Media Mutations, the international conference of studies on audiovisual media hosted by Dipartimento delle Arti of Università di Bologna, comes to its tenth edition. This conference’s theme is the impact of entertainment logics across different media, at a professional, cultural and social level.

The “-tainment” Effect. Cultures and Logics of Entertainment Across Audiovisual and Digital Media
Bologna, Dipartimento delle Arti, May 21st-22nd, 2018

Organized by Luca Barra and Paola Brembilla (Università di Bologna),
in collaboration with Liz Evans (University of Nottingham)

Confirmed keynote speakers: John T. Caldwell (UCLA); Annette Hill (Lund University)

Entertainment cultures seem to be spreading widely across contemporary media, from press to fashion, from music to television, from videogames to politics, from sports to museums. Audiovisual and digital media ease the connection between entertainment and a wide range of realms in everyday life (information, politics, education, emotions, and many others), both at a global and local level; yet processes of hybridization and narrativization permeate and transform their logics, strategies and imageries through forms of performance, amusement and divertissement. This is not a new phenomenon, but the result of a long history of interwoven developments and connections. Simultaneously, the strength and depth of this transformation has increased dramatically, if not multiplied, in recent decades. After having been long accused of corrupting the masses, or dismissed as minor and banal, the cultures and practices of entertainment are now widely studied and thoroughly researched, with interdisciplinary approaches accounting for their complex and mixed nature.

The conference aims to expand the academic knowledge of this fundamental trend, establish new trans-medial and multidisciplinary research perspectives in the field, and strengthen the understanding about how entertainment has shaped (and is still shaping) media sectors, how it is defined, produced and perceived, and with what outcomes.

Media Mutations 10 encourages submissions that cover the following subjects and topics, favoring proposals and case histories that are able to intersect across different areas:

  • Information + Entertainment. Newspapers, magazines, radio and television news, all news channels, online information outlets, social media, …
  • Emotions + Entertainment. Popular press, reality television, factual programming and talent shows, branding and advertising, online videos and spaces, …
  • Politics + Entertainment. Electoral campaigns, spin doctoring, leadership building, political and public communication practices, talk shows, online engagement, …
  • Education + Entertainment. Radio and television shows, podcasts, gamification and serious gaming, museums, cultural and scientific institutions, theme parks, …
  • Entertainment and Fashion (branded environments, content marketing), Popular Music (pop stars, fandom cultures), Sports (media narratives, supporters’ involvement), Advertising (advertainment, product placement).
  • Definitions and parameters of entertainment media.
  • Theoretical, philosophical and methodological approaches to media entertainment.
  • Historical perspectives on the evolution of entertainment logics and cultures.
  • Single case histories on media products and transmedia/transnational practices.

The official language of the conference is English. Abstracts (300-500 words for 20-minute talks) should be sent to by December 15th 2017. Please attach a brief biography (maximum 150 words) and an optional selected bibliography (up to five titles) relevant to the conference theme. Notification of acceptance will be sent by February 15th. A registration fee will be requested after notification of paper acceptance (€60 for speakers and professional attendants; free conference admission for students).

This Conference is financially supported by Centro Dipartimentale La Soffitta and Dipartimento delle Arti, Università di Bologna.