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Conference: Nationalism in European Media and Film, Manchester, 23-25 May 2013‏

Ethnicity, Race and Nationalism in European Media and Film: Rights, Responsibilities, Representations

International Conference, The University of Manchester, UK
23-25 May 2013

The recent explosion of migration flows across the world, the crisis in which established models of multiculturalism find themselves in Europe and elsewhere, and the current global financial and economic crisis have combined to raise the prominence of issues of ethnicity, race and nationalism in most countries. Speeches made in 2011 by Angela Merkel and David Cameron, and controversies over the expulsion of gypsies and the wearing of religious attire in public places in France, indicate a common crisis in European tolerance. Eastern Europe demonstrates similar difficulties in managing ethnic diversity in the face of global mass population movements, of which the shocking outbreak of racial violence in Moscow in 2010 is just one example.

The European media play a crucial role both in exacerbating the tensions which inter-ethnic relations arouse (the spread of racial hate language and nationalist extremism on the internet; the use of ethnic profiling and racial stereotyping in crime reporting), and in fostering inter-ethnic cohesion and harmony (national policies on promoting diversity and equality in broadcasting). This conference aims to facilitate a cross-cultural, comparative study of the impact of media and film on the playing out of the “crisis of multiculturalism” in West and East European societies, and to analyse the similarities and differences in media and cinematic approaches to ethnic cohesion issues throughout Europe.

The conference will address questions such as:
• In what senses are various types of media, including those reliant on new communication technologies, aggravating inter-ethnic tensions in Europe?
• How serious a threat to social cohesion in European societies are extremist websites, blogs and other new media forms of global and national provenance?
• Are ethnic and racial minorities accorded appropriate rights to representation in national broadcasting systems?
• To what extent are representations of ethnicity, race and nationhood, and the coverage of issues pertaining to ethnic cohesion, dependent on national context?
• What are the conceptual frames to which journalists and film-makers in various European societies resort when covering this area and what are their origins and consequences?
• How are European broadcasters with national responsibility dealing with the rise of the anti-immigration, Islamophobic right on one hand, and with the loss of faith in official multicultural policies on the other?
• What role does non-news broadcasting (drama serials; documentary programming; situation comedy; light entertainment genres) play in the representational process?
• How have cinematic imaginations of national and European identity refracted the shifting consensus on values of ethnic diversity?

It is intended that selected papers from the conference will form the basis for special issues of one or more prominent journals in the field (we already an initial agreement with /Europe-Asia Studies/)

Please email your proposals (250 words) for papers of up to 20 minutes in length and your one-page CVs to the conference organisers (Professors Stephen Hutchings and Vera Tolz) at<> by 30 September 2012