ATHENS, Ga- Departments and units across the University of Georgia campus are collaborating on a half-day conference on March 26, to expand interdisciplinary research collaboration on issues of media, communication, culture and representation. Titled “Making Ends Meet: Interpretive/Critical Research Across the University on Media, Communication, Culture and Representation,” the conference will take place from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Tate Student Center on the UGA campus.
“We recognized the extensive interest and research in these areas throughout the university,” said Jay Hamilton, associate professor in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. “We want the conference simply to help all these people meet, talk with and learn from each other.”
Many UGA graduate students and faculty have yet to find an effective means of interdisciplinary collaboration, noted conference co-organizers and Grady College Ph.D. students Matthew Corn and Brian Creech. By participating in the conference, graduate students and faculty will build connections with scholars with similar interests. They’ll also gain a better understanding of the variety of perspectives, methodologies, and institutional issues involved in doing interpretive, critical research in this area.
Graduate students are playing key roles in planning the conference, as well as proposing and moderating a series of concurrent workshop discussions.
“We’re very excited about this event,” remarked Corn. “Brian and I have always talked about how many people we’ve met in various seminars whose interests align with those of the Grady College Critical Media Studies Interest Group. This event is really about bringing all of those interests together in hopes of fostering dialogue and collaboration.”
The conference organizers are accepting session proposals until Feb. 26. Instead of complete papers or formal research presentations, sessions will be built around problems/phenomena related to the theme of the conference. Those whose proposals are accepted will be expected to facilitate an open-ended group discussion. The conference aims for provocative sessions and good discussions, not neatly outlined presentations.
Interested graduate students can register until March 12, or until the limit of 50 participants is reached. Registration is free, but limited to graduate students, and comes with free breakfast, coffee/tea breaks, and lunch, as well as a notebook and other conference materials.
People who do not register for the conference are also welcome to participate in the concurrent workshop sessions.
Graduate students can submit workshop proposals and register for the conference via the conference website: http://www.memconference.wordpress.com/.
“The response has been really astounding so far,” said co-organizer Creech. “As grad students doing this kind of work, we sometimes feel like we’re operating in a vacuum. It’s our hope that this conference will help create a sense of community around this kind of scholarship and research.”
The conference is sponsored by Grady’s Critical Media Studies Interest Group, with support from the UGA Graduate School.
Other departments and units that have affiliated themselves with the conference include the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, the Hodgson School of Music, the department of philosophy, the department of sociology, the department of theatre and film studies, and the department of communication studies.
Thus far registered attendees are based in a broad range of departments and units including anthropology, art education, communication studies, comparative literature, educational psychology, English, geography, journalism and mass communication, language and literacy education, religion/Islamic studies, social work, sociology and theater/film studies.
More information about the Making Ends Meet Conference is available at http://www.memconference.wordpress.com/.