The Media Convergence Research Centre interrogates the creativity, culture and enterprise of the media in the changing landscape of convergence, re-thinking the potentials of merging media practices, representations, technologies, industries and audiences everywhere.
Given the global ecology of today's media industries, as media and technology become increasingly intertwined with the fabric of our everyday lives, understanding the contemporary media landscape means looking across multiple sites of creativity and practice, not to mention far wider industrial, cultural and social contexts.
“The Media Convergence Research Centre brings together scholars and practitioners from across the College of Liberal Arts at Bath Spa University, providing a collaborative hub for developing multi-perspectival and interdisciplinary research about the media in the age of convergence.”
The Media Convergence Research Centre places this global ecology in the thematic and methodological context of convergence, bringing together scholars and practitioners from across the College of Liberal Arts at Bath Spa University - spanning media and communication, publishing, film and television, music, sociology, and business and management - to provide a collaborative hub for developing multiperspectival research about the connectedness of the media and the world around it.
The Centre operates around three research clusters, each of which serve as smaller collaborative hubs whose objectives are defined and overseen by different members:
Led by Charlie Tweed, the Centre’s Digital Materialities research cluster has a particular focus on developing inter-disciplinary practice-based research that interrogates the environmental, social and historical conditions of contemporary digital culture using new and emerging creative approaches. Researchers share an interest in exploring the increasingly blurred line between the digital and physical world, utilising technologies to transform physical and digital environments and communities. The cluster is also interested in exploring the connection between the physical and the virtual using experimental arts practices, locative technologies, interactive documentary and new modes of storytelling in order to uncover technological and cultural histories.
Film and Social Context
Led by Dr Ruth Farrar, the Centre’s Film and Social Context research cluster aims to uncover and to critically interrogate a range of social and political issues and debates that permeate across our everyday social and natural world. Seeking to shine a light on contemporary transnational questions of gender, community and anthropology, the cluster uses film as its primary method for research. As well as seeking to unearth the sorts of representations, ideologies and perspectives that go beyond the reach of the mass media, researchers in this cluster are also interested in the relationships between such representations and the art of filmmaking, translating social content via the lens of drama, documentary, environmental film and other forms of independent media practice.
Play & Multiplatform
Led by Dr Matthew Freeman and Katharine Reeve, the Centre’s Play & Multiplatform research cluster works closely with the creative industries and has a particular focus on developing innovative multiplatform and game-centric content strategies. An industry-engaged incubation hub, the cluster is interested in the commercial and content-based opportunities arising from participatory and playable convergences between publishing and brands, between social media marketing and VR technology, multimedia storytelling and gameplay interfaces, and between story apps and illustrated books. In seeking to re-imagine text and image content for multiplatform publications, researchers in this cluster are also interested in providing the skills necessary to develop contemporary audience-focused content across a range of participatory and playable media and publishing formats, for example in experimental transmedia and games for social change.
While Digital Materialities is interested in examining the social and artistic convergences between communities and digital cultures, Film & Social Context explores political implications of convergences between transnational societies and film practices. Meanwhile, Play & Multiplatform seeks to forge new creative content opportunities based on the participatory and playable convergences between platforms and industries.
Aims of the Centre
Promote connection and collaborative research and learning opportunities between BSU academics and practice-based researchers interested in broad questions of media convergence, be them technological, economic, cultural, social or global.
Act as a hub for the high-quality research undertaken across the College of Liberal Arts, developing and raising the profile of this research internationally by fostering innovation in the convergence of scholarly and practice-based research.
Attract more external research funding by consolidating collaborative and interdisciplinary interests around the wider research theme of media convergence, promoting BSU as a university of excellence for creativity, culture and enterprise.
Foster connections with the media industries and with other universities around questions and impacts of media convergence, with a view to developing the profile and activities of our Research Centre as an instrument of knowledge transfer, public engagement and social and cultural research impact.
Contribute to the training of postgraduate students by fostering cross-disciplinary supervisory teams and new Masters programmes that operate across the College of Liberal Arts at BSU.