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LSBU hosts first Media Communications and Cultural Studies Association conference

LSBU hosts a wide ranging conference focusing on creativity and agency and exploring real-world issues linked to media, culture and communications
08 February 2018

This year’s annual Media Communications and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSa) Conference 2018 was hosted by the London South Bank University’s School of Arts and Creative Industries from 10-12 January.

The theme of the three-day event was creativity and agency, and aimed to look at a variety of contemporary topics around how people interpret today’s creative landscape, a key topic for universities and the creative sector as a whole.

Issues such as diversity and inclusion, children and media, creative entrepreneurs, branding and PR, art and gentrification, media and protest, and storytelling were just some of the topics that were tackled by academics from both our School of Arts and Creative Industries and other universities from across the globe.

Professor Janet Jones, Dean of Arts and Creative Industries said: “LSBU is delighted to be hosting the annual 2018 MeCCSa conference. We have 250 International scholars assembled this week to discuss how we can best respond to real-world issues linked to culture and communications. Issues with global impact such as the alienation of the electorate, fake news, how and why politics is reduced to neo-liberal social media soundbites, and the significance of the US electorate’s choice between two reality TV stars at the next election.

“It’s a time when critical thinking around media and society and a reflection of how culture and communications influence our society and our world views have never been so important.”

As the creative landscape becomes more diverse and complex, with the proliferation of digital platforms and communications, the knowledge that comes out of events such as MeCCsa can help inform staff and students with the latest thinking in these areas. The better we understand the shifts within culture, media and communications, the easier we will find it to take advantage of the opportunities that a fast moving creative sector has to offer.

Creativity and Agency

Offering a personal perspective on the ways in which media and communications studies has and hasn’t changed over the past 20 years, Professor David Gauntlett talked about how creativity and agency have moved in and out of popularity. He addressed how we need to find new ways to use technologies to truly unlock creativity for everyone, and that we still need more creativity, not less. He also discussed how timeless truths about creativity link to today’s media and communications technologies and identify some platforms that might give us hope.