CFP: 1984: Freedom and Censorship in the Media =?windows-1252?Q?=96_?=Where Are We Now?

Alon Lischinsky alischinsky at
Mon May 20 10:53:48 UTC 2013

(with apologies for cross-posting)

1984: Freedom and Censorship in the Media – Where Are We Now?

A conference to be hosted at the Centre for Research in Media and
Cultural Studies at the University of Sunderland on the 8th and 9th of
April 2014.

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Professor Martin Barker, University of East Anglia
Professor Julian Petley, Brunel University

Worries over effects of media content and technologies are never far
from the headlines. When anxieties centre on protecting children and
the fortification of the social fabric, regulation often seems like
the first resort. The year 2014 will see the thirtieth anniversary of
the 1984 Video Recordings Act (VRA): this event offers the opportunity
to reflect on how and why concerns about individual media technologies
and particular media genres become so important that campaigners and
politicians can claim that ‘the very soul of the nation’ is at stake.
Using the VRA as a starting point, this conference aims to critically
examine the key issues in politics and campaigning which shape calls
for censorship. If new technologies always spark old anxieties around
‘effects’ and propensities to cause ‘harm’, what might we learn from
extant legislation and their implementation? As we settle into the
internet age and media on demand, policing national media borders
seems ever more futile, yet the clamour for legislation to protect
children and society shows no signs of abating.

We invite submissions that explore issues relating to censorship which
may be specific to the history, implementation and legacies of the
Video Recordings Act but we also welcome papers which examine media
regulation/censorship in their broader cultural contexts, which are
national and international in focus and which draw connections between
contemporaneous issues and their historical antecedents.

Suggested topics:

·      Censorship
·      Evolving practices and technologies of media classification
and/or censorship
·      ‘Problematic’ media cultures
·      Regulation of representations of sex, gender and sexualities
·      Digital and online censorship
·      Oppositional voices
·      Protecting and questioning national borders
·      Campaigns and campaigners
·      Activism/activists and the political arena
·      International narratives of censorship
·      British regulation in a global context
·      National and international regulation/censorship
·      Documentary and avant-garde
·      Controversies around computer games
·      History of contemporary film censorship/classification
·      Audiences and the social experiences of censorship
·      Censorship and the creation of communities of dissent
·      Regulations and government policy

Proposals for individual papers or pre-constituted panels are
welcomed. The submission deadline is 1st December 2013 and
notifications of acceptance will be made by 6th January 2014.
Proposals should include title, abstract (350 words), 3-5 key
bibliographical references, along with the name of the presenter,
institutional affiliation and biographical information (100 words).
Panel organizers are asked to submit panel proposals including a panel
title, a short description of the panel and information on all the
papers following the guidelines listed above. Panels may consist of
three speakers with a maximum of 20 minutes speaking time each.

All submissions, expressions of interest and enquiries should be sent
to: admin at
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