Racialisation and the Media: From Television to Twitter
- 10:00 pm
20 April 2021
Online | Free
In the mid-twentieth century two mutually influencing revolutions took place, one technological and one socio-political; the emergence of television and the advent of the civil rights movement both fundamentally altered American society and the wider world. Today, digital technologies are reshaping social relations, while the renewed visibility of white supremacist activism has precipitated a new and urgent chapter in the long struggle for racial equality.
This conference will bring together scholars from across the humanities and social sciences in conversation with media practitioners outside the academy to explore the intersections of media, technology, and race – past and present. Please join us online for an exciting line-up of invited speaker panel discussions, moderated conversations, and roundtables each of which will provide time for audience questions.
Register to attend here
DAY 1: TUESDAY 20 APRIL
A reckoning with whiteness has been taking place in the twenty-first century news industry. Journalists of colour have been fighting to make North American newsrooms recognise that racism within the news media has resulted in the failure of the fourth estate to adequately and accurately cover communities of colour and to report on racial injustice. Central to this failure to hire, promote, and retain journalists of colour is a belief in the journalistic ideal of objectivity.
This panel of former and current journalists and scholars of the news media will explore the battle to create an equitable, truthful, and trustworthy press and what lies beyond the objectivity paradigm.
The event is one hour and 15 minutes. The last 20 minutes will be open for audience questions
Chair: Sage Goodwin
DAY 2: WEDNESDAY 21 APRIL
What does it mean to be a Black woman working in the publishing industry? Centering the voices and experiences of Black women editors, authors, and cultural workers, this roundtable discussion will explore issues of race, gender, sexuality, and class within the arena of British publishing.
The session will focus on the complex experiences that Black women face in an industry that continues to direct the majority of its resources towards white agents, editors, and authors alike. In exploring the impact that misogynoir has in shaping the experiences of Black women in the publishing industry, this roundtable will also look at the creative and visionary ways that each of the speakers have charted new paths for themselves and for each other.
This event is one hour and 15 minutes. The last 30 minutes will be open for audience questions.
Chair: Jade Bentil
This moderated conversation will trace the relationship between white supremacist activism in the US, anti-racist resistance, and the changing media ecosystem from the mid-20th century to the present day. Drawing from their decades of research experience in History and Sociology, Prof. Aniko Bodroghkozy and Prof. Jessie Daniels will explore how white supremacist groups have adopted and exploited new waves of media technologies, journalistic practices, and failures in content moderation to amplify their reactionary views. The speakers will also consider how anti-racist groups have used their own new media strategies to push back and ensure that their messages reach a national audience.
This event is one hour and 15 minutes. The last 20 minutes will be open for audience questions.
Chair: Cindy Ma
DAY 3: THURSDAY 22 APRIL
The popularity of TikTok has ushered in a new, algorithmically mediated environment for exploring, perpetuating, and subverting narratives about race and racial justice. This panel discussion will examine the possibilities and dangers of TikTok as a venue for progressive speech through the screening of 8 TikToks. Panellists, ranging from researchers to TikTok content creators themselves, will reflect on the unique affordances of the platform and how people of colour are navigating this new landscape to make themselves heard.
This event is one hour and 30 minutes. The last 30 minutes will be open for audience questions.
Chair: Iyone Agboraw
Cheryl Dunye is a world renowned, award-winning director, writer, and actress. She first emerged as part of the “Queer New Wave” of young filmmakers in the early 1990s. Her first feature film, THE WATERMELON WOMAN, has become a classic of independent cinema. In recent years, Cheryl has entered a new stage of her career as a director for episodic television, on shows such as QUEEN SUGAR and LOVECRAFT COUNTRY.
In 2019, she launched her Oakland-based production company JINGLETOWN FILMS, focused on providing a platform for queer storytellers and filmmakers of colour to thrive and have their voices be heard authentically.
In this keynote address, Ms. Dunye will draw from her experiences of the media industry to reflect on what media representation, both onscreen and behind the scenes, can and cannot do to advance social justice, as well as what she thinks needs to change.
Writer, film curator, and Ph.D candidate in Communication and Culture, Nataleah Hunter-Young will be providing a response.
This event is one hour and 30 minutes. The last 20 minutes will be open for audience questions.
Keynote: Cheryl Dunye
Respondent: Nataleah Hunter-Young
This event takes place from Tuesday 20 Apr 2021, 17:30 – Thursday 22 Apr 2021, 22:00.
Header Illustration: Amy Sly for BuzzFeed