MCS News

School of Media, Communication and Sociology, University of Leicester 

New project award

'Exploring the frames of altruistic action'

A new study into collective actions in support of vulnerable groups – including asylum seekers and refugees - is being led by Dr Pierre Monforte at the University of Leicester, in collaboration with Estelle d'Halluin-Mabillot at the Université de Nantes.

The overall goal of the research is to analyse and compare how and why volunteers get involved in charities and networks that support asylum seekers and refugees in Britain and in France. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded research project will run from January 2017 to December 2019.

Dr Monforte, of the School of Media, Communication and Sociology, said: "Over the last decades, in a context in which the living conditions of asylum seekers and refugees are becoming increasingly difficult, many charities have dedicated themselves to the support of these groups across Europe. A large part of the activities of these organisations depends on the involvement of volunteers who participate in collective actions such as legal aid, advice and support in terms of access to services (housing, schools, welfare, etc.), language or educational support (in particular children's support), fundraising, therapeutic or moral support.

"Little is known about how volunteers involved in this field construct their engagement with altruistic action and define their role in society. The comparison between the French and British case will allow for an original and well-needed approach on these questions. This study is very topical, in the context of the refugee crisis and the emergence of new forms of solidarity such as the 'Refugees Welcome’ movements."

The project is based on a comparative approach and on qualitative research methods: the researchers will interview a large sample of volunteers with different profiles and who are active in two contrasted contexts (Britain and France). They will also interview key representatives of the main pro-asylum charities active in these two countries, and will analyse press reports and charities' archives. This will allow the researchers to develop an in-depth analysis of why and how people engage with collective actions in support of asylum seekers and refugees.

The researchers want to increase the recognition in society of the movements of solidarity with asylum seekers and refugees, and explore possible ways to resolve the challenges faced by volunteers and charities in the pro-asylum sector.

Dr Monforte added: “We are excited to be doing this work. In a context in which debates and policies on immigration and border controls are increasingly divisive, we believe that research on these issues is absolutely necessary.”

More information about the project can be found here.

'Something old, something new: the wedding spectacle across contemporary media cultures' 

In September, the Media and Gender research group and CAMEo, the new research institute for Cultural and Media Economies, organised and hosted a highly successful one-day symposium which explored the wedding spectacle in contemporary media cultures.

The event brought a wide array of international speakers and attendees to Leicester to discuss the shifting politics of the wedding and its increasing spectacularisation within diverse media cultures. Invited speakers included the leading feminist media scholars Brenda Weber (Indiana University Bloomington), Deborah Jermyn (Roehampton), and Diane Negra (University College Dublin). The topics of papers ranged from reality television programming in Russia, Turkey and India; to postcolonial wedding destinations; to class distinctions in bridal boutiques; to celebrity couples and the politics of gay weddings in the US.

The symposium served two important functions: firstly, it brought together scholars with existing interests in wedding media and cultures (as well as those who are new to this area of enquiry), providing a stimulating space for new discussion and debate; and secondly, it helped to internationalise the debates around the wedding spectacle by including scholars who are researching the cultural contexts of India, Turkey, the Caribbean, Singapore, Russia, and China, among many others.

The event also served as a platform for showcasing both the Media and Gender group and CAMEo to an international community of scholars – and the conversations, debates and critical dialogues that it prompted are still continuing. So watch this space for more wedding-related projects in the future!

Me and my research: Ipek Demir 

Dr. Ipek Demir, Associate Professor in Sociology

How long have you worked at Leicester?

I've worked at the University of Leicester for ten years. I joined soon after my ESRC postdoctoral fellowship - though I taught social sciences at the University of Sussex, the Open University and University of Cambridge during my PhD years.

What are your main research interests?

My interdisciplinary PhD (Social and Political Thought, Sussex) and Post-doc (History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge) examined the relationship between tradition, translation and incommensurability by studying the work of two leading scholars from different fields, namely Alasdair MacIntyre (political theory) and Thomas Kuhn (sociology and philosophy of science). My subsequent research examined the relationship between translation, interdisciplinarity, trust, knowledge and data-sharing. In particular, I investigated the theoretical and philosophical dimensions of border-making, interaction and conflict across the boundaries of knowledge communities.

In the last several years, I also developed expertise in the field of diaspora studies, transnationalism and Kurdish studies by using the conceptual tools and insight on translation and conflict which my PhD and post-doc provided. My current work sits at the intersections of the fields of diaspora studies, ethno-politics, race and identity, as well as social and critical thought. During my recent AHRC fellowship on 'Diasporic Brokers: Reviving and Translating Kurdish Culture in London', for example, I developed an innovative perspective on diaspora by employing the insights and tools of translation studies. The content of my work has been critical, interdisciplinary and with a global orientation and transnational ethos.

What research are you currently working on?

I am especially interested in how diasporic groups like the Kurds in Europe revive ethno-political identity 'at a distance', and how they translate, foreignise and cosmopolitanise Europe, shape homeland politics and de-Turkify.

Recently I’ve been writing on diasporic cosmopolitanism and also on multiculturalism, especially trying to situate them against the backdrop of Brexit.

The next phase of my research includes, for example:

(a) the uneasy relationship between Kurdish and Turkish feminisms: the impact of diaspora politics on gender;

(b) the ignorance contract: Turkish nationalism and its others in diaspora;

(c) digital diasporas: doing Kurdishness online.

Which academic author or text has most inspired your work?

Without a doubt Thomas Kuhn. He made me understand knowledge production as a social activity. He allowed me to see that tradition and social practices are essential for knowledge production and that there is an essential (and productive) tension between tradition and criticism. He is also a pleasure to read! I am thankful to Prof John Holmwood for introducing me to Kuhn.

What was the last non-academic book you read?

I try to read non-fiction in Turkish, in my native tongue. However, the last non-academic book I read was Gary Younge’s Stranger in a Strange Land. I took it with me on my way to the American Sociological Association (ASA) Conference in August in Seattle. It was eerie having it with me whilst travelling in small towns in Washington State with huge Trump banners outside.

Best thing about working at Leicester?

The support and funding we get for going to conferences.

Publication spotlight:

Science, Entertainment and Television Documentary

by Vincent Campbell

A new book by Vincent Campbell, a Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication at Leicester, explores the pressing debates around the representation of science on television. Science, Entertainment and Television Documentary, published by Palgrave Macmillan, locates these debates within the broader context of television's shift from traditional documentary to 'factual entertainment'. One of the key focuses of the book is the anxieties that have attended this move away from factuality and documentary sobriety towards spectacularised entertainment. The book considers the often strident criticisms of the ‘rotting carcass of science TV’, and it questions to what extent such criticisms are valid.

The mixing of documentary techniques with those from entertainment formats like drama, game-shows and reality TV, as well as the use of spectacular visual effects produced by CGI, are often central to these criticisms of science on television. So too are the ways that such programmes frequently blur the boundaries between mainstream science and popular beliefs. However, the book also considers whether the programmes can actually be seen to offer a more complex and richer set of representations - whereby sciences are constructed as objects of wonder, awe and the sublime.

New staff spotlight

The School of Media, Communication and Sociology is delighted to welcome Dr. Daniel Allington, a Lecturer in Digital Media. Daniel joins the School from the University of the West England (UWE), Bristol, having previously also taught at the Open University. He studies the sociology of the media and cultural industries, taking a particular interest in 'ordinary' consumers and amateur and semi-professional producers, and using a range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies with an emphasis on 'naturally occurring' data.

The persistence of social inequality is a recurrent theme in this body of work, which addresses questions about the exclusiveness of certain cultural forms and of the cultural industries themselves. Much of this work has focused on the publishing industry and its customers, but in 2014, Daniel led an AHRC-funded study of the online distribution of music, and he is currently working on a study of amateur political bloggers of the far right and far left.

His work has been published in such journals as Cultural Trends, Cultural Sociology, European Journal of Cultural Studies, and Language & Literature, and his first monograph, a co-authored history of the book in Britain, will be published by Blackwell in the new year.

The School is also delighted to welcome Dr Yimei Zhu as a Lecturer in Digital Media. Yimei previously worked as a post-doctoral research associate in the Mitchell Centre for Social Network Analysis at the University of Manchester, where she also gained extensive experience in teaching Sociology and research methods. She has also previously worked at the University of Leicester, where she was a research associate with Dr Giuseppe A. Veltri on a Horizon 2020 project on social identity change in Europe. 

Her previous research focuses on scholarly and science communication, open access publishing and data sharing. Her PhD thesis investigates to what extent UK academics support open science and how academics communicate and disseminate their research through social media tools. In addition, she has worked on research projects in relation to UK universities' participation on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo, as well as London Riots Twitter analysis. Yimei has extensive experience using mixed-methods, developing survey questionnaire and conducting statistic modelling, and has an ongoing interest in developing innovative research methods to collect online data. 

Her research interests are focused around social media communication, in the areas of citizen science, citizen journalism and political participation; Chinese social media (e.g. Weibo and WeChat) in relation to advertising, self-promotion and identity construction; and social capital, trust and online communities.

International Promotional Cultures and Communication research group

On November 3rd, Dr. Giovanna Puppin, Lecturer in International Advertising and Promotional Cultures in the School of Media, Communication and Sociology, presented 'Understanding the Chinese Consumers – a Taster' at the Leicester Business Festival, as part of the enterprise activities of her research group International Promotional Cultures and Communication (which sits within the School’s Public Communication research cluster). The event was organized jointly with the Leicester City Council and supported by ChiSRA (China Studies Research Alliance).

The idea behind the Taster came from the acknowledgment of a scarce engagement between thousands of Chinese students who are living in Leicester and the city itself, with its cultural events, leisure activities, tourist attractions, and – last but not least – its shopping opportunities.

To facilitate this process of mutual understanding, Dr. Giovanna Puppin – who has a background in Chinese Studies and is an expert in advertising, marketing and promotion, both in China and to China - explained the major changes that have happened in the economic, political and social spheres of the country. She then focused on the current trends in the consumer landscape, before giving some tips on effective communication and promotional strategies. Her PhD student, Miss Dian (Wendy) Wang, concluded the session with an account of how Chinese students live (and consume) in Leicester.

The Taster sold out and the attendees’ feedback was extremely positive: now more than ever, Leicester-based businesses are eager to know China and the Chinese young generations – so look out for more to come, soon!

News, events, and engagement

Annual DICE lecture: 'Belonging, Diversity and Equality in 21st Century Britain'

On October 19th, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, a well-known journalist and commentator and one of the few British female Muslim voices routinely quoted on the cultural and political stage, delivered the second DICE (Unit for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement) annual lecture in Leicester. Over 300 people attended, drawn from a wide variety of backgrounds both within and beyond the University.

The presentation considered the challenges and misinterpretations of the meanings of ‘belonging’, and its tensions with diversity and equality questions in Britain today. Yasmin demonstrated the long history of the presence of Muslims in Britain; she also encouraged her audience to think critically today about ways of accommodating and celebrating difference whilst defending and promoting human rights. She also spoke about her own encounters with critics – including with a representative of the EDL, who appreciated jewellery from a culture he claimed to despise. Yasmin ended the lecture with a quotation taken from J B Priestley: "Britain admired throughout the world, is the Britain that keeps open house." She added, in relations to Brexit and the current refugee crisis: “We have to keep an open house.” The lecture was followed by a very lively exchange between members of the audience and the speaker, which was curtailed only by the lack of time.

Co-Director of DICE Professor Surinder Sharma said: “We feel very fortunate indeed to have had Yasmin Alibhai-Brown for the second DICE annual lecture. Yasmin is always straight-talking and challenging – the type of speaker who will engage with and entertain diverse audiences from Leicester and beyond. She made us think about practicing universal values whilst still celebrating our differences; to be accommodating to each other’s culture and beliefs. And this is exactly what we need do in a post-Brexit world.”

Project news: 'The UK Citizenship Test Process: Exploring Immigrants' Experiences'

The ESRC-funded project 'The UK Citizenship Test Process: Exploring Immigrants' Experiences' held Stakeholder Workshops in Leicester and London in September. These were very well-attended and lively events where project findings were shared with audiences which included: local councillors, migrant rights advocates, service providers, migrants experiencing the citizenship test process, officials directly involved in citizenship ceremonies, Greater London Authority representatives and Leicester civil servants. Following on from these workshops the project team has been invited to further present their work at the AGM of CARIS Harringey, a key London-based organization in our project, as well as Leicester College and, in future, to Harringey-based London Labour councilors. Thanks to excellent assistance from the notetakers – Nerina Boursinou, Mirjam Twigt, Brogan Taylor and Tarine Felix.

The project team have also recently given papers at Lancaster University's Department of Linguistics (19th October), the International Political Association at Poznan (23rd-28th July), and the Derrida Today conference at Goldsmiths (June 8th-11th).

Project team: Leah Bassel (PI), Pierre Monforte, David Bartram, Barbara Misztal (co-Is), Kamran Khan (RA)

MCS in the media

Jonathan Corpus Ong has written a piece for the Guardian entitled ‘Digital sweatshops in disaster zones: who pays the real price for innovation?’.

Jane Pilcher has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed programme to discuss her research on names.

Helen Wood and Jilly Boyce Kay have contributed the blogpost 'Watching at Home' to BBC History's new archive which celebrates the 80th anniversary of the launch of the first British television service. 

MCS colleagues have recently had articles published in the Conversation, including Ranjana Das and John Williams.

Call for papers

Colleagues in the School of MCS will be hosting the prestigious International Environmental Communication Association's 2017 Conference on Communication and Environment (COCE), June 29 - July 2, 2017. The theme and call for papers for the conference went out in July, and the paper submission process opened in October.

News round-up

MCS colleagues were elected to the following positions at the recent ECREA (European Communication Research and Education Association) conference in Prague: Ian Somerville - Chair of the Organisational and Strategic Communication Section; Ranjana Das - Chair of the Audience and Reception Studies Section; Galina Miazhevich - Member of the ECREA Executive Board.

As part of on-going work promoting sport for women and girls from Muslim backgrounds in Leicester, DICE have been praised by British Cycling for their unique programme aimed at encouraging local women to learn to cycle. Funded by Sport England, more than 30 local women were involved, ranging from teenagers to women in their 60s. British Cycling made a short film about the DICE project, which you can see here.

David Bartram has taken the role of co-editor of the Journal of Happiness Studies.

Leah Bassel is a member of the advisory board for the new book series Global migration and social change, Policy Press. Series editors: Nando Sigona and Graham Hugo.

John Goodwin and Giovanna Puppin were shortlisted for the Images of Research Competition organised by the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities. Their pictures will be shown on Thursday 9 February 2017, from 5pm, in the Attenborough Arts Centre, when the ultimate winners will be announced.

Dian (Wendy) Wang is the recipient of the PGR International Excellence Scholarship 2016, awarded by the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities. Her research project focuses on city image advertising in contemporary China, and her supervisors are Giovanna Puppin and Anders Hansen.

This is Not a Coup. A documentary film screening and post-screening discussion with journalist and film-maker Aris Chatzistefanou was held on November 23rd. The event was co-organised by the School's Digital Networks and Communication Research Cluster, the Documentary Media Centre, and De Montfort University's Media Discourse Group.

Funding Successes

The following projects within MCS have all recently won competitive grant funding

'Coverage of human rights law in European newspapers: a comparative analysis'. Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship. Lieve Gies.

‘Birth Stories: The mediation and experience of childbirth amongst immigrant and non-immigrant women in the UK’. British Academy Small Grant. Ranjana Das.

‘Increasing the understanding of autism in families from minority ethnic groups in Leicestershire’. Carlton Hayes Charity. Michelle O’Reilly and Khalid Karim.

‘Digital Connectedness of Vulnerable Communities: Enhancing Community Connectivity and Welfare’?’ College of Social Science and Humanities Research Development Fund. Panayiota Tsatsou.

‘Naming Practices Research Symposium’, College of Social Science and Humanities Research Development Fund. Jane Pilcher.

'Youth Opportunities? The long term impacts of participation in youth training schemes during the 1980s. A preliminary study'. British Academy. Henrietta O'Connor and John Goodwin (with Andy Furlong, University of Glasgow).


New Books

Hemer, O. & Thomas Tufte (eds.) 2016. Voice & Matter. Communication, Development and The Cultural Return. University of Gothenburg: Nordicom.

Thomas Tufte is co-editor of this new book which features contributions from renowned academics in the field of communication, cultural and development studies. The chapters provide substantial contributions to a continuing articulation and re-definition of the theoretical foundation of Communication for Development. There is full open access to the book.

Rovisco, Maria. & Ong, Jonathan C. (eds.) (2016). Taking the Square: Mediated Dissent and Occupations of Public Space. Rowman and Littlefield.

Maria Rovisco and Jonathan Corpus Ong have edited a new book that challenges the notion of a 'disappearance of public space' by reconsidering the significance of physical space and embodiment in protest events. Looking at a range of assemblies, this volume illuminates how square and street politics and their mediation become vehicles for new ideas of community, citizenship and public life.

Simpson, R., Jason Hughes, and Slutskaya, N. (2016) Gender, Class and Occupation: Working Class Men Doing Dirty Work. Palgrave.

Jason Hughes has published, along with R. Simpson and N. Slutskaya, an insightful new study which explores the meanings and experiences of ‘dirty’ work. Based on a unique study of male street cleaners, refuse collectors, graffiti removers and butchers, and drawing on Bourdieu as a theoretical frame, it presents an ‘embodied’ understanding of ‘dirty’ work.

Ian Somerville, O. Hargie, M. Taylor, and M. Toledano (eds.) International Public Relations: Perspectives from Deeply Divided Societies. Routledge.

Ian Somerville is co-editor of the new book International Public Relations: Perspectives from deeply divided societies, which is positioned at the intersection of public relations (PR) practice with socio-political environments in divided, conflict and post-conflict societies. While most studies of PR focus on the activity as it is practiced within stable democratic societies, this book explores perspectives from contexts that have tended to be marginalized or uncharted.

R. Moseley, H. Wheatley and Helen Wood (eds.) (2016) Television for Women: New Directions. Routledge.

Helen Wood is co-editor of this new collection which brings together emerging and established scholars to reconsider the question of 'television for women'. The essays take the existing scholarship in this field in significant new directions, expanding its reach both in terms of territory - looking beyond the paradigmatic Anglo-American axis - and also historical span.

Gong, Q. (2016) Children's Healthcare and Parental Media Engagement in Urban China: A Culture of Anxiety? Palgrave MacMillan.

Qian (Sarah) Gong is the author of this new book which analyses parental anxieties about their children's healthcare issues in urban China, engaging with wider theoretical debates about modernity, risk and anxiety. It studies the representations of health issues and health-related risks in a parenting magazine, popular newspapers, commercial advertising and new media, as well as parents’ and grandparents’ engagement with and response to these media representations.

Other publication highlights

Ranjana Das has co-guest-edited (with B. Ytre-Arne) a special issue of Participations which emerged from the AHRC CEDAR Network. It is entitled: Emerging directions in audience research: Lessons from the Consortium on Emerging Directions in Audience Research.

Ipek Demir (2016) 'Kurdish and Turkish communities in London: From ‘economic immigrants' to ‘political diasporas’?’ in Turkish Area Studies Review, 28.

Qian (Sarah) Gong (2016) 'Communicating risk and protection: Advertising discourse of young children's healthcare products and parental reception in China', European Journal of Cultural Studies, Online First.

John Goodwin (2016) Sociology's Fate: Intersections of History and (My)Biography, Sociology.

John Goodwin, Jason Hughes and Henrietta O'Connor (2016) 'Return to Winston Parva: Starting to Reconstruct The Established and the Outsiders ‘From the Margins’. Historical Social Research, 40(1): 8–18

Anders Hansen (2016) 'The changing uses of accuracy in science communication.' Public Understanding of Science 25(7): 760-774.

Alison Harvey (2016) 'Corporate Responsibility and Gender in Digital Games', Gender Equality and Responsible Business: Expanding CSR Horizons. K. Grosser, L. McCarthy and M. A. Kilgour (eds.) Sheffield: Greenleaf Publishing. *Third author, with Thorsten Busch and Florence Chee.

Jason Hughes and John Goodwin (2016) 'Established–Outsider Relations and Figurational Analysis'. Historical Social Research, 40(1): 7–17.

Jonathan Corpus Ong (with David, C. & Legara, E.) 'Tweeting Supertyphoon Haiyan', PLOS One, 11(3).

Jane Pilcher (2016) 'Names, Bodies and Identities', Sociology, 50(4): 764-779.

Giovanna Puppin (2016) 'The Master Said, the Master Sold? Uses and misuses of the Confucius Icon in Chinese Commerical Advertising' in S. Travagnin (ed.) Religion and Media in China: Insights and Case Studies from the Mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong, Routledge: 203-224.

Panayiota Tsatsou (with Y. Zhao) A 'Two-level social capital analysis' of the role of online communication in civic activism: lessons from the role of Facebook in the Sunflower Movement. Social Media + Society 2(4) (Online First).

Yimei Zhu (2016) ‘Academics’ active and passive use of YouTube for research and leisure’ in A. Esposito (ed.) Research 2.0 and the Impact of Digital Technologies on Scholarly Inquiry. IGI Global. A copy is available here.

Conferences, research events and papers

Conference and event organisation: highlights

Colleagues in Sociology organised and hosted the prestigious RC33: International Sociological Association conference on Logic and Methodology, held at the University of Leicester between September 11th and 16th, 2016. The conference, which was held at Stamford Court, was a huge success; as well as welcoming around three hundred and fifty participants to Leicester, many colleagues from the School presented papers and chaired sessions. The full programme can be accessed here.

The International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) conference was held at the University of Leicester in July. Its theme was Memory, Commemoration and Communication: Looking Back, Looking Forward, which was particularly appropriate given the 50 year anniversary celebrations of Media and Communication at Leicester. Many colleagues from MCS presented papers at the conference - the full programme can be viewed here. In addition to their involvement in the main conference, Leicester academics also organized the pre-conferences '50 Years of Media and Communication at Leicester', ‘Critical Capacities: Media Workers, Labour and Action’ and ‘Surveillance & Security in the Age of Algorithmic Communication’.

Postgraduate students in Media and Communication organised, hosted and presented at the 2016 MeCCSA (Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Research Association) Postgraduate Network conference. Professor Mark Banks and Dr. Kaitlynn Mendes were among the conference keynotes. Take a look at the conference website for the full list of speakers, as well as photographs and videos of the event.

Ipek Demir organized the first ever Kurdish Studies Summer School in June at the University of Leicester. It brought together scholars, postgraduate students and community advocates from across the world (e.g. New Zealand, the US, Mexico, Germany, Belgium, Australia, Italy) as well as the UK.

Supported by a College Research Development Fund grant, Anders Hansen and Julian Matthews organized and hosted an international symposium on communications and energy in June. The event brought together key international researchers and established the foundation for further collaboration, which is now under development with colleagues in several European countries (Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal, Ireland, Sweden and Germany).

Alison Harvey recently organized two events at Leicester: the first, in September, was entitled The Practices and Politics of Inclusivity in Games workshop, and the second, held in October, was a workshop in Feminist Digital Research Methods.

In July, the Media and Development Research Group at the University of Leicester hosted the Camp Convivialities and Refugee Communication Workshop

The IDeoGRAMS research group and the journal The Soundtrack hosted an international conference on Transmedia Musics on November 18th. Anna Claydon, Director of IDeoGRAMS is editing a special edition. The day began with theorising transmedia music(s) and ended with questioning the very nature of how we define music within art and media.

In November, the new Cultural and Media Economies research institute (CAMEo) hosted a week of events exploring the contemporary significance of craft. Researchers, teachers, students, makers, artists and practitioners engaged in workshops and networking events and attended a keynote speech featuring international experts in the field.

Keynote presentations and conference papers: highlights

Andreas Anastasiou gave the paper 'Selecting the news: an international comparison of values and criteria'. ECREA 2016 Conference, Charles University, Prague, November 9-12th.

David Bartram gave the plenary address, 'Immigrants, Integration and Well-being', at SIM University Singapore, conference on 'Wellbeing: National Accounts of Happiness and Social Development', 1st-2nd November 2016 — followed by a meeting with the Strategy Group of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Leah Bassel was invited speaker at the opening plenary session 'Refugees in Europe' at (Dis)locating Europe: Conflicts, challenges and changes Political Sociology Research Network 32 of the European Sociological Association Fourth Mid-Term Conference. University Foundation (Fondation Universitaire), Brussels, October.

Ranjana Das gave the keynote: 'Reception aesthetics meets Facebook: Texts and readers in a networked age. Style and Response conference, Sheffield Hallam University, November.

Ipek Demir gave the closing keynote lecture 'Futures of Multiculturalism and Cosmopolitanism' at Institute of Historical Research Annual Conference: '950th Anniversary of 1066: A Millenium(ish) of Immigration, Integration, and Invasion', London, June.

Bernhard Forchtner (with C. Kølvraa) gave the paper 'Radical imaginaries: multimodal representations of 'History', ‘Nature’ and ‘Gender Roles’ on German extreme right Facebook pages.' CADAAD 2016. Catania, September.

Alison Harvey: 'Feminist Digital Research Methods Fishbowl' at 17th Annual Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR), Berlin, October.

Melanie Kennedy gave the paper '"Why try and be fake when being real takes less effort?": Authenticity and Young Celebrity Motherhood', Celebrity Studies Conference, University of Amsterdam, June.

Pierre Monforte gave the paper 'Compassionate Action in the Context of Growing Inequalities and Austerity Measures: The Case of the Engagement against Poverty in the UK', IPSA conference, July.

Jonathan Corpus Ong presented 'Digital Sweatshops in the Disaster Zone: Precarity and Opportunity in Techie Aid Work' at the Faculty Seminar for Cardiff University School of Journalism, Media and Communication (JOMEC), October.

Michelle O’Reilly gave the keynote: ‘Questions, decisions and child-centred care in CAMHS: A qualitative examination of the actual practices of child mental health assessments’ at the BELMAS Educational Leadership Postgraduate Student Network event, in London in June.

Jane Pilcher gave the presentation 'Families, Gender and Naming Practices' at Centre for Research on Families and Relationships Conference, June, University of Edinburgh.

Giovanna Puppin gave the paper 'The Master Said, the Master Sold? Uses and Misuses of Confucius Icon in Chinese Advertising', ICA Conference Communication with Power (Sub-unit: Intercultural Communication), Fukuoka, June.

Pierre Monforte, Leah Bassel, Kamran Khan wrote the paper ‘Deserving Citizenship? Exploring Migrants' Experiences of the 'Citizenship Test' Process in the United Kingdom’ which was presented by Pierre at the International Political Science Association, Poznan, 23-28 July 2016

Jackie Sanchez Taylor spoke at The Politics of Beauty: Discourses and Intersections  in the Global Sphere, Summer School at the University of Cambridge, 30 August – 3 September 2016.

Thomas Tufte was a Plenary Panel Speaker at IAMCR 2016. The panel was on Communication Rights, and also featured Sonia Livingstone and Anita Gurumurthy; it was chaired by Marc Raboy. 29 July.

Natasha Whiteman gave the invited presentation 'Doing Ethics in Online Research' at the Research Ethics Workshop: The ethics of Internet-based and Social Media Research, University of Sheffield, 14 July.

Ken Wang gave the paper 'How do Chinese city policy makers from north inland area interpret the creative industries policies? The case of Harbin' at the IAMCR conference at Leicester in July.