Programme for VIRAL/GLOBAL Popular Cultures and Social Media: An International Perspective, 13th Sept 17

Looking forward to this CAMRI conference on 13th Sept at the University of Westminster. The programme is shaping up nicely… See draft copy below.


Draft Programme for VIRAL/GLOBAL Popular Cultures and Social Media: An International Perspective
A Conference Organised by: Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI) University of Westminster

13 September 2017

Regent Campus, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW – View map

09.00-09.30 Registration and Welcome Coffee & Tea

09.30-09.40 Welcome: Christian Fuchs, Director of the Communication and Media Research Centre, University of Westminster

09.45-11.20 Keynote Panel 1: Virality, Social Media and Popular Culture Chair: Dave Morley, Goldsmiths College, University of London

Nancy Baym, Microsoft Research

Emily Keightley, Loughborough University

Winston Mano, University of Westminster

Tony D Sampson, University of East London

Paddy Scannell, University of Michigan Panel 1: Researching Viral Cultures Chair: Edmundo Bracho-Polanco


“Viral Latinidad”, “Latino Cool”, and Beyond in Latin American Digital Cultural Production – Thea Pitman, University of Leeds

Leaders, icons and social media: an elector-based analysis of Matteo Renzi’s myth – Alberto Sonego, Università degli Studi di Roma Tre, Italy

Contemporary African Cultural Production in the Digital Age: The Case of An African City – Krys Osei, Goldsmiths College, University of London
12.45-13.30 LUNCH

13.30-14.40 Panel 2: Political Economy of Virality Chair: Winston Mano

A Genealogy on the Platformization of Live Streaming Hanmai Performances from Northeast China – Lei Hao, Yu Xiang and Xiaoxing Zhang, Goldsmiths College, University of London

Materiality, digitality and textual entanglements: the case of the Fifty Shades Trilogy – Gry Høngsmark Knudsen, University of Southern Denmark

Gleaming Futures? Talent Intermediaries and the UK Vlogging Industry – Sophie Bishop, University of East London

Middle class crisis and the ‘sharing industries’ as the main flywheels of the production and consumption of popular post-truth – Antonello Bocchino, University of Westminster

14.40-15.40 Panel 3: Ethnographies of the Viral and Everyday Life Chair: Tarik Sabry

Doing digital ethnography to map Tibetan identities on Chinese social media – Dianjing Li, University of Westminster

Technologies of policing and production of violence: The case of ‘cow protection’ in India – Musab Iqbal, University of Westminster

Football fans, emotion and the stadium atmosphere on Twitter – Zahra Hasan, Journalist

New Politics? The limitations of social media and political engagement – Kate Lonie, The University of Sydney

15.45-16.00 Tea & Coffee Break

16.00-17.20 Panel 4: Protest, Political Campaigns and Virality Chair: Anastasia Denisova

The Absolute Boy, the Girl on a Train and a Big Bag of Cans – Penny CS Andrews, University of Sheffield

Emergent Anti-Hegemonic Conversations –Richard Ikiebe, University of Westminster

Pepe the Frog – Funny Meme and Racist Symbol. Critical Reflections on Contexts, Strategies, Politics, and the Analysis of Online Popular Cultures – Rebecca Venema, Institute of Communication Technologies, Switzerland and Eleonora Benecchi, Institute of Media and Journalism

Misinformation Echo System in Africa – Bashir Sa’ad Abdullahi, Journalist

17.20-18.30 Keynote Panel 2: Rethinking ‘virality’ for the digital age: popular culture and social media in Africa, Latin America and Russia Chair: Paddy Scannell

Colombia’s drug ballads: Memory, nationhood, and digital consumption – Edmundo Bracho-Polanco, University of Westminster

Viral discussion on the Russian rap music: why social media tell more than the artists intended – Anastasia Denisova & Aliaksandr Herasimenka, University of Westminster

Viral Popular Music in Africa in the Digital Age: Does it matter? – Winston Mano, University of Westminster

Music, Virality and Popular Culture in Morocco – Tarik Sabry, University of Westminster

18.30-19.30 Wine Reception

Draft version of programme and link to registration published here:

About Virality

Tony D. Sampson is Reader in Digital Culture and Communications at the University of East London. He has a PhD in social-cultural-digital contagion theory from the Sociology Department at the University of Essex. He is a former art student who re-entered higher education in the UK as a mature student in the mid-1990s after a long stint as a gigging musician. His career in education has moved through various disciplines and departments, including a maths and computing faculty, sociology department and school of digital media and design His publications include The Spam Book, coedited with Jussi Parikka (Hampton Press, 2009), Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), The Assemblage Brain: Sense Making in Neuroculture (University of Minnesota Press, 2016), Affect and Social Media (Rowman and Littlefield, July 2018) and The Sleepwalker's Guide to Social Media (due 2020 with Polity Press). Tony is the organizer and host of the Affect and Social Media conferences in the UK (see archive on this blog). As a co-founder and co-director of the public engagement initiatives, Club Critical Theory (CCT) and the Cultural Engine Research Group (CERG), Tony has been project lead on a number of funded projects that bring impactful critical theories into the community and local political sphere to approach. These activities have included large conferences, symposia and informal lectures/workshops in pubs and community centres, co-organized with community groups and local authorities. Tony occasionally blogs at: Full academic profile:
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