Over the year since our inaugural conference, we have steadily built the network. A steering group was formed after Professor Colin Barnes’ impassioned keynote speech given at the MeCCSA Annual Conference in January. Supporting the aims of the network. Colin spoke on the crucial part that disability studies has to play in media and cultural studies, and in informing wider media practices
The steering group consists of Colin Cameron (Northumbria), George McKay (Salford), Margaret Montgomerie (De Montfort, Leicester), Irene Rose (Liverpool John Moores,) and Alison Wilde (Bangor). It met twice in 2011 and a number of activities have been planned. Possible outcomes this year may include an edited collection of articles arising from last year’s network conference ‘Currents in the Mainstream’. Work is also under way to plan events on the Cultural Olympiad. These may include an archive day exploring the range of existing broadcast/film /online materials available on the ‘Special Olympics’ and ‘Paralympics’. The group also made a contribution to A Manifesto for Media Education.
Plans to celebrate ‘International Day of Persons with Disabilities’ include a half-day event in London on the afternoon of December 3rd. This will focus on recent media images of disabled people, in the light of the cuts and recent increases in ‘hate crime’. Professor Nick Watson will present a keynote speech on recent news coverage of disabled people, having just completed a study commissioned by Inclusion London. It is hoped that this will initiate further debate throughout the afternoon, between all those attending.
Other confirmed speakers include Deborah Williams of the Arts Council and Kelsey Beninger will also present on the LSE/ Disability Equality Research Network’s (DERN) Disability Activism Archive.
We have begun to collaborate with other organisations such as DERN and Cornwall Disability Research Network, who are holding their 6th Annual Conference on the topic of Disability, Arts and Media. There has been a growing interest in the network with the number joining the jiscmail steadily rising. There is also a Facebook group which now has 180 members from the UK and a number of other countries.
For more information please contact Alison Wilde: