Academic papers of critical research rigour are invited from interested academics, research scholars, and industry professionals for the International Conference on Media and Communication (ICMAC) 2023 on the conference theme 'Media Spaces, Cultural Narratives and Creative Industries: (Post) Pandemic Reconfigurations'.
The world we currently inhabit is in a state of flux. From post-pandemic sensibilities to rapidly datafying practices, and from newer forms of urbanisms to concerns of ecological dystopias, we witness a range of dehumanizing tendencies. Amidst these developments, we see technologies being upgraded and deployed in diverse ways, with varying degrees of uptake from society. The space of media is no exception – with pronouncements on deep mediatisation (Hepp, 2020), the resurgence of ideas around multiple temporalities (Jordheim, 2012), sound cultures of the anthropocene (Verea, 2017), visual codes of (re)presentation, dialogues across demographics, the infusion of augmented and virtual reality in changing industry dynamics – we see older forms of media and mediation being questioned, and newer configurations being discussed.
In the (post) pandemic era, media spaces have made themselves available to individuals and communities, and to the audiences and the industry, like never before. They have allowed for the redefinition of creative industries, reimagination of narratives and blurred the boundaries between media and audiences. How do we go beyond evolutionary and linear conceptualisations of this transformation? How have the virtual and physical transitioned from being binaries to being reconceptualised as a continuum? How are the technological shifts and changes being negotiated? How have these media assemblages reformulated the concepts of equity, inclusion and diversity in communities? How do cultural texts as creative commodities appropriate and reappropriate ideological discourses in the post-pandemic context? How have the participatory affordances of streaming media redefined cultures of creation and consumption? How has the pandemic accelerated the digital transformation, including platformization, in news gathering, news presentation and news consumption? How have media industry practices changed in the transformed ecology shaped by the creative economy?
International Conference on Media and Communication (ICMAC) 2023, being organized by Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Symbiosis International (Deemed University), seeks to place these important questions on the mantle, in convening Media Spaces, Cultural Narratives and Creative Industries: (Post) Pandemic Reconfigurations.
ICMAC 2023 invites academics, research scholars, practitioners and post-graduate students to participate and submit 300-500 word abstracts to the conference, in line with the following proposed tracks:
Cultural artifacts and practices, as dialectical processes, have a dynamic relation with societies and reflect the social transformations that define any moment in the historical trajectory of a nation state. As edifices that mold themselves around the discursive practices, evolving from specific spatial and temporal dimensions, cultural narratives are significant pointers that lead the researcher to greater understanding of the socio-political and economic structures that define a nation. Any reading of cultural texts, their creation and consumption patterns, their ideological positioning within the larger context of the state, their philosophical frameworks – will yield fascinating insights. As a sub-theme for the conference, the focus will be on cultural narratives, their political underpinnings and their evolution as creative commodities in the neoliberal world powered by global conglomerates.
Possible topics for presentation can be as follows:
Catapulted into the ‘mainstream’ owing to the disruptions caused by the pandemic, the streaming media ecosystem has opened up possibilities of deliberation around not only its commercial potential, but also around its span of influence on its various stakeholders. The ecosystem has allowed researchers to explore and to theorize its various new found engagements with the audiences, and to study their changing consumption practices (Hu et. al, 2017); it has brought in implications of structural and creative disruptions for the media industry by way of the platform economy (Herbert et. al, 2018). It has, more significantly, created new social and cultural narratives arising out of the relationship between audiences and the audio-video streaming platforms, and the relationship between audiences and content available on such platforms (Pellicone, Ahn, 2017). This increased interaction among various elements of this ecosystem in the setting of a pandemic has created opportunity for academic engagements in this area that i) address the theory and practice of understanding audiences and creators in the streaming media space, ii) appreciate the industry that this is, aided and challenged by policy frameworks, and iii) particularize the cultural narratives crafted subsequently.
Possible sub-themes, within which the research work could be situated in this track, include, but are not limited to:
The news media is passing through an age of transformation. The worldwide growth of the internet has created new possibilities in the news media space. While legacy media organizations are attempting to increase their reach and revenue through proprietary web platforms, several new media start-ups are emerging in the internet news space. The growth of the internet and smartphones has given rise to digital intermediaries such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. These digital intermediaries are becoming major platforms for news distribution and consumption. As per Reuters Institute Digital News Report (Aneez, Neyazi, Kalogeropoulos & Nielsen, 2019) in India the digital intermediaries are emerging as central entities for news distribution. Proliferation of the internet and growth of digital intermediaries has fractured the conventional mass communication model into many-to-many mode of communication. This has resulted in the development of new platforms and emergence of innovative tools for engaging with news content. (Carlson, 2020b). It is causing “dislocation of news journalism” as proposed by Ekström and Westlund (2019). Today on digital intermediary platforms, the news co-exists with a variety of content and is contesting for audience attention. The pandemic has further accelerated the transformation of journalism and in the (post) pandemic world, journalism is getting redefined through many dimensions. The objective of this track is to understand the implication of the transformation on the practice and processes of journalism. In this context this track invites studies associated with the influence of digital transformation on news gathering, production, and news text in Indian and South Asian context.
Possible topics include but not limited to:
Comprehending the phenomena of rising consumer base and user base with regard to the media industry, a critical insight is set to emerge vis-a-vis the evolution of creative industries. The post-industrial age has seen a changing crop of consumers who no longer desire or feel the need to rely on the content offered to them. They are replaced by ‘prosumers’ who can create and disseminate their own content. With increasing prosumerism (Toffler, 1980), there is no need for the prosumer to kowtow to content providers. Participatory culture has furthered the prosumers’ intent to co-create and moderate the role of digital media usage. (Chaterjee, Mairani, & Wamba, 2023) This track creates opportunities for discussions, keeping in mind the evolving business models, creative content industry, and cultural consumption patterns (Demangeot & Sankaran, 2012) in the glocal world. Jenkins & Deuze (2008) highlight how the efficient way to consciously study media companies is to understand ‘how they relate to their consumers’, in the light of ‘socialized media’ giving the content creators ample ‘meeting spaces between a range of grassroots creative communities, each pursuing their own goals, but each helping to shape the total media environment’ (p.6). The objective of the track is to understand how the media industry has evolved through the pandemic and evolved as one of the significant contributors to the economy, in the light of this.
The topics of the track include but are not restricted to the following: