"Culture, Identity, and Media: New Perspectives of Representation" (20-21 May 2016)

full name / name of organization: 
Institute of English and American Studies/Goethe University Frankfurt

"Culture, Identity, and Media: New Perspectives of Representation"

(May 2016: Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main)

In an article on social representation, Birgitta Höijer writes: "Social representations are about processes of collective meaning-making resulting in common cognitions…it specifies a number of communicative mechanisms explaining how ideas are communicated and transformed into what is perceived of as common sense. This touches the very heart of mediated communication – how the media naturalizes social thinking and generates collective cognition." (1) Media – whether a novel, a television show, or a film – is often responsible for shaping the way people think about other cultures and societies. Naturally, the media also helps create or support stereotypes. But how does this process work?

This conference will explore the ways in which cultures and societies are presented in media. What is the relationship between media and culture? How can media serve as cultural schemata – in other words, how can media influence our processes of perception concerning other cultures? Can medial presentations ever be accurate? What is the cultural – and culture-creating – work of medial representations? How can media create alternative ways of thinking about culture?

We invite all senior BA students as well as Master and Graduate Students in English, American Studies, Film and Media Studies, and Cultural Studies to send in their proposal for a 20 Minute Presentation about any chosen topic related to or referring to the relationship between media and culture.

Potential topics could include but are not limited to:

-Cultural stereotypes and their representation (and destruction) in literature, film or other media
-Questions of cultural identity in media
-Social, racial, or cultural identification in/through media
-Media and representations of the transcultural
-Predominant stereotypes or archetypes and their creation and their perpetuation through media
-The "Arabian Other" in film and TV after 9/11
-Representation of the Empire in British film and literature
-"The Empire Writes Back" – representation of stereotypically British attributes across postcolonial media
-Identity-building through film and new media outlets (blogs, vlogs, et cetera)
-Media representations, social cognition, and the production of culture

Please send your proposals (max. 300 Words) with a short biography and your current study program and affiliation to studentconferencefrankfurt@yahoo.com

The deadline is January 15th 2016, decisions will be made by February 2016

There will be no conference fee. Technical equipment for presentations will be provided.

Private lodging possibilities and a limited number of travel grants may be available on a case-to-case basis.