Audience Transformations: Tracking And Theorising Reception In A Fragmented Media Landscape

Date: Friday; 11 September 2015
Time: 3-5pm
Venue: Conference Room at Deakin City Centre campus (550 Bourke Street)

Screen Studies scholars from Swinburne University of Technology will lead a discussion on different approaches to audience studies, a research area that has been complicated in recent years by screen convergence, streaming platforms, and transmedia paradigms. Researchers from three departments (Media and Communications, Swinburne Institute of Social Research, and Law) will give brief presentations on the many questions and debates that dominate screen studies today.

The presentations in the first group will complicate our understanding of fan culture and identity. Dr Liam Burke will discuss different approaches for studying the non-fan audiences of cult texts. Dr Dan Golding will consider how audience data for videogames is gathered and the continuing rhetorical uses of the videogaming audience. Alexandra Heller-Nicholas will discuss how Abel Ferrara’s Ms. 45 is a privileged artefact from the specific perspective of feminist cult film fandom. Professor Jason Bainbridge will look at the mainstreaming of fan culture and the increasing importance of material culture in virtual spaces. This first section will conclude with an open discussion about the different strategies and practices for understanding fan culture.

Dr Claudy Op den Kamp will open the second group discussing digitisation efforts in which little or no attention is given to public domain titles including Warner Bros.’ online distribution model and The Criterion Collection’s DVD distribution policy. Dr Ramon Lobato will focus on streaming platforms and audience geography, reflecting on streaming culture as a research problem for screen scholarship. Professor Jock Given will discuss the range of research methods used for an ARC Linkage project supported by the ABC and Screen Australia to quantify the changing ways Australians are watching and engaging with audiovisual stories. This presentation will lead into more general discussions around tracking and theorising reception in a fragmented media landscape.

Liam Burke wburke@swin.edu.au
Sean Redmond s.redmond@deakin.edu.au