Programme Day Two
Session 5. Webinar from Department of International Politics
11:30 Convenor: Professor Inderjeet Parmar
Archival Choices in Researching Foundations, Think Tanks and Universities: The Tavistock and India, Michigan State and the World
Panel: Prof Bill Cooke (York): Michigan State University and the World, Dr Anindita Bannerjee (Lancaster): The Tavistock Institute and India.
Session 6. Chaired by Dr James Rodgers
13:30 Aleksandra Raspopina
PhD Student, Department of Journalism
Post-truth was Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year in 2016 and has since become widely-used by journalists, researchers and officials in many countries. It is often brought up in discussions of contemporary politics, journalism and social media but because of the concept’s novelty and vagueness there is no consensus on its academic applicability. This paper is focused on providing an understanding and definition of post-truth that can be used in researching media and politics. It is based on existing academic literature on the topic of post-truth and fake news and my own research of Russian international broadcaster RT (formerly Russia Today), which is often discussed within the context of post-truth politics but with little research conducted on the topic (see, for example Hutchings). In particular the paper looks at RT news content as an example of post-truth communication employing Waisbord’s view of post-truth as an issue arising from the partisan epistemologies where multiple partisan ‘truths’ are produced by different communities, groups, and actors. Adding to Waisbord’s writing on post-truth this paper argues that post-truth strategies can be employed by political and media actors pragmatically, and that multiple partisan truths can actually be produced by one media outlet as long as the messages are targeted at different groups.
This paper is based on one chapter of my PhD thesis, not yet submitted for examination.
 Hutchings, S. (2017). Fake news and 'post truth': Some preliminary notes. Russian Journal of Communication, 9(2), 212-214.
14:00 Sanam Mahoozi
PhD Student, Department of Journalism
My research will focus on media coverage of climate change at the 2021 climate change summit in Glasgow. I will be looking at how media, mainstream and social, manage to influence public opinion and government policies of the top 3 CO2 emitters per capita. The countries will be the United States, Canada and Australia. I will be looking at how the media managed to frame the climate change agenda during events such as the Paris agreement and will put forward questions and analysis of how media framing can influence public opinion, government policy and systemic change, when it comes to climate change. I will talk about where we are now in 2020 and, what this summit hopes to achieve as well as the importance of the media in this cause.
14:30 Carolyne Lunga
PhD Student, Department of Journalism
Cross-media collaboration in investigative journalism is increasingly becoming common in serving the public interest in the present day through exposing issues affecting audiences on a global scale. Journalists from various media organisations are sharing data, methods, ideas, sources, angles and resources (Sambrook, 2018: Berglez and Gearing, 2018). This practice has traditionally been an anathema in journalism due to the competitive nature of the profession with journalists and media organisations wanting to out scoop one another (ibid). This presentation is based on my PhD project on understanding the practice of collaborative investigative journalism in southern Africa. It focuses on why this type of journalism is becoming common and its advantages in exposing corruption and other malpractices and the central role played by technology in aiding collaboration.
15:00 Dr James Rodgers
Reader in International Journalism and Associate Dean (Global Engagement). Department of Journalism
What shapes the way we tell our stories to the world? We all aware of the challenges which disinformation presents to journalism today. We have seen how the world’s political leaders strive to make sure their messages are received. This presentation will argue that two forces above all—those of politics and technology—influence the way that international journalists do their jobs. It will do so by looking at the way they have shaped western reporting of Russia over the last quarter century, drawing on original research interviews and archive material. Taking in some reflections on the evolution of professional practice, it will conclude by making the case for the importance that international journalists must place not only on understanding a country, but also on understanding the way that other countries and peoples understand themselves, and the stories they tell about themselves.
James Rodgers is Reader in International Journalism at City, and author of Assignment Moscow: Reporting on Russia From Lenin to Putin (I.B. Tauris, 2020).
Session 7. Convenors: Prof Chris Rojek, Dr Ian Pace
15:30 Panel discussion
Stuart Hall (1932-2014) is a figure whose work continues to play a prominent role in the fields of sociology, cultural studies, popular music studies, political theory, and elsewhere. Born in Jamaica then moving to the UK in 1951 to study at Oxford University, Hall was a founder of the New Left Review, then from the late 1960s was involved with the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham, of which he became the director in 1972, then Professor of Sociology at the Open University. Hall had a wider public profile through his wide-ranging work on television, both for the OU and in wider media forums, and as a journalist and commentator on contemporary British politics, not least as part of the ‘New Times’ movement associated with the periodical Marxism Today in the late 1980s. Amongst his most enduring intellectual legacies have been the theory of ‘authoritarian populism’ to explain how Thatcherism generated significant popular working class support, and his model of ‘encoding/decoding’ for understanding the working of television language, and his appropriation of the work of Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci, in particular Gramsci’s concept of hegemony.
Yet Hall’s work has generated and continues to generate a diverse range of responses, not all of them wholly praiseworthy. This online debate brings together six academics with divergent views to debate Hall’s work and legacy. Some areas for debate will include the nature of Hall’s theories of populism at a time when this has become a much more developed field of political theory, accompanying the rise of a new wave of populist politicians, the competing claims of the Birmingham School, deeply informed by Hall’s work, and rival Glasgow School, focused much more upon empirical data for analysing public opinion, Hall’s ideas of ‘deconstructing the popular’ in comparison to other models of popular taste and opinion as directed and manipulated by broader forces, and Hall’s work for the OU and the implications in an era of online learning. Using Zoom, each of the academics will give a c. 10 minute statement presenting their view of Hall’s legacy, then the chair will direct a discussion between them, after which the panel will respond to queries form others who attend, in an online equivalent of opening to questions from the floor.
This event is convened by Dr Ian Pace (Head of the Department of Music and Reader in Music) and Professor Chris Rojek (Professor of Sociology) of City, University of London, and is hosted as part of City’s School of Arts and Social Sciences Online Festival of Research 2020.
Panel: Prof Eugene McLaughlin, Dr Jessica Evans ,Prof Chris Rojek, Dr Ian Pace, Professor Jim McGuigan (Loughborough University), Dr Ajmal Hussain (University of Manchester)
Chair: Professor Sylvia Walby OBE
Session 8. Convenor: Prof Stephen Cottrell
17:30 Carina Mansey
PhD Student, Department of Sociology
This presentation will explore consumption processes prior to the October March on Versailles, which would force King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette back to Paris, in order to assess the symbolic cost of both food and the monarchy. For this to be achieved, the consequences of the conspicuous consumption and mimetic leisure pursuits that earned the royal couple the epithets, ‘Pig King’ and ‘Madam Deficit’, will be considered. In parallel, the subsistence consumption practices of the lower classes will be examined. From this the price of food in the Court of Versailles will be expounded upon in detail, and contrasted against the value placed on food by the general population. This will lead on to a discussion of the symbolic worth of the French monarchy as an absolute power. A power that would be taken down by its subjects, who would unfetter the French chains of interdependence, for them to be reconfigured after the establishment of the First Republic, and again under the rule of Napoleon.
End of Festival drinks and nibbles with the Associate Dean PGR.