Media History Study Day 2020 CANCELLED

We regret to announce that Media History Study Day 2020 is cancelled.

The decision to cancel the event was made for two reasons: several participants are no longer able to attend, and caution regarding the emerging and uncertain Coronavirus situation.

Every effort will be made to reschedule the Study Day in the coming academic year.

We apologise for any inconvenience the cancellation may cause.

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Media History Study Day 2020 is an opportunity for postgraduate students (PGRs) and early career researchers (ECRs) working on any aspect of media studies to share and discuss their work in a collegial, multidisciplinary environment. ECRs/PGRs working on media from any time period, social/cultural context, or perspective are invited to participate, including, but not limited to, those examining book history, broadcast media, electronic media, ephemera, film, journalism, media theory, newspapers, periodicals, or print culture. 

MEDIA HISTORY STUDY DAY 2020: MEDIA LIVES
DATE: CANCELLED (March 18, 2020)       
TIME: TBD–19:30
LOCATION: Birkbeck, University of London, 43 Gordon Square, London
KEYNOTE: Dr. Rebecca Roach, University of Birmingham, 18:00–19:30

ABSTRACT DEADLINE: February 1, 2020

The Study Day’s theme, “MEDIA LIVES,” broadly considers the concept of life in the media, embracing everything from interviews, influencers, and self-representation to the lives and lifecycles of old and new media. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Agency
  • AI and the Lives of Machines
  • Autobiography/Biography/Diaries/Media Identities/Self-Representation/Life-writing/Subjectivity
  • Blogging/Microblogging/Bots
  • Celebrity
  • Collaboration
  • Data-driven Subjects/Dividuals/Black-boxing
  • Dis/ability
  • Gaming lives
  • Influencers
  • Interfaces
  • Interviews
  • Invisible labour or participants
  • Lifespans of media and technologies
  • Lives in the media archive
  • Long Runs/Short Runs of newspapers, periodicals, serials, or series

While PGRs/ECRs are encouraged to share work that resonates with the theme, submissions on all media-related subjects are welcome. Participants will give 10-minute presentations on their works-in-progress followed by a 5-minute discussion of a question/problem related to their research. Research posters or presentations in alternative formats will also be considered. 

The Study Day is free. It will include a workshop on the ethical implications of conducting research in digital environments/on digital topics facilitated by Dr. Rebecca Roach from the University of Birmingham. Coffee, tea, and lunch will be provided by the Study Day’s sponsors. Participants are responsible for their own travel costs.

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ABSTRACT DEADLINE: Early career researchers and postgraduate students interested in participating in Media History Study Day 2020 should submit a 100-word abstract and 40-word bio to Media.History.Study.Day@gmail.com before midnight on February 1, 2020. If you would like to share a poster or use an alternative presentation format, please include details along with your abstract. 

For more information, please visit https://mediahistoryseminar.wordpress.com or contact Ann M. Hale, ann.m.hale@me.com.

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Media History Study Day 2020 is sponsored by Media History, an interdisciplinary journal that focuses on media and society from the fifteenth century to the present; the Media History Seminar, a London-based interdisciplinary group working on a range of media including print, radio, film, and digital communications technologies from various time periods; Queen Mary University of London; the Birkbeck Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies; the Institute of English Studies; and the Institute of Historical Research.

Bernard Geoghegan on AI and Orientalism

Windisch_Turk-

Please join us at the next Media History seminar for Bernard Geoghegan’s talk ‘AI and Orientalism: From Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to von Kempelen’s Chess-Playing Turk’. We’ll be meeting on Thursday Nov 21 at 6pm. Because of the ongoing strike at Senate House, the meeting will be held at KCL (Virginia Woolf Bldg 3.01, 22 Kingsway, London WC2B 6LE). All are welcome!

‘AI and Orientalism: From Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to von Kempelen’s Chess-Playing Turk’

Through an analysis of the Chess-Playing Turk built in Vienna in the 1770s, and its subsequent reimagining into the present, this talk looks at how difference and alterity, be it racialized, gendered, or bodily, have shaped efforts at figuring, imagining, and building thinking machines.

Bernard Dionysius Geoghegan is a Senior Lecturer in the History and Theory of Digital Media in the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London. He previously taught in Berlin, Paris, New Haven, Coventry, and Evanston. You can find out more about him here: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/dr-bernard-geoghegan

This seminar is generously supported by the Media History journal, Queen Mary University of London’s English Department, the Institute of English Studies, and the Institute of Historical Research.

Maurice Lee on Mass Print + Numbers

Lee1

Please join us at this year’s first Media History seminar for a talk by Maurice Lee. This event, a joint session with the Nineteenth-Century Studies seminar, will start at 6pm on Tuesday October 15 in Birkbeck Room 106 (the entrance is at 43-46 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD). All are welcome!

‘Mass Print + Numbers = Information (Enchantment ÷ Anxiety)’

As mass print culture developed in the nineteenth century, observers conceptualized the proliferation of texts using statistical methods. The entanglement of literary and numerical discourses, what I call “the accounting of literature,” is evident in a range of domains—from sociological studies of reading practices, to data gathered in the publishing industry, to the application of statistical thinking to literary judgment and interpretation. The accounting of literature is typically set in anxious opposition to aesthetics: the subjectivity and enchantments of literature remain, we are told, incompatible with the objectivity and logic of numbers. There are, however, nineteenth-century counter-narratives that have gone largely overlooked, and adventure fiction is one example of how the accounting of literature inspired not only worry but wonder. Taking Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island as a case study, and projecting counter-narratives forward using Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, we can see how aesthetics in an age of information and mass media need not always fear the ascendency of numbers.

Lee2

Maurice Lee is Professor of English at Boston University, where his work focuses on nineteenth-century American and British literature. He is the author of Slavery, Philosophy, and American Literature, 1830-1860 (Cambridge UP, 2005), Uncertain Chances: Science, Skepticism, and Belief in Nineteenth-Century America Literature (Oxford UP, 2012), and Overwhelmed: Literature, Aesthetics, and the Nineteenth-Century Information Revolution (Princeton UP, 2019). He has also edited The Cambridge Companion to Frederick Douglass (Cambridge UP, 2012). Professor Lee has received awards from the Melville Society, Poe Studies Association, and the Association of College and Research Libraries, as well as fellowships from the NEH, ACLS, and Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. You can read more about him here: https://www.bu.edu/english/profile/maurice-lee/

M.Lee--Photo

This seminar is generously supported by the Media History journal, Queen Mary University of London’s English Department, the Institute of English Studies, and the Institute of Historical Research.

 

Media History Seminar Programme 2019-20

We’re pleased to announce the provisional schedule for this year’s Media History Seminar. Because of the ongoing strike at Senate House, the seminars will take place at various locations in central London. Everyone is welcome!

“Media History” Programme 2019-20:

Session 1 (Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 6-8pm):

Prof. Maurice Lee (Boston University)

https://www.bu.edu/english/profile/maurice-lee/

Birkbeck Room 106

43-46 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

This event will be a special joint session with the Nineteenth-Century Studies Seminar (https://www.ies.sas.ac.uk/events/research-seminars/nineteenth-century-studies-seminar)

Session 2 (Thursday, November 21, 2019, 6-8pm):

Dr Bernard Geoghegan

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/dr-bernard-geoghegan

KCL, Virginia Woolf Bldg 3.01

22 Kingsway, London WC2B 6LE

Session 3 (Wednesday, 18 March 2020, 6-8pm):

Dr Rebecca Roach (University of Birmingham)

https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/profiles/english/roach-rebecca.aspx

Birkbeck, University of London, 43 Gordon Square, London

Session 4 (Thursday, 7 May 2020, 6-8pm):

Joseph Howley (Columbia University)

http://classics.columbia.edu/joseph-howley

Location TBD

This seminar is generously supported by the Media History journal, Queen Mary University of London’s English Department, the Institute of English Studies, and the Institute of Historical Research.

Kate Flint on the Technological History of Photography

Flint image

The Media History seminar & Nineteenth Century Studies seminar are pleased to be holding a special joint session featuring Kate Flint talking about the history of photography. We’ll be meeting at 6pm on Thursday February 8 in the Senate Room at Senate House.

“Permeability, agency, and the technological history of photography”

What happens in the permeable area between the human body and a piece of photographic apparatus? This question is crucial to our histories of nineteenth-century photography, and I approach it in two ways. First, I discuss the conceptual and theoretical challenges that I encountered when writing a cultural history of flash photography. Above all, how to weigh up the merits of narrating this history through chemical and material innovations, when the somatic experience of being photographed, and of the choices involved in using this new technology of producing light, were certainly of equal importance? The presence of certain stray hands in flash photographs – ones that hold the technology involved in igniting powder, above all – lead me to my second line of approach. I consider the usefulness of the hand – both as a physical part of an individual, and as a synecdoche – as a means of approaching the conundrum about the interwoven roles of human and mechanical in writing photographic history. The hand proves to be a rhetorical and literal instrument that not only connects eye, brain, and camera, but that helps to articulate the art vs. mechanical reproduction/commercial activity distinctions that are inseparable from this history.

Kate Flint is Provost Professor of Art History and English at the University of Southern California. She has published The Woman Reader, 1837-1914 (Oxford University Press, 1993), The Victorians and The Visual Imagination (Cambridge University Press, 2000), and The Transatlantic Indian 1776-1930 (Princeton University Press, 2008), edited The Cambridge History of Victorian Literature (2012), and written widely on Victorian and modernist fiction, Victorian and early twentieth-century painting and photography, and cultural history.

All are welcome. This seminar is generously supported by the Media History journal, Queen Mary University of London’s English Department, the Institute of English Studies, and the Institute of Historical Research.

Media History Seminar Programme 2017-18

We’re pleased to announce the provisional schedule for this year’s Media History Seminar, jointly run by the Institute of English Studies and Institute of Historical Research. The seminars will take place at Senate House starting at 6pm. Everyone is welcome.

“Media History” Programme 2017-18:

Session 1 (Tuesday, 28 November 2017):

Prof. David Trotter (Cambridge), “Media Theory before Media Theory: Lightning as Discursive Catalyst in the Human and Natural Sciences, 1880-1930”

Senate House Room G35

Session 2 (Thursday, 8 February 2018):

Prof. Kate Flint (USC)

Senate House, the Senate Room

(Note: this session will be run with the Nineteenth-Century Studies Seminar.)

Session 3 (Monday, 12 March 2018):

Prof. Aled Gruffydd Jones (EMIET)

Richard Price (British Library)

Senate House Room G35

Session 4 (Friday, 4 May 2018):

Prof. N. Katherine Hayles (Duke), “Cognizing Media:  Shifts, Ruptures, Transformations”

Senate House, the Senate Room

The arrangements for additional seminars will be published in due course. In the meantime, please save the dates.

This seminar is generously supported by the Media History journal, Queen Mary University of London’s English Department, the Institute of English Studies, and the Institute of Historical Research.

 

Jane Chapman on Comparative and Interdisciplinary Media History

Please join us at the next Media History seminar for a presentation by Professor Jane Chapman and a response by Dr Tom Wright. The meeting will take place at 6pm on Tuesday January 24 in Senate House Room 243. All welcome.

“Double the Work, but Double the Scope? Researching Comparative and Interdisciplinary Media History”

Comparative media history using content from beyond the English-speaking world and the British Empire is still relatively unexplored as a field for publication. This presentation proposes a way forward, by identifying the existence of transnational themes that emerged from the reality of print communications during the long 19th century: modernism, “orientalist” trade, cultural and scientific exchange, design, and fashion. Focusing on Germany, France and Japan, the pros and cons of an interdisciplinary approach are discussed in relations to science periodicals in Europe, women’s uses of periodicals in the late nineteenth century, periodicals for ex-patriot communities and satirical publications.

Jane Chapman is Professor of Communications, and a comparative media historian, specializing in late 19th– and early 20th-century newspaper history — both illustrative and textual. She is the author of ten books, including Comparative Media History (Polity, 2005), and of more than 30 articles and book chapters. She is currently running 3 AHRC grants on the First World War. She is a member of AHRC and ESRC Peer Review Colleges, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a research associate at Wolfson College Cambridge, and a long term visiting Professor at Macquarie University, Sydney. Her University of Lincoln staff profile can be found here.

Respondent: Tom F. Wright is a Lecturer in English and American Studies at the University of Sussex. He is the author of Lecturing the Atlantic: Speech, Print and an Anglo-American Commons 1830-1870 (2017) and editor of The Cosmopolitan Lyceum: Lecture Culture and the Globe in Nineteenth Century America (2013). He has published numerous articles on nineteenth-century media, literary and cultural history, and is completing the volume on Orality for Routledge’s New Critical Idiom series. His broader project is a book tracing the emergence of the idea of charisma in the transatlantic long nineteenth century. His Sussex profile can be found here.