PhD Symposium 2012

Cosmopolitanism, New Media and Protests

Media@LSE 5th PhD Symposium
Friday 15 June, 2012
Graham Wallas Room, Old Building
LSE Campus, London

Summary of Media@LSE 5th PhD Symposium
Naya Hadzipani

On Friday 15th June 2012 we celebrated the fifth Media@LSE PhD Symposium. Inspired by recent social and political events around the globe, this year's Symposium was devoted to the theme of 'Cosmopolitanism, New Media and Protests'. It brought together an impressively diverse group of research students from all over the world, including the UK, USA, France, Israel, Germany, Russia, Belgium and Denmark, from a great variety of disciplines and universities.

Professor Lilie Chouliaraki, Director of the PhD Programme at the Department of Media and Communications, opened the symposium by highlighting its interdisciplinary nature and international orientation. 'One of the key aims of this annual landmark event is to facilitate a lively intellectual conversation among members of an international PhD research community,' said Professor Chouliaraki.

In his keynote address, Dr Bart Cammaerts, Senior Lecturer at the Department, delivered a stimulating argument on 'Transnational Networks of Contention: Mediated Movement Spill-overs' which set the tone for the day. In total, the symposium included 13 papers by PhD research students which explored the mediation of protests through new media platforms, as they expand within and beyond national borders. The presentations provided original analytical frameworks and empirical data on the crucial role new media and the internet have played in recent global events, including the revolution in Egypt, the Occupy movement, social and religious protests in Israel, citizen empowerment movements in China and Russia, and anti-fascist protests in Europe.

Participants engaged in intense discussions on the challenges and opportunities of new media platforms for the constitution of cosmopolitan communities, activism and social change. At the same time, the conference reflected on the distinction between the symbolic and the material, the online and offline, and the tension between the local and the global.

Organised by the PhD students of the Department of Media and Communications, the Media@LSE PhD symposium was established in 2008 to give research students the opportunity to develop not only their academic interests but also a cluster of professional skills. Dr Cammaerts, who will take over as the new Director of the MPhil/PhD Programmes in the academic year 2012-13, said: 'The Media@LSE PhD symposium not only provides a convivial atmosphere for PhD-researchers to share their work and reflect on the symposium's theme, but also constitutes a learning experience for all those involved, in terms of how to organise an academic event, review abstracts, chair a session, as well as on how to engage and network with peers.'

The Organising Committee of the 5th Media@LSE PhD Media Symposium - 1st year PhD students Gregory Asmolov, Marina Gerner and Naya Hadzipani - would like to thank the Department of Media and Communications for this rewarding experience.


09:00-09:30 - Registration, Tea and Coffee

09:30-09:45 - Welcome

Professor Lilie Chouliaraki, Director of the PhD Programme in M&C, LSE

09:45-10:30 - Keynote Address

Dr Bart Cammaerts, LSE Transnational
"Networks of Contention: Mediated Movement Spill-overs"

10:30-11:45 - Panel 1 - Arab Spring: The Mediation of Political Transformations
Chair: Gregory Asmolov

Mohammad Abdelhamid, Sorbonne Nouvelle University
"Discourse Transgression in Egypt Through Wall Writings: Graffitis on Social Network, a New Field of Protest"

VJ Um Amel, University of Southern California
"The Cultural Logic of YouTube Videos from the Egyptian Revolution"

Tal Morse, LSE
"Protest as Media Event: Rethinking "Media Events"

Discussion and Q&A with Speakers

11:45-12:00 - Tea and Coffee Break

12:00-13:15 - Panel 2 - Social Protests and Online Activism
Chair: Marina Gerner

Fatima Aziz, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS)
"'We are the 99%', or a Multifaceted Cosmopolitan Identity"

Betty Benbenisti, Tel Aviv University
"Redefining 'the Social' as a Glocal Political Action, Ethnography of the Hebrew written blog 'Haokets'"

Keren Natalie Darmon, LSE
"From Facebook Wall to Street Corner: Using Social Networks to Protest Religious Oppression in Israel"

Discussion and Q&A with Speakers

13:15-14:15 Lunch

14:15-15:55 - Panel 3 - New Media in Contested Freedom Environments
Chair: Naya Hadzipani

Yulia Lukashina, University of Technology Dresden [via SKYPE]
"Web-based Political Movements: Memetic Transmission"

Gregory Asmolov, LSE
"Russian Wildfires 2010: Challenging Power Relationship Through Crowdsourcing Platforms"

Cate Fugazzola, University of Chicago
"Virtual Networks, Real Movements?"

Marina Gerner, LSE
"The Mediation of a Dissident Artist as the New Cosmopolitan Icon"

Discussion and Q&A with Speakers

15:55-16:10 Tea and Coffee Break

16:10-17:50 - Panel 4 - New Times and Spaces: Towards Global Identities?
Chair: Nikola Belakova

Dennis Nguyen, University of Hull
"The 'European' Blogosphere in Times of Global Crisis: Changes and Limits of Transnational Public Spheres on the Internet"

Kassandra D. Rothenstadt, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
"Political Indignation in Online Political Activism"

Sebastian Koch, University of Leipzig
"The Influence of Audience Realizations on the Judgment on Climate Change"

Christina Neumayer, IT University of Copenhagen
"Lessons from the Past: Mediated Contentious Politics in Anti-fascist Protests before and in the Digital Age"

Discussion and Q&A with Speakers

17:50 Symposium Closing Remarks 


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