Break up, break down, and break away: variations on media and the breaking down of infrastructures, technicalities, texts, contexts and social relations are the basis of this international symposium Media and Breakdown. This event focuses on the play off between deconstruction and reconstruction work in media, communication and cultural studies.
Breakdown signifies wearing down, collapse, and catastrophe; this meaning of breakdown relates to media technologies and services, representations and themes in factual and fictional genres, or broader issues such as a crisis of democracy, and a thin trust between politicians, the media and publics. Breakdown also signifies taking apart something to analyse and understand how it works; this meaning of breaking down relates to deconstructing a text and its internal workings and contradictions, or forensically analysing media systems, political economics and power structures. Moments of media breakdown can reveal that which is otherwise hidden. And breakdown can be related to processes of fluidity and renewal, in the breaking down of barriers and divisions. The theme of breakdown offers a multidimensional approach to how we can understand media, culture and society as a site of collapse and repair, and as a place for theoretical and empirical analysis within media, communication and cultural studies.
(Text sourced from conference website)