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PhD studentship: Children with Learning Disabilities as Digital Audiences (Univ. of Glasgow, UK)

AHRC funded PhD studentship at the University of Glasgow in collaboration with BBC Scotland: “Children with Learning Disabilities as Digital Audiences”

Applications are invited for a full PhD studentship in Film and Television Studies at the University of Glasgow to work in collaboration with the Children’s Department at BBC Scotland. The aim of the project is to explore the provision and design of digital media by the BBC for older children with learning disabilities. This exciting opportunity will require the researcher to divide his or her time between the University of Glasgow and the Children’s Department within BBC Scotland (situated in the Pacific Quay in Glasgow). The student will have unique access to the Children’s Department, working amongst BBC staff to capture a sense of the existing provision of digital content for children with learning disabilities and the ways in which BBC Scotland engage with this audience. The project will then continue through a small scale qualitative study that will capture how, why and when digital media is used, interpreted and enjoyed by members of this specific audience. The student will then return to the BBC with their research findings and work alongside colleagues to develop a ‘pitch’ for the design or redesign of digital content that will allow the BBC to respond directly to the needs and desires of their targeted audience.

The specific question this project poses is how we might re-imagine content for differently-abled audiences that is appropriate to both their cognitive abilities and their personal/social needs and desires. (Aims and Objectives are posted below)

A supervisory team from across both institutions will oversee this work and full research training (including audience research skills if required) will be offered. The team will include Dr. Amy Holdsworth and Professor Karen Lury from the University of Glasgow and Ms. Sara Harkins (Head of Children’s BBC Scotland) with relevant support from professional colleagues within BBC Scotland.

he studentship is funded for three years to commence in October 2016 and covers tuition fees at the Home/EU rate. Home students and EU students who have lived in the UK for 3 years prior to the award will also receive a maintenance bursary (stipend) of approx. £14,296 for 16-17 plus an additional £550 travel allowance. In addition, the student is eligible to receive up to £1,000 a year from the BBC to support travel or other expenses directly related to the doctoral research, and will be given use of a desk and computer at the University of Glasgow and appropriate access and resources at the BBC. All AHRC Collaborative PhD students automatically become part of the UK-wide Collaborative Doctoral Partnership development scheme which will provide training in a range of skills needed for research within museums, archives, galleries and heritage organisations.

Informal enquiries are welcome.

Please write to Dr. Amy Holdsworth (Amy.Holdsworth@glasgow.ac.uk ) in the first instance.

Candidates ideally should have:

  • A good 2.1 Honours (or B.A.) degree in a relevant Arts or Social Science discipline.
  • A Masters degree in a related discipline or appropriate professional experience within children’s media, digital media, audience development, working with children and young people with disabilities.
  • A good understanding of contemporary Children’s Television, digital media and issues and debates within disability studies
  • An interest in, or first-hand knowledge of, audience research. • Applicants should be able to demonstrate strong research capabilities and be fluent in spoken and written English.

Applications should include: • A statement of no more than 1,000 words indicating what skills and experience you have that will be relevant for the project. • A current CV • Degree transcripts (this may be an interim transcript if you are still studying) • An example of writing – e.g. academic essay, professional report – up to 3000 words in length • 2 academic/professional references (these may be sent directly from your referees if they would prefer)

Applications to be sent to Jeanette.Berrie@glasgow.ac.uk (Research Administrator, School of Culture and Creative Arts, University of Glasgow) with the subject line BBC CDA.

Closing Date: Wednesday 15th June 2016

Interviewees will be notified by Thursday 23rd June and interviews will take place at the University of Glasgow on Friday 1st July 2016.

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The Project: Through initial audience development work, colleagues at BBC Scotland have already observed the ways in which digital content designed for a young (‘pre-school’) audience is being used by older children with learning disabilities. They have recognized that while these young people may have less sophisticated ‘operational’ abilities their desire and interest in age appropriate content is not necessarily affected. In simple terms, games or interactive challenges aimed at 4-7year olds may represent an appropriate operational challenge (how to work the game, how to move about and between different parts of the page) but are inappropriate in terms of content (older children and young people are more likely to respond positively to content such as WolfBlood rather than In the Night Garden or ‘Mr. Tumble’). The project will therefore focus on this particular issue and ask how we might re-imagine content for differently-abled audiences that is appropriate to their cognitive abilities and their personal/social needs and desires.

 Aims and objectives.

The aims and objectives of this collaborative project are designed to both reflect upon and develop the BBC’s relationship with its differently abled child audience.

Aims

  1. To explore the provision of content for children with learning disabilities: Initial stages of the research will explore the existing provision of digital content for children with learning disabilities and the ways in the children’s department at BBC Scotland engage with this audience (through audience development initiatives, for example). This initial ‘snapshot’ accompanied by critical investigation of academic literature on children, disability and media will form a building block for the student to design and implement a qualitative audience study.
  2. To conduct a small-scale qualitative audience study of children with learning disabilities as digital audiences/users: Utilizing the appropriate methodologies (see below) the student will capture how, why and when digital media is used, interpreted and enjoyed by children with learning disabilities. This fieldwork will importantly also offer the child the opportunity to reflect upon and discuss their use of digital media (e.g. their preferences, desires, likes and dislikes).

Objectives

  1. The student will disseminate research findings through traditional academic outputs and through partnership with the BBC: One of the principle objectives of the project is for the research to have an avenue of dissemination within the BBC to allow the institution to reflect upon and develop their own practices and forms of audience engagement. The links with BBC Scotland and its contacts present opportunities for the research to be accessed by other stakeholder communities and organisations (such as ‘for Scotland’s Disabled Children’ (fSDC)).
  2. To implement research findings through the production of a BBC ‘pitch’: Through the student’s involvement at BBC Scotland he or she will utilise their research on this specific child audience in the development, design or redesign of games, applications or website provision for this audience.
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CFP: ‘Discourses of Care: Care in Media, Medicine and Society’ (Sept. 2016; Glasgow, UK)

Event: Discourses of Care: Care in Media, Medicine and Society Conference

Location: Gilmorehill Halls, 9 University Avenue, University of Glasgow, G12 8QQ

Date: Monday 5th – Wednesday 7th September 2016

Deadline for proposals: Friday 3rd June 2016

Keynote speakers:

Summary: This Wellcome-funded interdisciplinary conference aims to support and foster collaborative work in relation to media and questions of care and well-being, focusing on care and care giving as critical concepts. Bringing together scholars from film and television studies, medical humanities, disability studies, and philosophy, we will debate how understandings of medical and social care are (and might be) positioned in relation to media and cultural studies. This would be a significant first step toward building inter-disciplinary alliances and driving forward work within the as yet under-determined field of ‘visual medical humanities’. The specific focus of the conference and anticipated publication/s is to explore the ways in which media do more than simply represent care and caring (although representation, of course, remains an important issue). Taking a new approach, the conference will explore how media forms and media practices (the creation, exhibition and reception of media) may act as a mode of care. Thus we wish to explore how different kinds of media programming, media technologies and media practices present opportunities in which care is manifest as both an ‘attitude’ and a ‘disposition’ (Feder Kittay).The event will underpin at least one multi-authored publication. Through this conference we will explore the politics and ethics of care-relationships and contest binary understandings of autonomy and dependency amongst individuals with cognitive and physical disabilities, carers and medical professionals. We are particularly interested in the nexus of youth (the ‘child’), age (the ‘aged’) and disability as a way of opening up alliances and challenges to popular cultural notions and representations of care and dependency. We are now looking for academics, care providers, and creative practitioners of all levels, periods, and fields to submit proposals for 20 minute conference papers.

We invite papers on topics that include (but are not limited to):

  • Relationships between care and media
  • Definitions of care in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries
  • Autobiographical representations of and reactions to care
  • Disability studies approaches to care and dependency
  • Media practices and outputs as modes of care
  • Care and the visual medical humanities
  • Adaptive technologies and care
  • Spectatorship, care, and media
  • Care, media, and children
  • Care, media, and ageing
  • Use of media in health education and rehabilitation
  • Consumer ‘choice’ and ‘autonomy’ in popular culture
  • Screen cultures in our ‘institutions of care’ (e.g. the NHS and the BBC).

Please email an abstract of up to 300 words and a short bio (100-200 words) to the conference organisers (discoursesofcare@gmail.com) by Friday 3rd June 2016. The conference team will respond to proposals by Friday 10th June 2016.

There are a limited number of travel bursaries available for postgraduate and/or early career presenters; the recipients of these grants will be asked to write a short reflection on the conference, which will be published on the Glasgow Medical Humanities Research Centre blog, and the conference website.

If you wish to be considered for one of the travel bursaries, please email us for an application form and submit it with your abstract and bio. We will contact all respondents on the outcome of their proposal by the end of June 2016. Thanks to funding from the Wellcome Trust, this conference will be free to attend.

The conference venue, the Gilmorehill Building, is fully accessible, and the conference will include accommodations such as pre-circulated papers and discussion topics, ending with an interactive roundtable discussion. For more information on access, transport, and the venue please visit our website. If you have any questions, please email the conference team at discoursesofcare@gmail.com, or contact us via @CareDiscourses.

Conference team: Prof. Karen Lury (Film and TV), Dr Amy Holdsworth (Film and TV), and Dr Hannah Tweed (English Literature).

DRF News, Uncategorized

CFP: Rethinking Disability on Screen: A One-Day Interdisciplinary Symposium (May, 2014)

Rethinking Disability on Screen: A One-Day Interdisciplinary Symposium

Date: Thursday 14th May, 2015, 

Venue: Humanities Research Centre, University of York

Website: rethinkingdisabilityonscreen.com

Twitter: @rdos2015

*** Deadline for abstracts: 16th January 2015 ***

 Keynote speakers: Stuart Murray, Professor of Contemporary Literatures and Film and Director of the Leeds Centre for Medical Humanities and Justin Edgar, Filmmaker and Founder and Creative Director of 104 Films (www.104films.com)

Cinema’s visual interest in disability registered almost from the moment of its invention. The historical tendencies of fiction film to show disabled subjects as objects of pity or comedy, as ‘monstrous’, as ‘resentful’ or as segregated from mainstream society have been critically documented from the 1980s onwards, but more recently, a number of international films featuring disability – Les Intouchables, AmourRust and BoneThe Sessions – have enjoyed both critical and commercial success.

Alongside TV coverage of the London-hosted 2012 Paralympics on Channel 4, UK terrestrial programming has addressed disability across a range of genres, from drama (Best of Men, BBC2) through comedy-sitcom (Derek, Channel 4) and social documentary (The UndateablesBodyshock, Channel 4), to mixed receptions. Such developments call for a re-examination of representations of disability on screen and their contribution to ongoing cultural, social, economic and political debates surrounding disability. This one-day interdisciplinary symposium at the University of York aims to unite postgraduates, early career researchers, established scholars and industry practitioners working across a range of fields and disciplines – including film studies, history, literature, cultural studies, gender studies, sociology and health sciences – to explore the ways in which cinema and television have reflected, and shaped, subjective and objective experiences of impairment and disability throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

We invite contributions in the form of 20-minute papers on a range of topics and genres, encompassing both fiction and non-fiction materials, as well as analyses of disability in production and reception contexts. The event will be underpinned by a number of key critical questions:

 

 – How visible is disability throughout the history of cinema and television? In what screen contexts is disability present? When has it been occluded, marginalised or suppressed?

 – What specific forms of disability has cinema embraced? Which has it neglected or rejected?

 – To what extent have cinema and television engaged with the emotional, physical and social implications of impairment and disability?

 – What forms of spectatorship do screen representations of disability construct/ presume?

 – How have representations of disability on screen changed over time? How much progress has been made, and what further directions should this take?

 

Our aims are to facilitate constructive, interdisciplinary conversations on existing scholarship, to discuss new avenues of enquiry and to promote interest and growth in this important but relatively under-studied area.

Presentation topics could include, but are not restricted to:

– disability, sexuality and romance

– disability and exceptionality

– isolation and integration

– dependence, independence, interdependence

– disability and genre (comedy, satire, romance, melodrama, thriller, documentary  soap, reality, children’s film and TV, animation, science-fiction, period drama, medical film)

– disability and film-making (able-bodied and disabled actors, directors and producers, disability activism in the entertainment industry)

– commercials, advertising and promotional material

– spectatorship and reception

– discursive exchanges between the fields of disability studies and film studies, past, present and future.

 

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be emailed to rethinkingdisabilityonscreen@gmail.com by Friday 16th January, together with a brief biographical note (100-150 words).

 

A number of travel bursaries, primarily for postgraduate students and ECRs from the White Rose Consortium and the Northern Network for Medical Humanities (nnmh.org.uk), may be available. Details of how to apply will be announced in due course.

DRF News

Journal of Developmental Disability: Call for Media Review Submissions

In 2008, the Journal of Developmental Disability (JODD) dedicated a media column to critically examine representations of developmental disability.  The column includes reviews of both ‘old’ and ‘new’ media, encompassing submissions addressing Internet, online websites, virtual forums, computer applications,  computer games and gaming sites, Youtube sites,  independent and popular film and television programs, and print media. Through this column, we seek to redress the absence of analyses attending to people labeled with developmental disabilities and to interrogate current and emerging representations.

We welcome submissions that take up media and developmental disability in three distinct ways: 

1. Specific work review: We accept reviews of specific media portrayals of developmental disability, including books, artwork, television programs, films, games, websites, Youtube videos and other specific examples of media content.

2. Media trends: We are interested in identifying and documenting emerging discourses in developmental disability in the media. This may include a sharp rise in public discussions of developmental disability as evidenced, for example, through a spate of films, news reports, books, promotional campaigns and so forth addressing either a general or specific issue pertaining to developmental disabilities or people who are so labeled.  Contributors are invited to trace and comment upon these trends and the significance they may have both for people labeled with developmental disabilities and the way developmental disability, normalcy, reason and personhood are conceptualized.

3. Emergence of new media forms: Media has dramatically shifted its form and reach with successive technological advances. The emergence of new media technologies has broadened the opportunities for knowledge production, reproduction, dissemination and consumption. Contributors are invited to consider the symbolic and material implications of these innovations for people with developmental disabilities.

Contributors are encouraged to address the following questions in their submissions:

  • How does the reviewed subject create new framings and understandings of developmental disability?
  • How does the reviewed subject include or influence the voices of people with developmental disability?
  • How does the reviewed subject create opportunities for addressing the intersections of disability with race, class, age, gender and sexual orientation?

Who may submit a review?

We welcome contributions from those whose lives and work intersect with developmental disabilities in diverse ways. We encourage contributions not only from academics at any stage, but also from people labeled as having developmental disabilities, their family members, friends and practitioners. Collaborative reviews between academic and community partners, family members, community groups, self advocates and other forms of team contributions are very welcome.

Submissions should be between 2000 to 3000 words, word-processed, double-spaced, using APA citation format. Please see www.oadd.org (follow the links to JODD) for more details about the formatting requirements. 

For more information please contact Esther Ignagni at eignagni@ryerson.ca or Ann Fudge Schormans at fschorm@mcmaster.ca