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'Charting Nano-Media: ‘Alternative’? ‘Community’? ‘Tactical’? ‘Counter-information’? … What’s in a Name?'

Series Name Media seminar
Speaker Prof John D.H. Downing
Type Lectures & Talks
When 14 May 2014, 04:00PM - 05:30PM
Venue Seminar Room, Department of Media & Communication, Bankfield House, 132 New Walk.
Open To University staff and students
For Bookings Contact Dr Jonathan Corpus Ong: jco10@leicester.ac.uk

Over the last fifteen years, the study of various kinds of small-scale media has become something of a boom-topic. It has been further spurred over the last five years by the uses of digital networking media in social protests in Greece, Iran, Egypt, Tunisia and in a slew of countries outside that region. Some of the claims for those media projects, I will argue, have been ridiculously overheated.

Nonetheless, what used to be defined as ephemeral and trivial nano-media are now beginning to be taken seriously. Why would such here-today-and-gone-tomorrow, poorly funded media matter in the first place? Are they normally leftist in orientation? Are they fundamentally a product of internet and smart phone possibilities? Or is that a technicist delusion? The terms used to denote these media, however, easily exceed the four mentioned in the title of this talk. Is this the consequence of the academic research industry’s obsessive need to classify? Is it because these media are as various as a continent, and therefore defy classification? Is then the hunt for a single all-embracing term a wild goose chase?

Please join me in tracking down these pesky geese (and their putative golden eggs), as I explore and critique some of the major terms to denote them which are currently in play. I myself will argue that the term 'social movement media' is the most useful term to capture a significant slice of such media, and perhaps the most interesting slice.

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