[csaa-forum] Thomas/'Warm Devices ... Remote Control'/Thurs 14 Aug, 4-6pm/UNSW

Gerard Goggin g.goggin at unsw.edu.au
Fri Aug 8 12:48:50 CST 2008

Warm devices: genealogies of the remote control
Professor Julian Thomas, Swinburne University

4-6pm Thursday 14 August
Webster Building, Room 327 (Theatrette)
University of New South Wales
Presented by Journalism and Media Research Centre
The remote control is a familiar target of cultural critics: a contemporary
symbol of the excesses of Western media consumerism. This paper takes a
different view, exploring the implications of the device as a material
artifact in a revisionist, positive media history. My argument is that the
remote is best understood not as an accessory device, peripheral and
functionally unnecessary in the television broadcast system, but as a
distinct, proliferating technology for convergent (and divergent) media use,
which has become central to the continuing attempts of users, broadcasters
and the consumer electronics industry to control audiovisual content.The
paper sketches two related themes in the tangled and mythologized history of
the remote: its disconnection from the television receiver, and then the
disconnection between the software and hardware of television. These themes
converge around the topical contemporary question of content control,
something the remote has made challenging for users, media industries and
policy makers. But these histories also point to some neglected connections
in contemporary communications history, in particular between the remote
control, the mobile phone and iPods: the 'warm devices'.

All welcome -- refreshments served


About the Journalism and Media Centre
The Journalism and Media Research Centre is a new initiative of the Faculty
of Arts and Social Sciences. It undertakes research of high quality and
impact across the fields of journalism, communication, and media and makes a
significant contribution to public debate and policy. It will offer
rigorous, relevant and excellent education for postgraduate coursework and
research students.

More information at http://jmrc.arts.unsw.edu.au/

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Forthcoming seminars ...
Playing By The Rules: ethics and erotics in sexual violence prevention
education for men
Dr Kath Albury, Post-doctoral Fellow, consultant National Rugby League.
4-6pm Thursday 4 September
Goodsell Building, Room 127
In their study of men who had participated in rape education programs,
Scheel et al (2001) found that those who felt they had been addressed as
'potential perpetrators, potential protectors, or potential victims' were
likely to feel defensive and frustrated. In contrast, programs which centre
on peer education, and frame men as women's 'supporters and allies' are more
likely to be sympathetically received, and more conducive to learning. This
paper explores some of the opportunities and challenges of men's sexual
violence education, in the context of the 'Playing By the Rules' sexual
ethics education program, adopted by the National Rugby League in 2004.
Dr Albury is currently working on an ARC Linkage project, in
collaboration with the National Rugby League and Rape Crisis NSW.
Flickr vs YouTube: Competing Models of Participatory Culture
Dr Jean Burgess, Post-doctoral Fellow, Queensland University of Technology.
4-6pm, Thursday 18 September
Goodsell Building, Room 127
Whether celebratory or critical, too much scholarly discussion of 'Web 2.0'
and participatory culture fails to fully engage with the specificity of the
branded online communities where it happens. In this presentation Jean
Burgess compares two such spaces -- Flickr and YouTube. Both of them are
highly popular commercial platforms for user-created content, but they have
very different business models, user communities, and aesthetic and social
norms. Through this comparison Burgess demonstrates the importance and
methodological challenges of treating particular branded spaces as research
objects. She argues that an understanding of their specificity and
complexity is essential to understanding the competing futures of
participatory culture.
Run for Cover: A Media Ethnography of Young Men, Sex, Sexuality
and the Media
Dr Clifton Evers, Post-doctoral fellow, Journalism and Media Research
Centre, UNSW
4-6pm Thursday 2 October
Goodsell Building, Room 127
How does popular media consumption by young Australian men (aged 12-17)
influence their sexual identities and sexual practices, and how do these
young men engage with popular media representations of sex and sexuality?
How do young men respond to the moral panics around their use of media? In
this presentation Clifton Evers will explain the creative media ethnography
he is undertaking to understand the relationships between representations in
popular media, sex, and sexuality and the lived bodies and emotional lives
of young men today.
The Fantasy of the iPhone and Other Adventures in Mobile Media
Professor Gerard Goggin
4-6pm,Thursday 16 October
Goodsell Building, Room 127
In this paper I look at the rise of the mobile phone, and other forms of
mobile and online media - and consider their implications for contemporary
media and culture, especially the dynamics, forms, and politics of
Australian culture. My starting point is the Apple iPhone, and the rapturous
reception it has received in North America, Europe, and now in Australia.
There is a widespread view that the iPhone represents the future of mobiles.
In this paper, I argue that this is actually better understood as a fantasy
- but that such a dream tells us some important things about mobile
platforms, what their possibilities are, and what we need to do urgently to
see such things come about.
The SBS Story - the challenge of diversity.
Professor Gay Hawkins, Professor of Media and Social Theory, UNSW
4-6pm, Thursday 30 October
Goodsell Building, Room 127
This paper presents the main findings of a major study into the history and
impacts of SBS done by Ien Ang, Gay Hawkins and Lamia Dabboussy and to
published as the book 'The SBS Story - the challenge of diversity' in
November 2008. In contrast to much of the current critique of SBS, which
accuses SBS of selling out its multicultural charter and going more popular
and commercial, we investigate the history of these shifts and their complex
rationales. Detailed research on the challenges of diversity within SBS
shows that three different forms of multiculturalism are in play within the
organisation: ethno-multiculturalism, popular multiculturalism and
cosmopolitan multiculturalism. Each of these approaches involve different
programming and audience development strategies and each involve a distinct
politics of difference. Managing the relations between them as well as a
commitment to deepening and diversifying public culture remains the central
challenge at SBS.

Gerard Goggin
Professor of Digital Communication 
& Deputy Director
Journalism and Media Research Centre
University of New South Wales
Sydney 2052 NSW Australia
e: g.goggin at unsw.edu.au
w: +61 2 9385 8532 m: +61 428 66 88 24
f: +61 2 9385 8528

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