Each year, the Media, Communication and Cultural Studies subject association, MeCCSA, hold a conference somewhere in the UK. This year’s outing was in Bradford, and I travelled up for a few days to learn a bit more about the research going on throughout the country.
It was an educational and interesting few days. I attended panels on identity, representation, radio studies and cultural studies, which collectively provided an engaging range of subject matter, including global warming, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and disaster documentaries (although not all at once). These were set among a framework of plenary sessions covering questions of place, software studies, film studies (both modern and 1920s) and the AHRC – the latter presentation by Shearer West (AHRC Director of Research) proving particularly informative in its coverage of the replacement for the soon-to-be-defunct Research Leave scheme.
One panel I particularly enjoyed was that on national identity, presented by Alistair Scott from the University of the West of Scotland, and Douglas Chalmers and Anthea Irwin from Glasgow Caledonian University. The three presentations examined the relationship between Scotland and broadcast television, in the cases of Channel 4, Gaelic language broadcasting and St. Andrew’s Day celebrations respectively. Though the panel audience was small, the papers threw up questions which led to a thoroughly enjoyable discussion. I’m eager to learn how the presenters’ work in this area develops; it seems to present many opportunities to explore comparative contexts.