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BCMCR New Thinking

BCMCR New Thinking is a pamphlet series which captures and communicates the breadth of thinking and perspectives emerging from researchers in the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research (BCMCR). Each edition addresses a theme, issue, or prompt, and is made up of short, accessible pieces of writing summarising researchers’ ideas, interests, or ongoing activities.

The series focuses on engagement with the academic community, citizens with an interest in the work of the centre, and businesses and collaborative partners. It takes the form of dialogue between researchers, practitioners, students, academics and the public / community.

The series emerged from BCMCR strategy meetings. As part of a mapping exercise, research-active staff scheduled to attend were asked to prepare and deliver a 2-minute talk around their research. Each were asked to frame that presentation as a response to the following prompt:

“Start with an object, event, theory, problem, technological innovation, inspiration, etc., and tell a story of where you’re going with your work, and feel free to experiment with the form/content. The emphasis is on lucid writing, imagination, and brevity!”

The resulting presentations were unique and engaging, and together they provided a new perspective on the work being developed across the centre. It was decided that the centre would pull these pieces together into a ‘zine-style publication that could be presented as a snapshot of BCMCR at this point in time. This work was compiled by Dr Craig Hamilton and issued in Oct 2019.

Following positive feedback from staff, students, and our wider networks, the decision was made to establish BCMCR New Thinking as an informal mechanism for engagement and dissemination of ideas. The second edition, led by Dr Iain Taylor, was issued in Feb 2020, collating a range of work submitted as part of his Material Reflections project. A new edition, led by Dr Asya Draganova, and exploring the centre’s 20/21 theme of Alternativity, will be published in March 2021.

The series focuses on engagement with the academic community, citizens with an interest in the work of the centre, and businesses and collaborative partners. It takes the form of dialogue between researchers, practitioners, students, academics and the public / community.

In effect, BCMCR New Thinking exists as a means of making the collective academic and scholarly work of the centre available in an accessible form. By making the work available online, and as a limited run print edition, the BCMCR New Thinking pamphlets have allowed us to connect undergrad and postgrad students, industry partners, and the wider community with the breadth and depth of innovative research work which emerges from the centre.

By its very nature, the BCMCR New Thinking pamphlet series is informal in its approach. As such, no formal measuring process has been undertaken to measure impact. However, anecdotal evidence in the form of feedback from students, colleagues, and industry / community partners has been emphatic. The series is set to be featured as a case study in a forthcoming book chapter on Punk Pedagogies, to be published by Intellect Books.

Issue one

Issue two