Making Histories: Radio as a Cultural Technology
Over the last three years there has been a significant growth in interest in the field of radio studies. A loose network has formed from workshops at the Australian New Zealand Communication Association conferences in 2003 and 2004. The network's major activity has been a regularly updated audit of radio research. Members were involved in running the highly successful international conference on radio in Melbourne, (The Radio Conference 2005: the second transnational forum) and have been invited onto international conference organising committees in the U.S. (The Radio Conference: a transnational forum, University of Wisconsin, 2003) and Italy (International Radio Summer School, University of Siena, 2004). Other members are on the editorial committee of The Radio Journal: international studies in broadcast and audio media. An electronic discussion list has been formed, ARARList@latrobe.edu.au.
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This broad range of activities internationally and nationally will be consolidated by the 'Making Histories' seminar. Participants will discuss current research and link with research organizations such as ABC Archives and Library and the National Film and Sound Archives.
It is critical time to establish such a network. Radio is quickly becoming a function of a broader audio culture that features a range of digital distribution formats including 'podcasting', audio streaming and digital audio broadcasting.
Questions regarding policy, commercial research strategies, community participation and programming will become increasing important over the next decade. Academic and independent researchers need to be in a position where they can communicate and network to take advantage of the opportunities that will emerge over this period.
At the same time there is a need to expand the field of radio and broadcasting analysis. Critical engagements must be able to take account of how information is reconfigured in mass and subscription media that are firmly based in entertainment.
Melbourne, May 12-14th May, 2006