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.


  • Testimonies of Light: Photography, Witnessing and History
    Testimonies of Light: Photography, Witnessing and History
    Keynote Presentation: Dr Paul Lowe
  • The Challenges of Doing Research and Creative Activity in the Arts and Humanities Today
    The Challenges of Doing Research and Creative Activity in the Arts and Humanities Today
    Featured Panel Presentation: Professor Donald E. Hall & Professor Anne Boddington
  • Mythologizing One’s Own History Through Narrative: Francis Coppola’s Tetro
    Mythologizing One’s Own History Through Narrative: Francis Coppola’s Tetro
    Featured Presentation: Dr Rodney F. Hill
  • Re-Creating the Past: Fascist Comics and the Rehabilitation of History
    Re-Creating the Past: Fascist Comics and the Rehabilitation of History
    Spotlight Presentation: Dr Alfonso J. García Osuna
  • Water Protectors or Protesters: Examining Media Coverage of the Dakota Pipeline Protests
    Water Protectors or Protesters: Examining Media Coverage of the Dakota Pipeline Protests
    Spotlight Presentation: Dr Kimberly Cowden
  • Doing Music Theory in a Post-Tonal, Post-Ideological World: Cultural Absorption and the Undoing of Cultural Hierarchies
    Doing Music Theory in a Post-Tonal, Post-Ideological World: Cultural Absorption and the Undoing of Cultural Hierarchies
    Spotlight Presentation: Dr Linda Schwartz
  • The IAFOR Documentary Photography Award – 2017 Winners Announcement
    The IAFOR Documentary Photography Award – 2017 Winners Announcement
    Featured Event
Testimonies of Light: Photography, Witnessing and History
Keynote Presentation: Dr Paul Lowe

In its relatively short history, photography has arguably become the predominant medium through which we represent the world around us. It is hard to imagine a world without the photographic image, so ubiquitous has it become as a form of communication, documentation and personal and artistic expression. Today, more photographs are taken every two minutes than in the whole of the nineteenth century. We now photograph everything, every moment of our lives and the world around us. Photography has arguably become the means through which we most strongly remember the past – and represent the present – forming the foundation of not only our collective social memory, but also our personal memories. Photographs capture a moment in time and in space, condensing and concentrating experiences into artifacts. They preserve within the frame the ghostly traces of the past as well as the knowledge that that past is no longer there, and therefore serve to preserve our sense of history and memory. As such, they form an important part of remembering, fluctuating between past and present, connecting moments in time. This is not necessarily a “stilling” of time, but rather a concentration of experience into an image that suggests time interrupted, retaining the sense of a time before the image and a time after it. As soon as the shutter closes, that moment of representation is forever in the past, yet still preserved in the present and into the future. The paradox is that although the still image is a single, discrete temporal event, it has the ability to transcend time; by playing on the imagination of the viewer, it can project backward and forward through time. The image retains within the frame a self-contained story, a sense of occurrences before the photograph and possibilities afterward. This presentation will therefore explore how the photographic image has engaged with the historical moment, from its inception in the mid nineteenth century to the present day.

Image | View from the Window at Le Gras (1826 or 1827) by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

The Challenges of Doing Research and Creative Activity in the Arts and Humanities Today
Featured Panel Presentation: Professor Donald E. Hall & Professor Anne Boddington

Given the rise of anti-intellectualism and increasing emphasis on technical and skills-based education, 2017 and beyond will prove particularly challenging times for those of us working in the arts and humanities. Our panellists will each speak for five to ten minutes about the broad political constraints on their work, as well as their respective national and institutional contexts of funding and prioritisation. This will be followed by a general discussion with the audience about collective experiences and strategies for individual and collective response to the challenges that we face.

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

Mythologizing One’s Own History Through Narrative: Francis Coppola’s Tetro
Featured Presentation: Dr Rodney F. Hill

Since 2007, Francis Coppola has been pursuing a more independent, low-budget mode of filmmaking, and the results have been some of the most personal films of his career. Tetro (2009), Coppola’s first film from an original screenplay since 1974, centres on the troubled relationships between two estranged brothers – both aspiring playwrights – and their brilliant but emotionally crippling father, a famous orchestra conductor. Key aspects of the narrative are drawn from Coppola’s own family history, but only loosely so, and in transposing these conflicts into fiction, Coppola symbolises them, indeed mythologises them, into a drama of Greek proportions. In its stylistic blend of realism and artifice, combined with its narrative focus on dramatic writing, the film calls attention to its own theatricality and process of narration.

Image | Francis Ford Coppola by FICG.mx

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

Re-Creating the Past: Fascist Comics and the Rehabilitation of History
Spotlight Presentation: Dr Alfonso J. García Osuna

In his Theory of Mass Culture (1953), Dwight MacDonald proposes that popular culture is a tool for controlling the proletariat. This tool is forged at the highest levels of the power structure with the objective of adapting the individual’s conscience to the dominant ideology. With this paper I propose to throw some light upon the manner in which comics like the Italian Il Balilla and especially the Spanish Capitán Trueno, perhaps the most popular comics of their time, served to disseminate Fascist ideology throughout the lower classes and especially among the nations’ youth. And they did so by re-creating historical events, molding them to fit current ideological needs. I also wish to demonstrate how the differences between these two comics are the result of particular historical circumstances. In Il Balilla, a publication that reached its greatest popularity in the 1930s and early 1940s, the stories have to do with heroic deeds by contemporary Italian youth fighting for change, for the new order. Italy is expanding into Ethiopia/Abyssinia and then becomes a constituent of the Axis powers battling the Allies in the Second World War. Capitán Trueno, on the other hand, begins publication in the 1950s, a time when General Franco, with the help of Fascist groups like Falange Española, has already won a civil war. The Spanish hero is a “good” Fascist, but in a XII century setting. Change, the author seems to say, has already taken place in Spain: no need to incite Fascist passions in the present.

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

Water Protectors or Protesters: Examining Media Coverage of the Dakota Pipeline Protests
Spotlight Presentation: Dr Kimberly Cowden

The Standing Rock Sioux reservation is located about an hour south of North Dakota’s capital city, Bismarck. The reservation extends into South Dakota. Since April of 2016, members of the Standing Rock Sioux nation have established a camp, the Sacred Stone Camp, to protest the Dakota Access pipeline project that will cross the Missouri river on tribal lands. What started out as a few “water protectors” bloomed into thousands of visitors showing support from every part of the globe, largely due to social media. This movement has illuminated the issues of water protection, our reliance on fossil fuels, environmental implications of carbon footprints, indigenous rights and the historical and present issues of treaty compliance and respect by the dominant culture for native peoples. The protests have created an international forum for indigenous rights and sovereignty. The purpose of this study is to examine print media coverage of the Standing Rock protests (also known as #NoDAPL) from the inception of the Sacred Stone camp, located on reservation lands in Cannonball, North Dakota, through November 2016. It is important to examine how mainstream media versus Native American media portrays the activists for dissemination. This study asks: in what ways does mainstream reporting differ from a Native American-centered media regarding coverage of the Dakota Pipeline protest.

Image | “Dakota Access Pipe Line” by Carl Wycoff

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

Doing Music Theory in a Post-Tonal, Post-Ideological World: Cultural Absorption and the Undoing of Cultural Hierarchies
Spotlight Presentation: Dr Linda Schwartz

According to Terry Eagleton (2003), the Modernist turn (1910–1925) gave rise to the later period of cultural theory (1960s and 70s). Cultural theorists like Heidegger, Kristeva and Derrida lived in the present and wrote about the extremes of human experience (p. 70). Similarly, Arnold Schoenberg (modernist composer and theorist) expressed the limits of his experience through the exploration of radical social ideas in poetry, the inner psychology of the bizarre in painting, and the push to new frontiers in musical comprehension.

Unlike other creative arts theories where exploration of artist resistance to cultural norms persists, music theory is entrenched in acts of cultural preservation. Music scholars are committed to political ends that preserve musical tradition (classical and modernist) through rigorous analytical method (McClary, 1989), and this aligns with the overarching agendas of the institutions that support their work.

The twenty-first-century practice of cultural theory continues to exercise counter-cultural resistance, fragmenting metanarratives into discrete projects in the face of absorption by late capitalism. Music analysis, on the other hand, relies still on conceptualized notions of superstructure or reductive analytic technique which subsumes foreground (surface detail) into background.

Should twenty-first-century currents of music theory contribute to a more differentiated treatment of music analysis? Is there value for music analysts to hang about the edges in a non-committal way (Eagleton, p. 40), observing musical works and not giving in to notions of superstructure? How might theorists inscribe fresh hermeneutic insights on past repertories?

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

The IAFOR Documentary Photography Award – 2017 Winners Announcement
Featured Event

The IAFOR Documentary Photography Award is an international photography award that seeks to promote and assist in the professional development of emerging documentary photographers and photojournalists.

The Award is supported by The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) and builds off of the strength of the IAFOR Documentary Film Award, now in its sixth year. Documentary has a rich history of exposing truths, telling stories, raising awareness and creating discussion – all practices valued at IAFOR.

The Award follows the theme of the conference, with 2017’s theme being “History, Story, Narrative”. In support of upcoming talent, the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award is free to enter.

All delegates receive free entry to the award screening.