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Research Unit in Media Studies (RUMS) Events

2012

Download recordings of papers from the links below. For more recordings, see our podcasting page.

The Research Unit in Media Studies (RUMS) is a collective of Monash University researchers committed to the study of media theories, histories, practices and industries. A particular emphasis of the Unit is the development and inclusion of postgraduate researchers in events and activities.

Contact: Brett Hutchins (Brett.Hutchins@monash.edu Phone: 03 9903 2098).

14 February

Through Soviet Jewish Eyes: Photography, War and the Holocaust

Professor David Shneer

19 March

You Posted WHAT on Facebook?: Sport, Sex and the St Kilda Schoolgirl

Deb Waterhouse-Watson

When teenager Kim Duthie posted nude photographs of AFL footballers on the social network site Facebook in 2009, she became an instant celebrity: the ‘St Kilda Schoolgirl’. Many stories have been told since, about the events that led to the Facebook posting and what then transpired. Some claims have now been declared lies and the number of contradictory statements in circulation make it virtually impossible to work out what the ‘truth’ is.
In a sense, this paper is an exposé of what ‘really’ happened, as I will examine ‘what happened’ in the public domain of Facebook, Twitter and the mainstream news media. I approach the issue as a war of words and images – one that is only possible in an Internet era. My interest is in how Duthie’s actions undermined traditional power structures involving footballers and women, but were also ultimately thwarted by them. The case thus illustrates how social media can be a ‘double-edged sword’.

Deb Waterhouse-Watson is an Associate Lecturer in the School of English, Communications and Media Studies at Monash University. Her most recent journal articles are published by Australian Feminist Studies, Media/Culture, and Australian Feminist Law Journal. Her book, Athletes, Sexual Assault and "Trials by Media": Narrative Immunity will be published by Routledge (New York) in 2013.

The Research Unit in Media Studies (RUMS) is a collective of Monash University researchers committed to the study of media theories, histories, practices and industries. A particular emphasis of the Unit is the development and inclusion of postgraduate researchers in events and activities.

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3 May

From Romance to Companionship: A History of Late-Night Programming on Australian Commercial Radio

Professor Bridget Griffen-Foley

Bridget Griffen-Foley considers radio’s claim to enjoy a personal, intimate relationship with listeners by examining late-night programming on Australian commercial radio from the 1930s to the 1980s. Her paper explores radio’s shift from exploiting the extraordinary to the ordinary through the prism of the midnight-to-dawn program that made its debut on Sydney’s 2UW in 1935—possibly the first example of continuous broadcasting in the British empire. This unique form of programming provided an outlet for ‘romance’ on Australian radio in the middle decades of the 20th century, especially following the rise of late-night matchmaker programs—‘a time’, in the words of one journalist, ‘when the lonely get lonelier and inhibitions loosen’.

In the second part of the seminar, Professor Griffen-Foley provides a brief overview of her forthcoming reference work, A Companion to the Australian Media. This pioneering book features 540 entries on print, electronic and new media in Australia.

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21 May

From Negation to Difference Engine: Aesthetics and the Cultural and Creative Industries

Professor Justin O'Connor

In this paper, Professor O'Connor explores the changing place of ‘aesthetics’ within the discourse of the cultural and the creative industries. He argues that the cultural industries are different from the creative industries - a distinction based not on occupational/ industrial statistical categories, but on the figuration and position of ‘aesthetics’ within these. The cultural industries agenda was based upon a democratization of culture and, at the same time, the ‘culturalisation of the economy’. Creative industries, by way of contrast, represent culture as a resource for the economy. In this shift, aesthetics no longer carry the charge of negation as it did for Adorno, or even of a ‘meaningful life’ apart from economic growth (as in the cultural policy agenda). Aesthetics becomes the ‘difference engine’ through which cultural commodities acquire monetary value. Where does that leave the agenda for a democratic cultural policy?

Justin O’Connor is Professor in the Creative Industries Faculty, QUT, and visiting chair in the Department of Humanities, Shanghai Jiaotong University. He previously taught at the University of Leeds and Manchester Metropolitan University. He has recently published a report for the Australia Council on Arts and Creative Industries, and a revised critical bibliography of the cultural and creative industries for Creativity, Culture and Education.

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21 June

Style as Substance? The Power of Celebrity Politics

Professor John Street

Early in 2012, the musician Youssou N’Dour announced that he was going to run for President of Senegal. The previous year there had been speculation that the actor, Matt Damon, might be making a bid for high office. Meanwhile, in accounts of the Arab Spring, a role was assigned to musicians (like El General in Tunisia) in inspiring, and even leading the rebellions. The Occupy movement too attracted its share of celebrity supporters.

The instances of celebrity politics continue to proliferate, and with it a growing academic literature. This paper looks at the phenomenon of the celebrity politician, accounting for its rise, analysing its impact, and assessing its value. It does so by looking at the competing theories that have been advanced to explain celebrity politics, and at individual case studies in order to establish whether or not we can talk of the political power of celebrities.

Professor John Street’s most recent book is Music & Politics (Polity Press 2011), following on from titles that include Politics & Technology, Rebel Rock: the Politics of Popular Music, and Politics and Popular Culture. He is the co-editor of the Cambridge Companion to Pop & Rock, an academician of the Academy of Social Sciences, and a member of the ESRC Centre for Competition Policy. Professor Street also wrote music reviews for The Times for over a decade.

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16 July Andy Ruddock
  • Monday 21 July, 3-4:30pm
  • Room T2.26, Monash Caulfield Campus
15 August

TBA

  • Wednesday 21 August, 3-4:30pm
  • Room T2.26, Monash Caulfield Campus
17 September

Bridgett Griffin-Foley

  • Monday 17 September, 3-4:30pm
  • Room T2.26, Monash Caulfield Campus
15 October

Louise North

  • Monday 15 October, 3-4:30pm
  • Room T2.26, Monash Caulfield Campus
12 November

Tom Apperley

  • Monday 12 November, 3-4:30pm
  • Room T2.26, Monash Caulfield Campus
December

Masterclass and Public Lecture

Professor Graeme Turner

Past and Present Conferences and Seminars

Visit our archives of conferences and seminars - recordings of many papers are available for download: