GMM Study Visit to Oxford (25 April 2018)

Every year, the MA in Global Media Management sends students on a Study Visit to a different city. Our 2018 destination was Oxford, which GMM students and staff visited earlier this week. This year’s theme centred around the concept of transmedia worldbuilding: creating spaces in, outside, and around multimedia narratives.

The first part of the study visit involved a trip to the Oxford Story Museum. This museum creates immersive, interactive spaces designed to bring books and stories to life, deepening visitors’ engagement. Students took part in a Building Narrative Environments workshop, which looked at the principles behind the museum’s approach to storytelling, and at how they go about creating their spaces. Students learned about the various ways in which the museum provides immersive experiences—for example their story session for toddlers, or their Extreme Reading Adventures project, which works to re-engage reluctant or struggling readers. The Oxford Story Museum aims to take us into the world of the story in a real and physical way, and they look at story in all its forms: oral, written, film, digital.

The second part of the study visit was a transmedia ‘tour’ of Oxford, realised in an interactive Google Map. Students used this to explore of some of Oxford’s most famous filming locations, immersing themselves in the ‘world’ of stories like The Mummy (2017), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), and the Harry Potter franchise (2001-2011), and considering how these fictional stories interact with real spaces. They were also asked to add something to these storyworlds themselves, by taking photographs and video at each location and tweeting them using the #GMMTransmedia hashtag.

After the day was done, GMM students and teachers made the inevitable trek back home—some with souvenirs and mementos, all with fresh perspectives on how stories are made and sustained.

Below are some of the moments we shared under the #GMMTransmedia hashtag:

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Q&A with Zhang Xinyang (2016-17 alumni)

It’s great to hear what recent alumni have been up to. Most recently, Zhang Xinyang has been contact …

1. Why did you choose GMM at WSA/University of Southampton?

When I chose my offers last year, there was a school name that caught my eye. It was WSA, the University of Southampton. I graduated from the Communication University of China, Nanjing. In past years, I have met many alumni who have entered WSA for further study after graduation. Their advice was one of the reasons I chose WSA. In addition, I have learned that the University of Southampton is ranked very high in the world (eg. QS Ranking). In the end, I had consulted WSA’s previous graduates, and their high evaluations of the course and staff eventually left me with the offer of GMM.

2. What are you currently doing?

Recently I have been preparing all the necessary materials to apply for a PhD course at the best university in China. The knowledge I learned in WSA has benefited me a lot in the following days. My final project was appreciated by a famous professor of this university. This was really exciting! The guidance from the tutors of WSA is very important, I really appreciate them.

3. In what ways does your time on GMM and at WSA/University of Southampton help you with this?

The courses at GMM give us a lot of options, to give us the opportunity to explore the intellectual sector we like. Before I got into WSA, I wanted to be able to get a sense of the newest development in the new media. There is no doubt that GMM gave me this opportunity. My classmates and I have carried out in-depth research on the concept of crowdfunding and bullet screen video sites. We learned about globalization and participatory culture. Here you can choose your favorite topic for in-depth exploration and give full play to your talents.

In terms of life, the school’s supporting facilities and accommodation system are perfect. It creates good conditions for students’ comfortable life and study. The bus and train system can take you to every corner of Britain. Hartley and WSA libraries will satisfy your thirst for knowledge. Winchester is an ancient city with numerous exhibitions and art activities that will greatly enrich your life.

Not only that, the diversity and internationalization of the school has broadened my horizons and it has given me an international perspective. The tutors at WSA taught me not only knowledge, but also good character. It helped me shape a good personality, which will allow me to go further in the future.

4. Advice to current GMM students

When I came to WSA, my basic knowledge and English level were very bad. However, I finally got a distinction degree and got the chance to continue in a PhD course. So I hope you can trust yourself and do your best. Boys, be ambitious!

At the same time, if you encounter some problems in your initial life in WSA, I hope you can become stronger.

In the end, I ask you to cherish every second in the UK, which may be the best time of your lifetime. You might learn a lot, go to a lot of places, and you might meet someone you love.

I can’t go back,

Wish you well.

Digital Labour Seminar Series

This seminar series brings together researchers from the UK and USA for two events at Highfield (7th February) and Winchester School of Art (16th April) to explore transformations, debates, and tensions associated with digital labour. The first seminar focused on the home-work conflicts of digital labour for those endeavouring to make a living on digital platforms. The second seminar focuses on social media careers and fashion blogging. This series is convened by Dr Dan Ashton (Transforming Creativity/Winchester School of Art) and Dr Rebecca Taylor (Work Futures/Sociology) with support from the Web Sciences Institute.

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Seminar 2: Negotiating professional/amateur boundaries in the digital economy

Brooke Erin Duffy
‘Digital Dream Jobs: The Promises and Perils of a Social Media Career’
Against the backdrop of profound transformations in the technologies, economies, and politics of creative labor, enterprising young people are flocking to social media with aspirations of capitalizing on their passion projects. To these digitally networked content creators, fashion blogs, YouTube, and Instagram represent prospective paths to lucrative and rewarding careers. But to what extent do their investments pay off? In this talk, I draw upon dozens of in-depth interviews to highlight both the promises and perils of a social media-enabled career.

Agnès Rocamora
‘Fashion Blogging as Invented Labour’
In this talk, drawing on a series of semi-structured interviews I have been conducting with a broad range of UK-based fashion bloggers since 2013, I interrogate the strategies they have developed to invent and legitimate their practice. I engage with the work of Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu to look at the idea of the discursive construction of fashion blogging as well as at the rules and techniques that have emerged to regulate it. In particular, I comment on the journalists vs bloggers debate; on the idea of authenticity; and on the issue of monetization.

Module recap: Critical Media Practice

In October and November, GMM students undertook the Critical Media Practice module.

Module description
This module will introduce you to the creative practices, technical skills and conceptual frameworks required to produce critical media projects in a range of media (for example, video, photography, web) in a digital environment. It will explore the ways in which contemporary media production, participation and consumption are shaped by their historical, technological and everyday contexts. Through practice workshops, exploring key examples from alternative and experimental media, you will be encouraged to produce work that is analytical and critical of established media conventions.

The module focused on the critical exploration of four areas of media practice: web, photography, video and social media.

There were fascinating presentations:

There were playful and inventive media practice workshops:

And a day exploring VR and gaming, undertaking creative problem solving tasks, curating playlists, reimagining emojis, and sharing critical responses:

 

Welcome GMM 2017-18 students

On Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th September we welcomed the new cohort of GMM students.

Our induction week theme this year was Global Media Memes and we spent time creating and sharing memes on #wsagmm

Then we joined together for a show and a cuppa