices that increasingly proscribe life, and consider how they might be rearticulated to create new kinds of potential through new relations of big social data.
Mark Coté is Programme Director of the MA in Digital Culture and Society at King’s College London. He has written extensively on social media, autonomist marxism, and the human and technology. He is Co-Investigator on the AHRC funded research project ‘Our Data Ourselves’ which examines ‘big social data’.

Salford symposium: Carnivalising Pop: Music Festival Cultures (13 June)

a one-day international symposium at the University of Salford

Friday June 13, 2014

Guest speakers:

· Dr Gina Arnold, Stanford University, USA, author of Route 666: On the Road to Nirvana, Kiss This: Punk in the Present Tense

· Alan Lodge, independent photographer and festival activist, discusses some of his classic images from 1970s free festivals and 1980s/1990s free party scene.

Other contributors include:

· Dr Nick Gebhardt, Birmingham City University

· Dr Roxanne Yeganegy, Leeds Metropolitan University

· Prof George McKay, University of Salford

· Dr Anne Dvinge, University of Copenhagen

· Dr Mark Goodall, Bradford University

· Prof Andrew Dubber, Birmingham City University

. Dr Emma Webster, Oxford Brookes

. Dr Benjamin Halligan, Salford

. Prof Robert Kronenburg, Liverpool University.

… Newport. Beaulieu. Monterey. Notting Hill. Woodstock. Glastonbury. Nimbim. Roskilde. Reading. Stonehenge. Castlemorton. Love Parade. Burning Man… Popular music festivals are one of the strikingly successful and enduring features of seasonal popular cultural consumption for young people and older generations of enthusiasts. Notwithstanding the annual declaration of the ‘death of festival’, a dramatic rise in the number of music festivals in the UK and around the world has been evident as festivals become a pivotal economic driver in the popular music industry. In 2010, there were over 700 music festivals in Britain alone, and it is estimated that three million people attend music festivals a year. Today’s festivals range from the massive to community and ‘boutique’ events.

The festival has become a key feature of the contemporary music industry’s commercial model, and one of major interest to young people as festival-goers themselves and as students. But the pop festival also has a radical past in the counterculture, a utopian strand in alternative living, some antagonistic anti-authoritarian history, an increasingly mediated other presence, as well as a strong current ethical identity. In the community/communitas of festival, interpretations vary from Temporary Autonomous Zone to festival as pollutant of the rural, from celebration to destruction of the genius loci.

To mark the start of the summer festival season, we have organised this event. The purpose of the symposium is to discuss and explore the significance of music festival cultures. In part the event presents work in progress from the forthcoming collection The Pop Festival: History, Music, Media, Culture (McKay ed., Bloomsbury, 2015). But we may also have some space for other current researchers in the field to share their work too—please do get in touch, soon. The day will be of interest across disciplines, from Popular Music, Media and Cultural Studies, Performance, Film, History, Sociology, American Studies, Business, Tourism and Leisure, Organisation Studies. And it will be of interest to festival organisers and festival-goers, too, as well as music media.

Draft programme via:

Registration and further information

This is a free event, as part of the AHRC Connected Communities Programme. It is organised by Prof George McKay, Connected Communities Leadership Fellow (

However advance registration is essential—contact Dr Deborah Woodman, conference administrator,, +44 (0)161 295 5876, for registration and all enquiries.

From Total War to Total Trivialization?

One day symposium at Salford University.

Free to attend. Full details:

This one-day conference, supported by the Vice-Chancellor’s Office, University of Salford, aims to fulfil a need and bring together those working in the media and museums with the academics who conduct research on the First World War and the development of the collective memory of the conflict in Britain and abroad.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Thursday, 15 May 2014

GradProg talks Weds 21/5/14: Pop Music & Disability / Punk Sounds and Northern Ireland

MediaCityUK, room 2.20, Weds 21st May. First talk 3-4pm, second talk 4.10-5pm. All welcome.

Popular Music and Disability
George McKay will speak about his newest book, Shakin' All Over: Popular Music and Disability (University of Michigan Press, 2013). It was supported by a grant from the AHRC. George has compiled a fascinating Top Ten of disability pop songs connected with the book at

George McKay is a writer on alternative cultures, popular music/media, cultural politics, disability. From jazz to punk. Via gardening. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1960 though mostly raised in Norfolk, England. He is Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Salford, UK, and currently a Leadership Fellow for the Arts & Humanities Research Council. George's website is packed with information and links:

External Speaker: Dr Liz Greene

Good Vibrations: punk montage sequences and audio-visual representations of Northern Ireland.

This paper will consider the use of montage sequences in fiction and non-fiction film and television programmes about Northern Ireland. Political and socio-economic representations are often problematic within film texts due to the need for brevity within the medium. However, the montage sequence contains a double bind, that of further time constraints and often the need for popular music to package an experience. In this paper I will consider both drama and documentary film and television programmes and will discuss the problematic relationship of framing history through the youthful (MTV) prism of fast edits through the theoretical frame outlined by Kay Dickinson in her work, “Pop, Speed, Teenagers and the “MTV Aesthetic” and Paul Virilio’s work in Speed and Politics. Considering punk music here, this paper will chart youth counter cultures that have stood in opposition to state repression and will assess how well these representations have been served by the montage sequence. Problematising notions of nostalgia, here I turn to Martin McLoone’s writing on “Punk music in Northern Ireland” to question, who are the perceived audience for contemporary punk films?

Dr Liz Greene is a sound practitioner and academic whose main research interests are in the theory, history and practice of film sound. She teaches film and television studies in the School of Cultures and Creative Arts at the University of Glasgow. She teaches and writes about film sound design and specialises in sound effects, the voice and sound archiving. Liz also creates sound art, music, and radio shows. She is currently creating the sound design for a documentary film on women’s experience of Long Kesh/The Maze prison during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Film Workshop for students with Frank Cottrell Boyce

From Fr Tim Byron, SJ:

Subject: Free Film Workshop for students with Frank Cottrell Boyce

We are holding a Screenwriting Workshop hosted by Frank Cottrell Boyce at 7pm next Weds (14th) at the Catholic Chaplaincy, 337 Oxford Road, M13 9PG. (opposite the Academy and U of M Students Union). We would be delighted if you could join us and any promising students you know. This is a unique opportunity to meet one of the UK's top author/screenwriter's Frank's work includes the recently acclaimed movie ‘The Railway Man’ as well as /24 Hour Party People, The Olympic Opening Cermony,and much more.

Admission is free but you have to book a ticket online and limited numbers are available now at , we are expecting they will go quickly as we have only just announced it.

"Performing Citizenship" talk

Thursday 12th June – 5.15pm Martin Harris Centre SL01

Professor Stephen Coleman (University of Leeds): "PERFORMING CITIZENSHIP"

Stephen Coleman is Professor of Political Communication at Leeds University, and one of the UK's leading experts on citizenship (among other claims to fame, he advised on the establishment of the YouGov polling organisation). His recent research has been preoccupied with cultural and performative expressions of political voice.
In this informal presentation, Coleman will discuss how people perform citizenship in their everyday lives; how civic practices are both inherited and institutionalised and improvisational and disruptive. What do we know about these performances of citizenship in various contexts and how can scholars, across disciplines, develop new ways of researching and understanding civic performance?

As with other sessions in the Cultivating Research series, the presentation will be structured to invite active discussion and reflection among all participants present.
Stephen Coleman's latest book is 'How Voters Feel' (CUP; out in paperback in July).

Friday, 9 May 2014

GradProg talks this Weds: Media Studies as Mickey Mouse Studies

Weds 14th May, 4-5pm, Room 2.20 MediaCityUK

External Speaker: Prof James Curran (Goldsmiths College, London)

Mickey Mouse Squeaks Back

What are the main grounds for dismissing media and cultural studies as a 'Mickey Mouse' subject? What underlies these attacks? Are they justified in full or in part? A media studies academic surveys the field, and responds to its critics.

James Curran is Director of the Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre and Professor of Communications. While at Goldsmiths, he has held a number of visiting appointments including McClatchy Professor (Stanford), Annenberg Professor (UPenn), Bonnier Professor (Stockholm University) and NRC Professor (Oslo University). He has written or edited 22 books about the media, some in collaboration with others. These include Media and Democracy, Routledge, 2011, Power Without Responsibility (with Jean Seaton), 7th edition, Routledge, (2010), Media and Society, 5th edition, Bloomsbury, 2010 and Media and Power, Routledge, 2002 (translated into five languages). His latest book is Misunderstanding the Internet (with Natalie Fenton and Des Freedman), Routledge, 2012, arising from Leverhulme funded research. His work falls mainly into two linked areas: media history and media political economy. In media history, he has sought increasingly to relate the development of the media to wider changes in society, while in media political economy he has turned to comparative media research, drawing on quantitative methods. This has resulted in three comparative studies, two funded by the ESRC (for outputs see 'publications' above). More recently still, he has been evaluating the impact of the internet and new communications technology.

The Salford Lectures: Walking Into New Vocabularies

Register for the next free Salford Lecture  
The University is hosting a special event to mark the conclusion of this year’s diverse and thought-provoking Salford Lectures series.

It will feature two accomplished and renowned figures from the worlds of art and literature.
You can register now to hear critically-acclaimed sculptor Sokari Douglas Camp CBE and award-winning poet and writer Jackie Kay MBE who have been invited to the University on 22 May to share their creations with the audience and provide an evening of fascinating conversation.

Sokari, who was born in Nigeria, has represented Britain and Nigeria in National Exhibitions and has hosted more than 40 solo shows worldwide.

One of her most memorable public artworks was ‘Battle Bus: Living Memorial for Ken Saro-Wiwa’ – a full replica of a Nigerian steel bus, which stands as a monument to the late Niger delta activist and writer.
In 2003, Sokari was shortlisted for the Trafalgar Square Fourth Plinth and in 2005 she was awarded a CBE in recognition of her services to art.  She is recognised globally, with permanent collections at The Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC, Setagaya Museum, Tokyo, and the British Museum, London.
In more recent years, Sokari’s work ‘All The World Is Now Richer’, a memorial to commemorate the abolition of slavery, was exhibited in the House of Commons 2012.

The work has been touring since 2013 and has been displayed in Bristol Cathedral, Norwich Cathedral and St George’s Hall, in Liverpool.  The sculptures are currently being exhibited at St Paul's Cathedral, London, until 31 May 2014.

Jackie was born in Scotland, daughter of a Scottish mother and Nigerian father, and was raised by much-loved adoptive parents in Glasgow.

Her poems, books and short stories have won an array of awards and prizes – including the Guardian Fiction Award, Forward Prize, a Scottish Arts Council Prize, the Scottish Book of the Year Award and the London Book Award.  She has also written extensively for stage and television.

Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University, Jackie was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002 and awarded an MBE in 2006. She is currently working on her new novel, ‘Bystander’.
Through their chosen languages of expression, Sokari and Jackie will forge new vocabularies at this special event.

Walking Into New Vocabularies: A conversation between Jackie Kay and Sokari Douglas Camp will take place in Chapman Building on Thursday, 22 May, at 6pm.

"Are you reading enough women?"

While gender bias in academia is widely discussed, it is not always easily documented. That’s why B.F. Walter, Daniel Maliniak, and Ryan Powers collected data to demonstrate how it plays out in a key metric of academic life: citations. Their study focused on 12 leading journals in international relations, examining 3,000 articles published between 1980 and 2006. The researchers analyzed “citation counts” because, Walter notes, “they are increasingly used as a key measure of a scholar’s performance and impact”—the currency of influence and prestige, as well as factors in hiring and promotion. - See more at:
While gender bias in academia is widely discussed, it is not always easily documented. That’s why B.F. Walter, Daniel Maliniak, and Ryan Powers collected data to demonstrate how it plays out in a key metric of academic life: citations. Their study focused on 12 leading journals in international relations, examining 3,000 articles published between 1980 and 2006. The researchers analyzed “citation counts” because, Walter notes, “they are increasingly used as a key measure of a scholar’s performance and impact”—the currency of influence and prestige, as well as factors in hiring and promotion. - See more at:
While gender bias in academia is widely discussed, it is not always easily documented. That’s why B.F. Walter, Daniel Maliniak, and Ryan Powers collected data to demonstrate how it plays out in a key metric of academic life: citations. Their study focused on 12 leading journals in international relations, examining 3,000 articles published between 1980 and 2006. The researchers analyzed “citation counts” because, Walter notes, “they are increasingly used as a key measure of a scholar’s performance and impact”—the currency of influence and prestige, as well as factors in hiring and promotion. - See more at:

Full article:

Friday, 2 May 2014

Grad Prog talk 7 May: Martin Hall on the Violence of Things and Hannah Arendt

MediaCityUK (Salford Campus): Room 2.07. 3pm-4pm. All welcome

The Violence of Things            

Things and their images can carry complex, pre-verbal meanings that derive their valency from not being spoken. For example, the rich public archive of Buddhist iconography in Sri Lanka may, simultaneously, convey the principles of non-violence and also the trauma of recent extrajudicial killing. Similarly, the extreme violence of crucifixion is celebrated as religious art or a mark of forgiveness, but may also evoke memories of conquest and genocide. In her On Violence, published in 1969, Hannah Arendt insisted that, rather than being an extreme manifestation of power, violence has an independent instrumentality. This insight, that has remained undeveloped in subsequent work on materiality, has provocative implications for the material world of things. Understanding the ways in which the material archive is central to the instrumentality of violence leads, in turn, to appreciating the ways in which the archive interacts with the performance of public life. 

Professor Martin Hall is a historical archaeologist and strategic leader. He joined the University of Salford in April 2009 as VC Designate, before taking up his role as VC on 1 August, 2009.

Born in Guildford, Professor Hall holds dual British and South African citizenship. After undertaking undergraduate and post-graduate studies in archaeology at the University of Cambridge he moved to South Africa in 1974. He was for a time President of the World Archaeological Congress and General Secretary of the South African Archaeological Society. After working at two major museums in the 1980s, he moved to UCT in 1983, where he led the Centre for African Studies and later became the Head of the Department of Archaeology. He was the inaugural Dean of Higher Education Development between 1999 and 2002 when he was able to exercise another of his interests, academic technology for innovative teaching and learning – particularly the use of digital and new media.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Postgraduate Week

Postgraduate Week – 12 -16 May 2014
For the very first time, Salford Students’ Union is hosting a very special Postgraduate Student Week.
Running from Monday 12 – Friday 16 May, your week involves fun and exciting events, activities and sessions designed to give all post-grads to opportunity to socialise and learn what your life at Salford can hold.
Our centrepiece of the programme will be a special conference with guest speakers and development opportunities as well as a smashing lunch!
Mishal Saeed, Students’ Union President says “We hope that this student led event will be the start of something great for our Postgraduates community. I’m very excited to be involved, and looking forward to meeting as many students as possible.  We are anticipating a fun week, with something for everyone. Also, I can’t wait to share with you all, the exciting things that your Students’ Union can do.”

For more information please visit: or email Kimberley Ashworth