PhD Symposium 2019 Disruption, Transition and Transformation
We are currently inviting extended abstracts for papers to be considered for publication at the LSE Department of Media and Communication’s upcoming research Symposium, to be held in London in March 2019.
This Symposium is designed to offer PhD students and other early-career academics an engaged and supportive audience with which to share their work and receive critical, constructive feedback on research in progress. This explicitly transdisciplinary Symposium will be an opportunity for participants to meet and engage with other researchers working on similar topics or problematics. We want to bring contemporary research in Media and Communication into productive dialogue with other disciplinary perspectives and, in turn, to introduce researchers based within other disciplines to the work currently being done in our own field. In this way, this Symposium hopes to contribute towards fostering a transdisciplinary and transnational research community that is equipped to challenge the boundaries that limit our capacity to interpret and interrogate current phenomena.
The theme for the Symposium is Disruption, Transition and Transformation. In order to facilitate a diverse range of submissions and discussions on the day, we have left this theme intentionally broad. However, the focus of the Symposium is on moments of upheaval and discontinuity – within our disciplinary institutions, our practices as social science researchers, and in the world at large. What is the productive potential of disruption? How can we, as social researchers and theorists, keep step with the rapid permutations of power, culture and everyday experience in the social environment we study? These are the big questions that will drive our discussions.
We are inviting extended abstracts of 750-1,000 words using the following themes. We encourage submissions to interpret these themes in their own way, and offer a list of suggested topics as a guide only.
1. Disrupting politics
In this session, we will be looking at research that interrogates disruptions to the status quo of politics and the continuity/discontinuity of power relations in contemporary societies. How can media and communication perspectives help inform our understanding of the (in)stability of power in the contemporary moment? How are transformations in political processes (electoral manipulation, dataveilance, fake news etc.) and political paradigm shifts (the crisis of liberal democracy, the rise of authoritarian populism etc.) contributing to new forms of domination or control? What becomes of political agency in this context, and how might resistance need to be reimagined and reengineered? These are just come of the questions that will guide this session.
2. Disrupting boundaries
In this session, we invite research on the topic of disruption as it relates to boundaries: be they physical (as in, for example, state borders), epistemological (as in, for example, the distinction between media ‘creators’ and ‘audiences’), categorical (as in, for example, categories of gender), spatial (as in, for example, the ‘distance’ between represented Others and Western media publics), institutional (as in, for example, the divide between the social science ‘academy’ and other institutional fields), or any number of other interpretations.
3. Disrupting the discipline
In this session, we invite submissions that explicitly challenge or ‘disrupt’ the disciplinary dynamics at work in the field of media communications – our canonical theories, our dominant empirical methods, our usual research objects, our bibliographies, our readings lists, our culture, and our understanding of ourselves as a coherent ‘field’ more generally. In particular, we invite feminist, decolonial and queer interruptions to the institutionalised practice of media and communication research, as well as theoretical and methodological interventions more broadly.
Extended abstracts should be accompanied by a working title for your paper and a brief author biography of no more than 100 words.
The deadline for submissions is 15th January 2019. Submissions will then be reviewed, with all applicants receiving notification as to whether or not they have been invited to present by 31st January. The date for the Symposium is Friday 29th March 2019, with further details, including venue, to be confirmed in January. The event is free of charge for participants and attendees.