Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association
Postgraduate Network Conference 2024
Edinburgh Napier University
Merchiston Campus
30th August

We invite postgraduate researchers and practitioners working within media, communication and
cultural studies to propose contributions for the 2024 MeCCSA PGN conference. The one-day
conference will be held at Edinburgh Napier University, just twenty minutes from the centre of
historic Edinburgh. Participants will be welcomed to share, hear and experience research in a variety
of forms, on the theme of identity.

Conference theme

Identity is – and always has been – at the heart of research. This conference will be a safe and
inclusive space in which to present new, exciting, and challenging findings and work-in-progress
related to the broader theme of identity, and the many forms this might take and the ways in which
it manifests in research.

Participants are urged to interpret the conference theme creatively. However, we also wanted to
share some possible ways that ‘identity’ might be interpreted. None of these are restrictive but may
be used as a starting point if useful.

  • Researcher identity, positionality, and reflexivity: Researchers are often asked to consider
    their identity as a part of methodological work. We therefore welcome proposals from
    researchers discussing their use of identity-centric methods, such as autoethnography, and
    sharing reflexive practice. However, we would also welcome reflection on these methods,
    and how calls to identify have affected your movement through academic spaces.
  • Giving identity voice: Identity can be difficult to speak about, especially given that there is a
    long history of unrepresented identities in academia, and in wider culture. In recent years,
    the internet, for instance, has created new spaces for representing identity, calling for
    representation, and formatting new identity. How does your research make use of – and
    create – new ways of articulating identity? How have you engaged with silences in the
    archives? What identity work would you like to shout about?
  • [Mass] identity: Identity does not have to be individually considered. Cultures and
    communities form personal identity, but also possess particular associations, traits and
    habits which create them as distinct, identifiable entities. We welcome research into how
    identity might manifest at scale.
  • Beyond-human identity: Identity does not have to be human, either. Cultures, communities,
    places, animals and objects can all have distinct identities of their own. There is fruitful
    discussion to be had about where these beyond-human identities come from, how they
    change, and its effect on existence and engagement.
  • Identity as doing: Identity is not always who we are, so much as what we do. Conducting
    research makes us into researchers, but just as legitimately, we can find identity as gamers,
    photographers, skateboarders, [any identities people want me to shout out?]. What acts
    make you who you are? We welcome both research into how doing shapes identity, and how
    what you do shapes your research position.
  • Identity in your area of study: The way identity is discussed, shown and felt varies between
    discipline, interests and topics. We therefore welcome discussions of identity with a clear
    and specific focus on your specific corner of the cultural research realm. That might be
    identity on the internet, identity in the archives, linguistic identity, or anything else.

Submission process

In recognition of the many interpretations of identity and identities, we want to provide a range of
ways in which to share research at the conference. So, in your proposal, you will be asked to indicate
one of five different forms of sharing your ideas.

  • Paper presentation: A twenty-minute presentation, given in a panel. The traditional
    conference set up.
  • Lightning talk: A five-minute presentation, given in quick succession with other lightning
  • Poster: A display of visualisations, available to be viewed all day, with a slot for presenting
    these works.
  • Installation: For practice-based or creative researchers, there will be space to present an
    object of your research. This might be physical, but we are also interested in audio
    installations, film, or anything other form you might feel is relevant. We will discuss their
    display with you.
  • Workshop: An hour workshop, sharing your research, methods, or other learnings in an
    interactive and educational way.

Once you have chosen your proposed topic and form, please submit an abstract of around 300 words
and a short biography of no more than 100 words.

The deadline for proposals is: 14st June, 2024

Conference details

The conference will be held at Edinburgh Napier University’s Merchiston Campus on Friday August

If you have any questions or require any further clarifications, please contact the 2024 MeCCSA PGN
conference team at