William Merrin is a Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at Swansea University. He is the author of Baudrillard and the Media (Polity, 2005), co-editor of Jean Baudrillard: Fatal Theories (Routledge, forthcoming 2008) and on the editorial board of The International Journal of Baudrillard Studies and Media, War and Conflict. He lectures on media theory, media history, popular music, and digital media. He is currently writing a new introduction to Media Studies for Polity Press based on the idea of ‘Media Studies 2.0’ which he first developed in his blog of the same name.
Areas of interest in relation to the forum:
William Merrin’s work on ‘Media Studies 2.0’ is concerned with the impact of digital media upon the discipline and practice of media studies. His essay (at http://mediastudies2point0.blogspot.com/) argues that a discipline formed in the broadcast era needs to be upgraded to understand a post-broadcast age characterised by an ongoing digital transformation of older media forms, new alignments of productive and distributive power, new modes of media use and consumption and changing conceptions of expertise and knowledge. It argues that these changes require a fundamental shift in pedagogical practices, taking into account the student’s practical knowledge of and familiarity with contemporary digital culture and taking advantage of the new opportunities offered by digital technologies to produce, disseminate and collectively debate academic research.
For discussion: How digital media impacts upon art, design and media education
Does the content, knowledge and practice of the contemporary disciplines need to be updated to reflect a changing media ecology and popular culture? In an era of rapid technological change how can academic and practical knowledge, teaching and research remain timely and relevant? How do those involved in art, design and media education cope with the changes in student expertise and knowledge and their often greater familiarity with contemporary digital cultures and practices? How can these broader modes of knowledge be rewarded and incorporated into academic institutions built upon traditional hierarchies of top-down communication? How do new modes of collective intelligence organise themselves within art, design and media studies communities and how can these be reconciled with the expert culture of academic pedagogy and practice? Can lecturers today survive their own aging obsolescence?