Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture (WPCC) wishes to engage international scholars in a critical debate about the relationship between communication, culture and society in the 21st century.
WPCC is a peer-reviewed journal, published online. The interdisciplinary nature of the field of Media and Cultural Studies is reflected in the diverse methods, contexts and themes of the papers published. Areas of interest include – but are not limited to – the history and political economy of the media, popular culture, media users and producers, political communication and developments arising from digital technologies in the context of an increasingly globalized and networked world.
Contributions from both established scholars and those at the beginning of their academic career are equally welcome.
Geography, media, and communications have been closely linked since the 16th Century. Just as the advent of the printing press changed the media landscape, so too did it change that of geography and cartography.
The printing revolution, along with new instruments of measurement led to a prolific expansion of mapping activates in the 16th Century, producing increasingly detailed birds eye views of the world. These views from above worked to serve as tools of possession, the elevated position of the explorer and cartographers and the commanding view provided by the maps mirrored the divine gaze of God, positioning the commissioner of the map in a seemingly omniscient position, solidifying their position of control, changing perceptions and relationships with space itself. In this way, the Cartographic Gaze was the precursor to the surveillent gaze, epitomized by Bentham’s Panopticon and the work of Foucault.
A number of texts have already examined the linkages between geography, media and communications; Innis’s (1950) classic text on Empire and Communications; Falkheimer and Jansson’s (2006) Geographies of Communication explores communication theory’s spatial turn, and conversely Adams and Jansson’s (2012) examination of geography’s communicational turn. Yet, as we move further and deeper into a digitized world we are bombarded with ever more instruments of measurement (big data, algorithms, UGC, VGI etc.), ever more far reaching versions of the printing press (Web 2.0, Social Media etc.), and the waters are muddied further by the development of Participatory-GIS systems, and the (re-)birth of Neogeography which purportedly offers up a challenge to the status quo (Goodchild, 2009; Haklay, 2013).
Thus, it becomes essential that, just as we might question the 16th century map makers, we must now question data analytics, algorithms and their architects, the media, and those who claim to contest the cartographic gaze; to ask, ‘did you find the world or did you make it up?’ to quote Winnicott (cited in Corner, 1999). The media, data analysts and neogeographers all sit in-between the virtual and the real creating new forms of virtual time and space that are then superimposed onto territorial spaces (Potts: 2015). These new virtual spaces are still so too controlled and mediated from above by new omniscient digital Gods, propelled by their search for profits.
Posted on 05 Dec 2017
Research articles on a variety of privacy topics, an interview with leading surveillance scholar Mark Andrejevic and some reflections on Vance Packard’s prophetic classic The Secret Society form the content of WPCC’s latest issue published 31 October 2017.
Redesigning or Redefining Privacy?
Shabnam Moinipour, Pinelopi Troullinou
Rethinking Privacy: A Feminist Approach to Privacy Rights after Snowden
Privacy Shields for Whom? Key Actors and Privacy Discourses on Twitter and in Newspapers
Cristín O'Rourke, Aphra Kerr
Visibility, Power and Citizen Intervention The Five Eyes and New Zealand’s Southern Cross Cable
What is a Good Secure Messaging Tool? The EFF Secure Messaging Scorecard and the Shaping of Digital (Usable) Security
Francesca Musiani, Ksenia Ermoshina
Rethinking Privacy and Freedom of Expression in the Digital Era: An Interview with Mark Andrejevic
Undresssing with the Lights On: Surveillance and The Naked Society in a Digital Era
Posted on 06 Nov 2017
WPCC's issue on Radio and Revolution is now published and complete. In addition to the editorial on 'Radio, Communities and Social Change' the line-up was as follows.
History of Struggle: The Global Story of Community Broadcasting Practices, or a Brief History of Community Radio by Gretchen King
Freedom Waves: Giving People a Voice and Turning It Up! Tuning into the Free Radio Network in the Basque Country by Jason Diaux, Ion Andoni del Amo and Arkaitz Letamendia
Radio as a Recruiting Medium in Zimbabwe’s Liberation Struggle
by Everette Ndlovu
Invisible Revolutions: Free Radio Music Programming in Barcelona
by Lola Costa Gálvez
Posted on 07 Sep 2017