Media and the Inner World is a new research network funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. It brings together academics, psychoanalysts and media workers with the aim of exploring themes of emotion and therapy in popular culture. The network reaches outside the sphere of the University in order to provide public spaces of exchange and discussion. Its virtual community also provides a wiki forum for further debate: www.miwnet.org.
The network events will run for two years and many of these will take the form of a round table event and public debate. On June 19th the network are holding a discussion in London on ‘The Reparative Spaces of Radio’. Speakers will include psychoanalyst Sally Weintrobe, broadcaster and psychotherapist Phillip Hodson, radio producer Andy Jordan and media academics Heather Nunn and Anita Biressi.
As Directors of the network, Dr Candida Yates (University of East London) and Dr Caroline Bainbridge (Roehampton University), explain:
“In today’s society, popular culture and media constantly use emotional forms of communication, creating a therapeutic culture where feelings and notions of emotional correctness often dominate. Our relationship to the media may work in a therapeutic fashion, which as in the case of radio is a very intimate medium and often works to reassure and comfort, experience a sense of shared community or allows for emotional outrage.
“Radio is an incredibly evocative medium and the sound of programmes such as The Archers or those from our youth such ‘Listen with Mother’ or the forbidden pleasures of listening to ‘Radio Luxenberg’ late at night, build up a store house of treasured memories and play a key role in shaping who we are. Radio talk shows such as those chaired by Vanessa Feltz on Radio London are also hugely popular and important in creating a sense of an imagined community and identity in an increasingly fragmented world. We are interested in the therapeutic possibilities of radio – how do programmes open up spaces for us to think about our own emotional lives and why do they do this?
“Our network brings together academic critics, media figures and psychoanalysts to think about this is more depth.”
To book tickets email firstname.lastname@example.org or for more information on the research network visit www.miwnet.org.