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Seminar: Social Media and Death

Prof Jon Stratton, School of Creative Industries, University of South Australia

Social media are pervaded by death. This presentation utilises ideas drawn primarily from the work of Guy Debord—the society of the spectacle—and Jean Baudrillard—his discussion of death in Symbolic Exchange and Death, to think through the significance of death on social media. Debord argued that the consequence of the ubiquity of the mass media, and television in particular, and their increasing imbrication with consumption capitalism, was that social relations are increasingly lived as spectacle. At the same time, in the modern world death has become increasingly separated from life. No longer integrated into social life, death has become the feared and meaningless end of life which is to be preserved at all costs. The death which is now meaningful is not ‘natural’ death but violent death. Social media is full of unnatural deaths including beheadings and suicide. This presentation discusses the pervasiveness of these on social media.

Seminar: What is ‘Creative Justice’? Theorising Cultural Industries, Work and Inequality

Prof Mark Banks, University of Leicester, UK

Contrary to popular belief, the cultural or ‘creative’ economy is riven with social inequalities, discriminations and patterns of disadvantage. This is now well established in the academic literature – but what can we do about it? By what principles can we make the cultural (or creative) industries fair, equitable and more just? This paper draws on a recent book (Creative Justice, 2017) to make the case for three principles that might lead to better, more inclusive and just employment in the creative sectors of arts, media and cultural industries. These are ‘objective respect’, ‘parity of participation’ and ‘reduction of harms’ – but what do these mean, and how far might they take us? And what other, better, principles might we require?

Roundtable: ‘Creative Industries’: What’s in a Name?

Prof Mark Banks, Prof Kate Oakley, Prof Jason Bainbridge, Prof Adrian Franklin, Prof Susan Luckman (Chair)

This roundtable discussion invites panellists to offer their expert insights into the advent of ‘creative industries’ as a scholarly debate, policy fetish, and marketing brand. Each panellist has been asked to speak briefly to the questions:

  • If you had to give a 2 minute dinner party overview of the history of the emergence of ‘creative industries’ as a concept what would it be?
  • What does the term ‘creative industries’ mean to you? What is your preferred terminology and why?

Moving forward, what is the future of the concept (does it have one?), and how best can those of us in the newly re-named School of Creative Industries work with it and position ourselves moving forward?

Presenter Biographies

Mark Banks is Professor and Director of the CAMEo Research Institute for Cultural and Media Economies at the University of Leices-ter, UK. His research focuses on cultural industries, cultural policy, work and employment, and cities and urban culture. He is the author of The Politics of Cultural Work (2007) and Creative Justice: Cultural Industries, Work and Inequality (2017). He is currently writing about cultural industries, time and work and a critique of growth in the creative economy.

Kate Oakley is Professor of Cultural Policy at the School of Media and Communication, University of Leeds. Her research interests include the politics of cultural policy, labour in the cultural industries, and inequality. Recent books include Cultural Policy with David Bell (Routledge, 2015) and Culture, Economy and Politics: the case of New Labour, with David Hesmondhalgh, David Lee and Melissa Nisbett (Palgrave, 2015). She is currently researching the role of arts and culture in sustainable prosperity as part of the CUSP Project (http://www.cusp.ac.uk/) and working on inequality and cultural work with https://culturalworkersorganize.org.Jon Stratton is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Creative Industries. Jon has worked at universities in the UK and Australia in-cluding Essex University, Griffith University, Queensland University and Curtin University. Jon has published widely in Cultural Studies, Media Studies, Jewish Studies, Australian Studies, Popular Music Studies, and on race and multiculturalism. Jon is the sole author of eleven books and has coedited a further three books and three journal special issues. Jon’s most recent books are When Music Migrates: Crossing British and European Racial Faultlines 1945-2010 (Ashgate/Routledge 2014) and, edited with Nabeel Zuberi, Black Popular Music in Britain (Ashgate/Routledge 2014).

Jason Bainbridge is a Professor of Media and Communication and Head of the School of Creative Industries at the University of South Australia. Jason is a nationally and internationally recognised researcher in popular representations and understandings of law; superheroes, justice and comic book culture; the functioning of popular culture as vernacular theory; and the study of merchandis-ing and material culture in relation to media convergence, particularly the function of toys and play in mainstreaming fan culture. He has also written widely on the relationship between media and journalism, chequebook journalism and risk communication. He has published over seventy book chapters and peer-reviewed articles.

Adrian Franklin is trained in social anthropology and sociology and has held Professorial positions at the University of Bristol; The Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo; the University of Tasmania and the University of South Australia. His current research interests include the ethnographic analysis of festivals, rituals, travels and ‘events’; art museums and art publics; art tourism; culture-led urban regeneration, urban anthropology and human-animal studies. He leads the ARC funded project: Creating the Bilbao Effect: MONA and the Social and Cultural Coordinates of Urban Regeneration Through Art Tourism. Recent books include: The Making of MONA (Penguin 2014); Retro: A Guide to the Mid-Twentieth Century Design Revival (Bloomsbury 2013); City Life (Sage 2012). New book projects include Anti-Museum for Routledge; Evolving MONA for Penguin; Animal Theory for Sydney University Press.

Susan Luckman is Professor: Cultural Studies in the School of Creative Industries and Research Director, Creative Work Mobilities Research Node, Hawke EU Centre. She is also Cheney Fellow at the University of Leeds, 2017-2018. Susan is an interdisciplinary cultural studies scholar whose work is concerned with the intersections of culture, place and creativity. Her research explores these relationships in relation to work in the cultural and creative industries, digital media, and grassroots innovation. Susan is the author of Craft and the Creative Economy (Palgrave Macmillan 2015), Locating Cultural Work: The Politics and Poetics of Rural, Regional and Remote Creativity (Palgrave Macmillan 2012), co-editor of The ‘New Normal’ of Working Lives: Critical Studies in Contemporary Work and Employment (Dynamics of Virtual Work Series, Palgrave 2018), Craft Economies (Bloomsbury 2018), Craft Communities (Bloomsbury 2018), and Sonic Synergies: Music, Identity, Technology and Community (Ashgate 2008).