A Week Filled with Events

Palatine Conference
I made it to the afternoon of this conference. With the event sponsored by Palatine, who focus on dance and drama, I wasn’t entirely sure where I was going with this conference, but was interested to see that Mike Seignior, with whom I teach on the Design for Digital Media course was heading up a workshop… so I thought, yes, a great chance to see how practice and academia intersect. Interestingly many of the people there came from a practice background and have moved into academia, whereas I come from an academic background, and have started to build up creative practices alongside my academic studies, which then start to inform them! Also an interesting TAPP workshop (which fits with life-coaching interests… see photo), and the overview of what was coming with REF (formerly RAE, so many acronyms!).
Media Studies Mini Conference
It’s week 10, the week the First Years for Media Studies have been waiting for – a chance to present their work at a mini-conference. We’d set this up as a real conference, with poster boards, a schedule of presentations, and a coffee-break with proper refreshments! Thought it worked surprisingly well, as many of the students had seemed rather disengaged up til that point! Unlike many conferences, not too much danger of the students running over time…

The Big Sleep Out
(see other blog entry)

Team Training Oak Hall
Made it in time for the 11.30am session: a great chance to catch up with a few familiar faces, meet some new people, find out which trip I’m on (I’ll be cooking in the Loire Valley at the end of July), and a reminder of why we truly do this – not for the “free holidays” (that’s for sure, we work too hard for that!), but to serve others and give them a chance for rest, refreshment and re-engagement with God.
Andy Melrose Lecture: Jesus, Judas, Jim and John: storykeeping and the world’s shortest story.
Andy Melrose is one half of the partnership behind the Storykeepers, a 1970s series, which continues to be shown, and whose popularity continues to grow around the world. A great lecture, using a mix of modern technologies, and linking Jesus, Judas, Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon in interesting ways (makes me not feel so unusual for being able to make such random connections!). Afterwards was a great chance to meet up with some old faces, talk to a few friendly faces to see if there is potential for more interesting work in any area, and random talks to people who may yet become future connections – noticeably a number of people from Cultural Studies, Creative Writing and Religious Studies in attendance.
Out There Networking Event
This is the pitch which teased us in:
In this talk, Dr Stephen Thomas will explore how recent developments in digital biology are set to have even more profound social impacts on everything from longevity to identity itself. These developments are different in kind to what has gone before, for they are about us, not just our surrounding technologies.

Did you know, for example, that you don’t own your own DNA? 

How come I have less DNA than an amoeba? What will it mean to be 500 years old? What is ‘personalized medicine’? Where will my digital identity begin and end? Is my brain me? Is morality pre-determined? Will there be room left for religion? Is science boring?
Certainly thought provoking, and clearly a number of different interests engaging with his discussions (which come from a pharmacology/genome research perspective), and was pleased to note another scientist who thinks that the world looks so complex that there must be something behind it, and rejects Dawkins arguments!
Conference to Come
Abstract selected for a conference in Wales.

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