University of Westminster hosts 1ST International Social Media Conference

Global social media experts and researchers from 25 countries will converge in london to attend an innovative conference organised by the University of Westminster’s Centre for Social Media Research (CSMR) in early September 2013. The conference, which takes as its themes: making connections, creative cultures and open everything, will address a broad range of cultural, economic and political questions raised by social media.

Keynote speakers include Stuart Allan (UK, author, Citizen Witnessing), Megan Boler (Canada, co-editor, DIY Citizenship: Critical Making and Social Media), Larissa Hjorth (Australia, co-author, Understanding Social Media) and D.E. Wittkower (USA, editor, Facebook and Philosophy). In a special session, Andrew Jackson, senior convergence analyst from Ofcom, will present the latest research findings on social media use in the UK, followed by a discussion with Dr Larissa Hjorth of RMIT in Melbourne and University of Westminster’s Professor Christian Fuchs.

Conference organiser Graham Meikle, Professor of Social Media at the University of Westminster, said: “We’re learning every day how much social media platforms know about us: this conference is an important opportunity to discuss how much we know about them. It’s exciting to see so many researchers from so many parts of the world come together to share insights, debate findings, and spark future collaborations.”

The University of Westminster’s Centre for Social Media Research (CSMR) led by Professor David Gauntlett, and the new MA in Social Media led by Professor Christian Fuchs and Professor Graham Meikle, will be officially launched at the conference. Christian Fuchs conducts research and publishes in the fields of social media & society, Internet & society, critical information society studies, critical theory of media and communication, political economy of media & communication, social theory, critical theory. He is also the author of numerous publications in these fields, including the books “Internet and society. Social theory in the information age” (Routledge 2008) and “Foundations of critical media and information studies” (Routledge 2011). He has co-edited the collected volume “Internet and surveillance.

The centre is one of the world’s first academic institutes to specialise in the study of social media and aims to conduct and coordinate research into social, cultural, and political-economic aspects of social media. . It is based in the Communications and Media Research Institute, ranked as #1 for media and communications research in the UK’s most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008). The QS World University rankings, 2013, put CAMRI in the global top 20 for media and communications research, and #1 in the UK.

Main Themes the center explores are:

  • creativity and participation in social media
  • the political economy of social media
  • social media industry, policy, and business models
  • social movements and activism using social media

The event is the fourth in the University of Westminster’s Transforming Audiences series, held every two years since 2007, which has become Europe’s major international conference series for research into media audiences and users. The conference is being held at the University of Westminster campus at 35 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5LS.

To explore the center visit