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Being Human In the Media and Creative Industries

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A One Day Post-Graduate Conference Hosted by the Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies

19th June 2024, Faculty of Arts Building, University of Warwick, Coventry.

The Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies at the University of Warwick is excited to announce our 2024 research conference, Being Human in the Media & Creative Industries: Policies and Practices.

This interdisciplinary conference aims to examine the challenges of being human in the creative industries and to explore the dynamic interplay between these industries and the people that work in them, administer or manage them and that engage with or consume their outputs.

While relations between cultural, creative, artistic and media production and our understanding of ‘the human’ have always been acute, specific tensions are emerging in the contemporary context.

The arrival of generative artificial intelligence - and the questions it raises around intellectual property, employment, and what it means to be creative - has led to an outpouring of attention in scholarship and popular discourse, with ramifications for myriad academic disciplines and modes of cultural production. Those of us studying culture and policymaking can bridge a divide between the hard sciences and liberal arts and provide a perspective that looks beyond narrowly economistic or political justifications for the development of AI. The creative industries have already provided insight into the risks and opportunities of technology as platforms have disrupted content industries, realigning creative work around algorithm-friendly material, influencers, and collapsing distinctions between publisher, creator, ‘professional’ and ‘amateur’ producers, performers, or artists.

 Meanwhile, the return among global powers to industrial strategy that actively favours particular sectors of the economy is a potential moment of peril and opportunity for the creative and cultural industries, which have come in and out of favour of governments over recent decades as engines of prosperity. The UK governments 2023 Creative Industries Sector Vision, for example, acknowledges challenges of access to careers in the creative industries while also re-affirming their role in job creation and as engines of economic growth. With environmental impact and Net Zero at the centre of government and civil society concerns, addressing the ecological externalities generated by the creative industries will become more and more imperative.

 Creative organisations, long prior to the current debates over working from home versus returning to the office, have had to confront the accelerated and intensified blurring of the lines between employment and leisure. Genuinely humane collaboration over digital mediums that addresses burnout, loneliness, and boredom has been attempted with varying degrees of success by both established cultural institutions and individuals working together from across the globe that may have never met in-person. Nonetheless, place, the physical, and intercultural norms remain central topics of inquiry as well.

 Finally, archives and museums have contended with weighing the importance of experimentation and preservation, as well as controversies over colonialism, memory, representation, and heritage, for generations. The role of media and creative industries, and arts and heritage institutions as guardians of national or global public spheres is threatened. Cyberattacks, erasure of digital material, political weaponisation, renewed global military conflict, and the imperative of passing on embodied skills such as dance and music have all come to the fore in recent years as salient problems for arts institutions all as budget cuts and public participation shifts have placed national and local organisations under seemingly permanent strain.

 CCMPS invites research students, practitioners and the wider policymaking and cultural community to address the above and more.

The conference aims to bring papers for a day of discussion and debate inspired by these general concerns. Potential ideas to inspire submissions include, but are hardly limited to-

  • Impact of AI and Platform Logics on creative/media production
  • Creativity and Industrial Strategy
  • Inequalities in the creative industries
  • Cultural democracy & human rights
  • Creative Industries and Sustainability
  • Creative Industries, Nations, and Soft Power
  • New Research Methods in Media and Cultural Policies
  • Cultural policy and ‘culture wars’
  • Challenges in Archiving and Preservation

Submission Requirements-

  • Abstracts should be no more than 350 words. Paper presentations will be 20 minutes in length.
  • Include a brief 2/3 sentence author bio with the submission.
  • Deadline for submission 29th March

Submissions will undergo a thorough peer-review process. Selected papers will be notified by 3rd May.

Please submit abstracts here