Our first faculty Social Café was kick started by Interactive Culture’s Dr Paul Long, School of Media, who spoke about his interest in the MACE archive and discussed the possibilities and issues in working with and establishing archives within the faculty. This acted as a catalyst for debate and conversation amongst colleagues and was a great success.

Dr Long described his interest in archiving as an important resource for institutions and scholars whether they are focused on pure research or practice led research through knowledge transfer projects. He raised questions about the challenges of dealing with archives such as their accessibility for students and the wider community. He expressed optimism regarding the opportunities facing us as a new faculty and challenged us to debate the potential of working with archives.

For those of you who could not make it, the Social Café has been established in order to enable all PME faculty staff to meet with colleagues on a regular and informal basis. This is intended as a social, enabling and mutually supportive environment, open to all staff interested in research and related activities – at whatever stage of development.

The café environment allows us to formulate and correspond on novel ideas and project, explore PME policy and direction, ‘pure’ research, knowledge transfer, research by practice, public events, and so on – without limit.

The cafe convenes every 3-4 weeks, between 5.30-6.30pm at the Birmingham Conservatoire Bar. Each session will have a lead theme and a speaker who will talk for about 15 minutes and act as a catalyst for a discussion in small groups. Of course, discussion and interests are not confined to any one theme.

The success of this venture and the impact we will have upon PME direction in research will be the responsibility of us all collectively so please do get in touch if you want more information or would like to present.

The next Social Café  will be Wednesday 11th February. Please RSVP to confirm your attendance or if you have any queries or suggestions for future themes please contact Paul Long or Annette Naudin. Please note at this point, membership of the Social Café is reserved for colleagues from the Faculty of Performance Media & English.  However, we’d welcome the opportunity to meet with academics and industry contacts in a similar forum so please do get in touch.

Birmingham Centre For Media And Cultural Research

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