Last week I made a submission to the Seanad consultation on Travellers, based on my mother’s work in this area.
I’ve been appointed as a member of the Interim Steering Group of the Irish Media Literacy Network established by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.
In late 2016, the BAI finalised and published its Media Literacy Policy. The policy arises from the BAI’s obligations under the Broadcasting Act 2009 to foster, develop and undertake media literacy activities. As part of the policy, the BAI committed to the development of a Media Literacy Network. The goal of the Irish Media Literacy Network is to help empower people with the skills and knowledge to make informed choices about the media content and services that they consume, create and disseminate.
The Network first met last July, and an Interim Steering Group has now been established. The Steering Group has 12 members, representative of a range of stakeholders, including audiovisual providers, online platforms, public entities/agencies, and academia. The first meeting will be in late October, with meetings of the larger group expected early next year.
I’m guest editing an issue of the Journal of Alternative and Community Media with Salvatore Scifo of Bournemouth University, on the theme of Sustaining Community Media: Challenges and Strategies. We welcome short abstracts by 15 November.
I have a letter in today’s Irish Times tying together a recent controversy regarding children’s television at RTÉ with broader concerns about funding our national broadcaster.
Potential PhD students might be interested in applying for the Hardiman Scholarships, which provide fully-funded PhD study at NUI Galway. Applications will be due later this autumn, and the website is accepting registration of interest at the moment.
Applicants need to identify, and obtain letters of support from, potential academic advisors. I’m particularly interested in hearing from those interested in studying the political economy of the mass media (particularly the manner in which the media are responding to changing challenges from internet technologies), or exploring alternative and community media.
I’ll be presenting at IAMCR 2016 in Leicester later this month. I look forward to meeting colleagues there!
I gave a guest talk to a Sociology seminar (SP3115 – Volunteering: Theory, policy and practice) earlier this year, and the event was captured on video.
I spoke today at the Crisis, Migration, and Performance symposium taking place at NUIG. It was a great opportunity to engage with scholars coming to these issues from a different perspective (performance studies and allied areas), and it made for a vibrant and useful encounter.
My presentation was centred around my experiences at the University of Illinois, where the struggle around ‘Chief Illiniwek’ (the problematic athletics mascot) and the the annual ‘Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day’ became entangled, both in terms of iconography and in how they demonstrated problematic cultural appropriation.
Many of my friends and colleagues will have been familiar with my own one-person campaign against Unofficial, and in this work I both reflect on that and seek to problematise some of the issues that arise, such as cultural authenticity/essentialism; the differing priorities and strategies of various institutional players (University of Illinois, Irish tourism and business interests, global drinks companies, Urbana-Champaign bar owners, etc.); intersectionality of privilege ethnic identity; my own attitude and position in the debate.
I was pleased recently to secure funding from the BAI, in collaboration with Flirt FM, for a research project exploring the organisational capacity of the station, with the aim of identifying opportunities to expand and make more robust the station’s structures and operations.