The operations of all media industries have been substantially disrupted in the last two decades by digital technologies that have changed nearly all aspects of the production and distribution of media. These industrial shifts have produced enormous consequences for those who make media (creatives; journalists), for the media that they make (texts), and for the ideas and information that circulate in the culture as a result. This symposium and workshop seeks to bring together scholars expert in the digital transition of various media for collaboration and to place the profound change across industries in conversation.
The two-day event will begin Thursday at 4:00 with a Symposium open to the University and public featuring 30-minute presentations from four experts in the transition to digital production and distribution of media industries. Speakers will discuss how and why each business has changed, what the consequences have been for those working in the industry and the media they make, and what remain the greatest challenges going forward.
The speakers will then participate in a panel discussion open to the University and public the following day from 12-1, followed by a lunch and workshop with MSRW graduate students interested in further discussing methods and strategies for researching digital media industries and the implications of changing media industries for culture.
Although bodies of knowledge about how different media industries have coped with and responded to the challenges of digital distribution have developed, scholars studying different media rarely encounter each other or opportunities to engage in cross-industry comparison. Each industry has its own story, has faced particular challenges, and developed surprisingly disparate solutions. This Symposium and Workshop aims to advance theory building in this area by encouraging cross-media and interdisciplinary engagement.
John B. Thompson, Professor of Sociology, University of Cambridge, author of Books in the Digital Age; Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the 21st Century
Lee Marshall, Reader Department of Sociology, University of Bristol, author of Bootlegging: Romanticism and Copyright in the Music Industry
Amanda D. Lotz, Professor of Communication Studies and Screen Arts and Cultures, University of Michigan, author of The Television Will Be Revolutionized
Dan Herbert, Associate Professor of Screen Arts and Cultures, University of Michigan, author of Videoland: Movie Culture at the American Video Store