October MACS

Posted Friday September 28, 2007 by John Gunders in |

October MACS
12 October 2007, 2:30pm – 4:00pm

Seminar Room, Level Four, Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies, The University of Queensland

Special Guest: Prof John Quiggin

The final MACS for 2007 will take up the recent debates that have been occurring in various places—notably on the Cult-Stud and Fibreculture lists—about Facebook and other social networking sites, and address what has become almost a mini-moral panic about the values and pressures of maintaining an online presence through SNS, blogs, online publications, and so on, and how this helps or impacts on our ability to research, write, and develop professional contacts.

As one comment on the Cult-Stud debate put it:

Apart from narcissism, the reason that people are prepared to promote themselves on facebook, youtube, myspace and the like is because they hope that by being in on the ground floor they will have a temporal advantage over their competition and so get a little in front to sell their product, which may be themselves. It’s like those saddo phd students who do poster sessions at those enormous us conferences, or who creep round the conference hotels in the early hours sticking their inflated cvs (resumes) under the doors of sleeping professors. Harsh but true. People don’t like to have a sense of themselves that looks like that but it’s actually how people behave.

Mel Gregg describes this as “self-branding,” and while many people voluntarily spend hours maintaining their online contacts, will those who don’t be left behind? Is maintaining a credible online presence something that postgrads and ECRs are now obliged to do as part of their professional development, along with publishing, attending international conferences, collecting glowing teaching evaluations, and getting administrative experience?

To address these and other questions, we have a special guest speaker: Professor John Quiggin has regularly been ranked as Australia’s most productive and highly-cited economist. He is an ARC Federation Fellow in Economics and Political Science based in the School of Political Science & International Studies at the University of Queensland, and Director of the Risk and Sustainable Management Group.

John is perhaps best known however for his blog (johnquiggin.com) through which he has been commenting on Australian and world events for over five years; his contributions to the highly-respected international cultural/political blog, Crooked Timber (crookedtimber.org); and for his regular opinion pieces in The Financial Review.

Please come along and join in the conversation.

The aim of these events is to keep abreast of current debates in media and cultural studies as well as to catch up with colleagues working around Brisbane. More details here.

Where: CCCS Seminar Room, Level 4, Forgan Smith Tower, St Lucia Campus, University of Queensland, followed by drinks at the UQ staff club.

Getting here: We encourage people to use public transport to reach the University where possible – see here for more details.

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