Swansea University Home - 2010 - 2011

New Media, Image War and the War on Terror

 Workshop: Swansea University, June 24, 2011

Keir Hardie, Room 216

 Co-organized by Dr. Nathan Roger and Dr. Lee Jarvis

Hosted by the Department of Political and Cultural Studies at Swansea University

Co-sponsored by The Callaghan Centre for the Study of Conflict, Power and Empire and the Centre for the Study of Culture and Politics (C-SCAP) at Swansea University and the British International Studies Association (BISA) Art and Politics Working Group

Supported by the BISA International Communication Working Group

 Keynote Address

Dr. Andrew Hill (The Open University)

The War on Terror, World War I and Lepanto: Three Scopic Economies




The September 11, 2001 terror attacks signalled the start of a war on terror, it also marked a paradigm shift in warfare: from techno-war– which dominated the post-Cold War period – to image war.  The opening up of this new image war theatre of war has to date largely been overlooked by militaries as they have instead decided to focus their attention on reworking techno-war for the new security challenges of global terrorist war.  This situation is also replicated within academia as many academics have chosen to rework techno-war for the war on terror.  However, it is not sufficient to merely rework techno-war for image war as this new theatre of war requires that new strategies be developed in order to correctly understand it.  A growing number of IR and Visual Culture theorists are now beginning to theorise image war and this workshop will bring together academics from these different backgrounds to further develop theory on image war. 

The war on terror is simultaneously also taking place in a new media ecology – participatory media – and this, similar to image war, is also impacting on contemporary war.  A number of academics, in IR and Media Studies, are currently engaged in theorising the impact of new media on the war on terror.  However, the link between new media and image war is an area which is relatively under theorised and as such warrants further investigation.  This workshop will bring together academics engaged in research about the impacts of new media on the war on terror with academics who are concerned with image war in the war on terror and it will encourage a cross-fertilisation of ideas between IR, Media Studies and Visual Culture.  The result being, a more sophisticated understanding of the new security challenges currently posed by global terrorist war in an age of image war and ongoing new media revolution. 

This workshop will build on the established research programmes of the BISA Art and Politics and International Communication Working Groups – including past Workshops (‘Art, War & Terror’ at St. Anthony’s College, Oxford in November 2009), a Special Section ‘Art, Politics, Purpose’ edited by Alex Danchev and Debbie Lisle in Review of International Studies 35(4) October 2009 and a Conference ‘Terrorism and New Media: Building a Research Network’ at Dublin City University in September 2010. 


9.00-9.30         – Arrive / Registration

9.30-10.00       – Welcome and Introductory Remarks

10.00-11.30     – Keynote: Dr. Andrew Hill (The Open University)
                            ‘The War on Terror, World War I and Lepanto: Three Scopic Economies’

11.30-12.00     – Coffee (Keir Hardie, Room 230)

12.00-13.00     – Dr. Philip Hammond (London South Bank University)
                            ‘Image War: Causes, Conduct and Consequences’

13.00-14.00     – Lunch (Keir Hardie, Room 230)

14.00-15.30     – Annie Bryan (PhD Student, Swansea University)
                           ‘Televising Terror: (New) Media Images in 7/7’s Live Coverage and

                        – Ian Jackson (PhD Student, Lancaster University)
                           ‘Image War and the Blogosphere: Does the Increasing
                            Ubiquity of New Media Vectors Necessitate a Paradigm Shift
                            in the Way Traditional Media Forms War?’

15.30-16.00     – Coffee (Keir Hardie, Room 230)

16.00-17.00     – Professor Gillian Youngs (University of Wales, Newport)
                           ‘New Media in Historical Context: Communication and the 
                            Politics of Space in Warfare’

17.00-17.15     – Concluding Remarks

Please could those who are interested in attending this event, and have not already indicated their interest, please email Dr. Nathan Roger (n.roger@swansea.ac.uk)

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