Media & Democracy Reading Group: Invitation and First Meeting

We are pleased to announce the new Media & Democracy Reading Group. This interdisciplinary and cross college reading group is being convened by Birkbeck’s Media and Democracy Working Group, and is open to all interested academic staff, as well as post graduate research students (e.g. MPhil, MRes, PhD).

The reading group will discuss selected readings, with the aim of working through shared and diverging conceptions and concerns about the complex and sometimes contradictory relationships of ‘media’ and ‘democracy’. Readings will be selected meeting-to-meeting by reading group participants and may range from the conceptual or philosophical to the empirical or data-driven.

The first meeting will take place on 10 May 2024, 3-5pm, room TBC. It is intended that most meetings (including this first one) will be in hybrid format, allowing for in person as well as online participation.

The first reading is a chapter from Clive Barnett’s 2003 book Culture and Democracy (please see Barnett_2003_Ch_1.pdf for link). In this chapter, Barnett puts forward representation, mediation and media as central to understanding democracy and publicness. As a political geographer, Barnett pays particular attention to the trouble that ‘scale’ (numerical, spatial and functional) presents for ideas and ideals of democracy, and how representative mechanisms appear to manifest as both poison and cure. The reading provides an interdisciplinary starting point for the reading group, since it works through a dual conception of ‘representation’, as both practices of depiction (i.e. standing for), as well as practices of delegation (i.e. speaking or acting on behalf of others).

To sign up for the reading group (either/both the first meeting or future meetings) please email the reading group lead, Scott Rodgers, at

Author: ubimag001

BGRS Administrator

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