Mixed realities: Intersections in (cyber)space and the poetics of metadata

Friday 28 April 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm S226 Seminar Room, Department of Media and Communications John Woolley Building, Level 2 entry off Manning Road

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Mixed reality blends the real and the virtual both visually and semantically, challenging existing forms of representation, meaning, ownership, and agency. New technologies raise new questions – but will they necessarily reinforce the same systems of identity and control? Where the virtual collides with the real everything is up for grabs — again (Image: New Scientist, https://www.newscientist.com).

Mark Pesce is best known as co-inventor of VRML, which brought 3D graphics to the Web. Pesce has written six books and co-founded postgraduate programs at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema, and the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. Since 2006 he has held an Honorary appointment in the Digital Cultures Program at the University of Sydney.

A Humanistic Approach to Health Communication

Friday 7 April 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm S226 Seminar Room, Department of Media and Communications John Woolley Building, Level 2 entry off Manning Road

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Since the key to effective health communication lies in its ability to communicate well, some of its core problems are those that relate to the sharing of meaning between communicators. In other words, its key challenge lies in finding ways to disseminate solutions in a manner that allows individuals to co-create the proper route for adoption. This talk offers three key propositions:

  • Health communication has to pass through the filter of a particular world view that creates a discrepancy between expected and actual message reception and response.
  • The assumption of a rational human actor made implicitly by most health psychological models is a contestable issue, as many times message recipients do not follow a cognitive judgment process.
  • Health communication as part of organised government practices adheres to predominant values perspectives that affect the manner in which health issues become problematised.

What seems more fruitful for future health communication then is not “better” campaigns but a deeper inclusion of publics in the storytelling process about health and well-being. Understanding the concept of dialogical interaction and sense making will build connections between communication, representation and social identity. A movement toward humanistic health communication ultimately reaffirms the communicative process as living up to its original definition of sharing meaning (Image: http://www.halklailiskiler.com/).

This event will be broadcast on Twitter via Periscope (go to @MediaAtSydney).

Dr Olaf Werder directs the health communication program in the department and leads a research group on health humanities at the Charles Perkins Centre focusing on identifying barriers and pathways of effective communication in health.

In Conversation with Jack Linchuan Qiu: Digital Technology, Social Justice, Rights, and Democracy

Friday 31 March
2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
S226 Seminar Room, Department of Media and Communications
John Woolley Building, Level 2 entry off Manning Road

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What are the frontiers of emergent media and communication today? What are the cultural, political, and justice issues arising from the heightened role that technology plays in social life, particularly among people who are marginalized and disenfranchised? What are the unfolding concerns for media, especially in relation to digital rights and governance, across different global societies, especially in the Asia-Pacific? How do we make sense and intervene into the central predicament of communication now – the great potential and opportunities that the diffusion and take-up of digital technologies offer, yet the lack of democracy in communication and media themselves? What are the possibilities of global initiatives to reform and reimagine media for social betterment, such as the International Panel on Social Progress, the Internet Social Forum, the Justnet Coalition, or other endeavours? To explore and debate these issues, this event presents Professor Jack Qiu, a leading thinker on communication, social movements, and activism, in conversation with Sydney-based scholars, Professor Ariadne Vromen (USYD), Associate Professor Haiqing Yu (UNSW), and Professor Gerard Goggin (USYD), as well as attendees. Jack will open the conversation with his ongoing projects on digital capitalism, labour, and platform cooperativism in the contexts of Hong Kong, China, and Southeast Asia. He will also speak about his observations as a member of editorial teams for various academic journals such as Journal of Communication and Information, Communication & Society: the world needs a new praxis of digital media research. How can we all contribute to it?

This event will be broadcast on Twitter via Periscope (go to @MediaAtSydney).

Jack Linchuan Qiu (http://jack.com.cuhk.edu.hk/) is Professor at the School of Journalism and Communication, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he serves as deputy director of the C-Centre (Centre for Chinese Media and Comparative Communication Research). His publications include Goodbye iSlave (Univ of Illinois Press, 2016), World’s Factory in the Information Age (Guangxi Normal Univ Press, 2013), Working-Class Network Society (MIT Press, 2009), Mobile Communication and Society (co-authored, MIT Press, 2006). He is on the editorial boards of 12 international academic journals, and is Associate Editor for Journal of Communication. He also works with grassroots NGOs and provides consultancy services for international organizations.

Mark Scott launches Rodney Tiffen’s new book: Disposable Leaders

Friday 10 October
2:30pm – 4:00 pm
S226 Seminar Room, Department of Media and Communications
John Woolley Building, Level 2 entry off Manning Road

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Leadership coups have become a frequent, if unwelcome, part of Australian politics in recent years. In his latest book, Disposable Leaders: Media and leadership coups from Menzies to Abbott, Rodney Tiffen investigates the history and significance of this type of leadership merry-go-round for our democracy. His research finds the drama, backbiting and intrigue of the Rudd–Gillard, Abbott–Turnbull, and Hawke–Keating federal leadership struggles are not unique. On the contrary, since 1970, there has been a total of 73 successful leadership challenges in the Labor Party and the Liberal National Party at either federal or state level. Tiffen argues these highly personal political conflicts, occurring under intense media scrutiny, and at ever-increasing rates, inevitably affect not only political decision-making and relationships, but also policy directions and outcomes (Image: Design by Committee).

Rodney Tiffen is Emeritus Professor in Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. His earlier books include Rupert Murdoch. A Reassessment; How Australia Compares (co-authored with Ross Gittins); Diplomatic Deceits. Government, Media and East Timor; Scandals. Media, Politics and Corruption in Contemporary Australia; and News and Power. He worked with the independent Finkelstein inquiry into the media (2011-12).

Mark Scott AO is the Secretary of the NSW Department of Education, the largest education system in Australia, and former Managing Director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (2006-2016). Mark was named an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2011 for distinguished service to media and communications, and to the community through advisory and governance roles with a range of social justice and educational bodies. He has also been awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Sydney and UNSW.

This book launch is jointly hosted by the University of Sydney’s Department of Media and Communications and the Department of Government and International Relations.