Programme

The European Conference on Media, Communication & Film (EuroMedia) is an interdisciplinary conference held alongside The European Conference on Arts & Humanities (ECAH). Keynote, Featured and Spotlight Speakers will provide a variety of perspectives from different academic and professional backgrounds. Registration for either conference will allow participants to attend sessions in both.

This page provides details of presentations and other programming. For more information about presenters, please visit the Speakers page.


  • Classic Rock in the Year of Revolt: Using the Illusion of Life to Examine the Hits of 1968
    Classic Rock in the Year of Revolt: Using the Illusion of Life to Examine the Hits of 1968
    Keynote Presentation: Dr Thomas G. Endres
  • Design and Democracy
    Design and Democracy
    Keynote Presentation: Professor Bruce Brown
  • Introducing Brighton Rocks
    Introducing Brighton Rocks
    Featured Presentation & Film Screening: Dr James Rowlins & Mark Nelson
  • Fearless Futures
    Fearless Futures
    Plenary Panel Presentation: Professor Anne Boddington & Dr Joseph Haldane
  • IAFOR Silk Road Initiative Information Session
    IAFOR Silk Road Initiative Information Session

Previous Programming

View details of programming for past EuroMedia conferences via the links below.

Classic Rock in the Year of Revolt: Using the Illusion of Life to Examine the Hits of 1968
Keynote Presentation: Dr Thomas G. Endres

This is not the first generation facing a fearful future. Exactly fifty years ago, 1968 – nestled between the Summer of Love (’67) and Woodstock (’69) - was known as the year of revolt. “It was a year of seismic social and political change across the globe” (www.theguardian.com). From Vietnam protests and Civil Rights marches, to the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, American culture was awash in struggle yet alive in activist ideology. In particular, Classic Rock of the era served as a reflection of the times, a call to action, and eventually an eternal lesson on love, angst, and protest. Using Sellnow’s Illusion of Life methodology, which examines music as rhetoric, this essay analyses the top ten hits of that year (per http://ultimateclassicrock.com/1968-songs/). The website posits, “The best songs of 1968 mostly steered clear of the hippie trappings that dominated the two surrounding years,” and includes such timeless masterpieces as Joplin’s “Piece of my Heart”, Cream’s “White Room”, Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower”, and the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil”. The humanistic methodology begins by identifying first the patterns found in the songs’ virtual time (music) and virtual experience (lyrics). Analysis then delves into the use of strategies such as congruity, incongruity, ambiguity, and ascription to get across meaning. From there, we critique the interpretations and impact such works had on their original generation, trace their ongoing impact over the course of five decades, and conclude with moral and pragmatic applications for today.

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

Design and Democracy
Keynote Presentation: Professor Bruce Brown

For most people the terms “design” and “excess” are abstract concepts. In this elusive state they simply are more powerful in the hands of people wanting to influence human behaviour. This is important if we are to defend the democratic right of all citizens to exercise freedom of choice (and to give them choices to make); yet to also recognise that, in a world based on mass democracy, the exercise of free will can produce irrational results leading to social instability. From this dilemma has emerged a paradox in which freedom of choice is both a perceived human right and a necessary political illusion. This is an issue of design. But, as has often been observed, “theories of design developed in the twentieth century have ignored these issues”. From the mid twentieth century onwards the design profession expanded in line with the mass production of consumer goods. This abundance of stuff stimulated a culture of desire that served to distract people’s attention away from the human condition and the exercise of political will. From the late twentieth century onwards the advent of digital technologies revolutionised these earlier systems of production, distribution and consumption to create a world of individuals and tribes where the process of distraction has been further heightened through an excess of stuff and data. As observed by the American sociologist, Herbert Simon, “a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention”. This said, the massive changes taking place to design over the last fifty years have largely gone unnoticed. Design has moved from being “a plan to make an artifact” into a space where “to design is to devise courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones”. If we are to take seriously the claim that “the modern world lacks harmony” then designers need to understand and reclaim this territory—to believe that design has the power to influence human behaviour for better and for worse. What is at stake here is our belief in the right of all people to human dignity through democracy. In this context we may have to recognise that the wealth of excess accompanying freedom of choice is part of the human condition—but learn to manage it productively through design.

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

Introducing Brighton Rocks
Featured Presentation & Film Screening: Dr James Rowlins & Mark Nelson

Brighton Rocks is a young festival with big ambition – to become the UK’s main festival for indie and underground cinema. Founding director, Dr James Rowlins, discusses Brighton Rocks’ aims and ambitions, and the pitfalls and potential of setting up a new film festival in the digital age. This is followed by a screening of Berlin: Alexanderplatz (Mark Nelson, 14 mins), “Best Short Film” of the 2018 Brighton Rocks Film Festival.


Berlin: Alexanderplatz

Berlin: Alexanderplatz is a tour de force art house film, at once mesmerising and sublime. Director Mark Nelson took inspiration from Hermann Hesse’s poem Stufen (Steps in English); the stages or steps we take in our interaction with the world. Alexanderplatz, in East Berlin, provides a filmic opportunity to present not only an interplay between Man and imposing structures weighed down by history, but also what might transcend both in Hesse’s vision – a Cosmic Spirit. This Spirit shines through in the play of families in Alexanderplatz and also people simply getting on with their lives, in defiance of terrors past and present. The Spirit's beacon of light breaks through and reconciles Man in the universe, a re-birth, a redemption.

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

Fearless Futures
Plenary Panel Presentation: Professor Anne Boddington & Dr Joseph Haldane

We have reached a moment in international history that is one of potential paradigm shift. It is a moment when a problematic, but at least blandly progressivist, pro-multiculturalist movement toward “cosmopolitanism” (as Kwame Anthony Appiah might use the term) is being threatened by a far more destructive and potentially genocidal ethno-nationalism, the ferocity of which is fuelled by economic disparity, religious intolerance and retrograde ideologies regarding gender, race and sexuality. The possible global futures we face are fearful, indeed, and in an era of information and disinformation, fake news, and hysterical polemic, are sometimes made out to be inevitable.

In this context, the arts, humanities, media and cultural studies play an important role in tracing the genealogy of the present moment, documenting it, and charting different paths forward, inviting such questions as how does culture replicate itself (or critically engage itself) in the classroom, in literature, in social media, in film, in the visual and theatrical arts, in the family, and among peer groups? How do we rise to the challenge of articulating a notion of human rights that also respects cultural difference? How do cultural representations of the environment abet or challenge the forces driving climate change? What are the roles and responsibilities of the individual activist as teacher, writer, artist, social scientist and community member? What are the responsibilities of both traditional and non-traditional media? How do we make sense of the ideologies driving hatred and intolerance, and posit different models of social engagement and organisation? Looking to the past, what do we learn about the challenges of today?

Following the morning keynotes, Joseph Haldane will invite Anne Boddington for a moderated discussion around the conference theme, drawing on the material of the earlier presentations, invite feedback from the audience, and addressing some of the key questions and challenges posed by the conference theme.

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

IAFOR Silk Road Initiative Information Session

As an organization, IAFOR’s mission is to promote international exchange, facilitate intercultural awareness, encourage interdisciplinary discussion, and generate and share new knowledge. In 2018, we are excited to launch a major new and ambitious international, intercultural and interdisciplinary research initiative which uses the silk road trade routes as a lens through which to study some of the world’s largest historical and contemporary geopolitical trends, shifts and exchanges.

IAFOR is headquartered in Japan, and the 2018 inauguration of this project aligns with the 150th Anniversary of the Meiji Restoration of 1868, when Japan opened its doors to the trade and ideas that would precipitate its rapid modernisation and its emergence as a global power. At a time when global trends can seem unpredictable, and futures fearful, the IAFOR Silk Road Initiative gives the opportunity to revisit the question of the impact of international relations from a long-term perspective.

This ambitious initiative will encourage individuals and institutions working across the world to support and undertake research centring on the contact between countries and regions in Europe and Asia – from Gibraltar to Japan – and the maritime routes that went beyond, into the South-East Continent and the Philippines, and later out into the Pacific Islands and the United States. The IAFOR Silk Road Initiative will be concerned with all aspects of this contact, and will examine both material and intellectual traces, as well as consequences.

For more information about the IAFOR Silk Road Initiative, click here.