Online Summer School on Media, Inequalities and Social Change

The annual summer school of the national Research School for Media Studies (RMeS) will be hosted by Isabel Awad and Susanne Janssen from ESHCC’s Department of Media and Communication and ERMeCC. The program features keynote presentations, seminars, and workshops by renowned scholars based at EUR and other universities.

RMeS Summer School 2021
Media, Inequalities and Social Change
Current and Emerging approaches to Social In-/Exclusion in Media Studies

When: 21, 22 & 23 June 2021
Where:  Erasmus University Rotterdam –  Online
Organizers:  Dr. Isabel Awad and Prof.dr. Susanne Janssen (EUR)
For: PhD Candidates and Research master students
Confirmed keynote speakers: Prof.dr. Ayona Datta, Dr. Gavan Titley, Dr.Saskia Witteborn
Lecturers: Dr. Amanda Alencar, Dr. Isabel Awad,  Dr. Jiska Engelbert, Dr. Melodine Sommier, Prof.dr. Jacco van Sterkenburg, Dr. Daniel Trottier
More information: Please visit the RMeS website for more information about the program, registration, or the Research School for Media Studies.

In media studies—like in society at large—social in/exclusion is not a new phenomenon, but one that has gained extraordinary attention and urgency in the last years. Worldwide, we have witnessed unprecedented protests against patriarchism and racism, including the Black Lives Matter and the #MeToo movements. We have seen renewed efforts to both defend and to challenge territorial borders, as well as national, ethnic, and gender identities. While Covid-19 may have reduced the visibility of some of these movements on streets and other (unmediated) public spaces, it has also underscored the social inequalities driving them. Across national contexts, the costs of the pandemic have been markedly uneven: death rates are higher among already marginalized social groups; the emotional and work load associated to lockdowns tends to be heavier on women than on men; the world’s richest individuals have become even richer, while millions of middle and working class people have lost their job and/or a significant part of their income.

The media are not only key platforms to make inequalities visible and debatable, but also –probably now more than ever—crucial institutions in the configuration and (re)distribution of power in society. Thus, for example, a protest without hashtags has become practically unconceivable, the threshold for producing and disseminating mediated-content has never been so low, and digital technologies appear to be the key to access education, housing and work. Simultaneously, however, Amazon, Google, Facebook, and other digital companies accumulate unprecedented wealth and (algorithmic) tools that allow for concealed, but powerful forms of discrimination, while they dominate debates about the social divides that matter and the (digital) solutions to bridge them. This Summer School inquires into the theoretical and methodological tools Media Studies has and needs in order to better understand and study these phenomena. The sessions will engage students into this critical reflection by focusing on different spheres of media practice and representation, as well as a wide range of social exclusions and efforts to overcome them.

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