Bridging Gaps: Higher Education, Media and Society

Posted by on Oct 4, 2014 in Critic's Area | 0 comments


Call for Papers

In higher education, media studies bring critical awareness of representations and reproductions of popular personas, artefacts, processes, and practices in social, economic, and political contexts. From the perspective of cultural studies, critical discourse analysis of media productions enables scholars to go beyond observing aesthetic aspects and to understand social underpinnings of cultural productions. In a similar fashion, journalism can use investigation to educate and inform the public on the limits and potentials of social systems. Journalistic publications can then become credible sources for academic research and effective solutions to critical issues in society. However, in both cases, there is striking lack of research knowledge, critical commentaries, and pragmatic effects in the public sphere. Statistics show that only three percent of the academic population reads journals that carry in-depth knowledge and analysis from industrial media. Furthermore, there is a general crisis in academia with an emphasis on efficiency, commercial support, and market orientation. As well, while graduate enrolment has quadrupled in the last decade, most aspiring PhD graduates struggle to find tenure or tenure-track jobs. Universities are increasingly hiring sessional teachers, thus limiting research and the dissemination of much needed critical perspectives by a new generation of scholars and practitioners. Finally, tabloid journalism uses narrative devices of gossip, rumour and scandals commodifying meritocratic fame while many news media have abandoned facts and intelligent analysis in favour of spectacular outrage and incivility, both situations acting as testaments to the lack of informed opinions. Researchers in both academic and non-academic career paths possess useful knowledge and authority on many important social issues but may lack accessibility and visibility due to their more theoretical and intellectual views that are generally confined to academic gatherings and journals. However, their expertise could greatly benefit journalism and development of progressive media, and provide impetus for social transformation. The inclusion of scholarly commentaries and advocacy in media is imperative to the development of a knowledge-based economy and social innovation based on critical thinking and ethical action.

The Centre for Media and Celebrity (CMCS), in association with the Centre for Ecological, Social, and Informatics Cognitive Research (ESI.CORE), invites cross-disciplinary panel, paper and workshop proposals for the international conference Bridging Gaps – Higher Education, Media and Society. Accepted papers will be published as an open access edited book. Extended version of selected best papers will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Submission guidelines:

  • 250-word abstract or panel / workshop proposal
  • Include a title, your name, e-mail address, and affiliation if applicable
  • Submit to conference Chair Dr. Louis Massey at
  • Deadline for submission: November 30, 2014
  • Notification of acceptance: January 15, 2015

The conference aims at being open and inclusive. We welcomes speculative ideas, exploratory practices, position papers, manifestos as well as traditional academic papers from both affiliated and independent researchers, graduate students, media and related industries practitioners, activists, and artists. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Theoretical and methodological approaches
  • Use of media content and practices
  • Historical perspectives and case studies
  • Relationship between researchers and journalists
  • Archiving scholarly sources in media
  • Influencing public opinion and policy making
  • Public relations and op-eds
  • Ethical issues in public relations
  • Social issues in media content
  • Critical thinking in journalism
  • Inequality in media and education
  • Interviewing media professionals
  • Media personas and popular icons as educators
  • Politics of personas and selfies / self portraitures
  • Fashion and body language
  • New directions in celebrity activism
  • Art in education and advocacy
  • Performance and biographies in storytelling
  • Independent media
  • Media literacy programs
  • Ethical action in media and education
  • Alternative knowledge production sites and methods
  • Academics as cultural critics
  • Media skills and employment in higher education

The conference will be held on May 27-28, 2015 at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.

Conference fee is $300, which includes:

  • The registration fee
  • Tea / coffee breaks each day
  • Access to a professional workshop
  • Electronic copy of an edited book containing all papers presented at the conference
  • Publication of extended papers in a peer-reviewed journal for selected best papers

For details, visit

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