Mr William Merrin

William Merrin is a Senior Lecturer in Media Studies in the department of Political and Cultural Studies. His research and teaching focus on media and cultural theory, contemporary developments in digital media and the history and philosophy of technology. He is especially interested in the work of Jean Baudrillard, McLuhan and the Toronto School, contemporary digital theory, developments in digital media and the challenge traditional media studies faces from these developments, and the history and archaeology of digital culture and technologies.

William Merrin is also known as the creator of the concept of 'Media Studies 2.0', developing the blog of the same name in November 2006 to follow developments in digital media and critically reflect upon the state and future of media studies.

In his essay on 'Media Studies 2.0' he argues that media studies is an academic discipline that first emerged in the early-mid 20th century, at the same time as the rise of modern mass media - the modern newspaper industry, cinema, radio and television. Media studies was an academic response to the broadcast-era: it was a historical product and reflection of one historical model of media. The contemporary passage to a post-broadcast era and digital ecology, therefore, requires a transformation of traditional media studies and an upgrading of its broadcast-era concerns, categories and concepts. Merrin concludes that we need to create a media studies for the 21st century reflecting the realities and concerns of the contemporary media era, instead of a backward-looking discipline uninterested in and unable to follow or understand its own student's media experiences and worlds. We need a Media Studies 2.0.

As part of his interest in the history of media and technology William also collects pre-cinema objects and entertainments and modern media forms.

Publications

  1. Media Studies 2.0. Oxon, Abingdon: Routledge.
  2. Fight For the Users!: Media Studies in the 21st Century. Media Education Research Journal (MERJ) 5(2), 59-80.
  3. Still Fighting “The Beast”: Guerrilla Television and the Limits of Youtube. Cultural Politics 8(1), 97-119.
  4. The Rise of the Gadget and Hyperludic Me-dia. Cultural Politics an International Journal 10(1), 1-20.
  5. Jean Baudrillard. Routledge.

See more...

Teaching

  • MS-120 Introduction to Media History

    This module critically explores the history of modern media from the birth of printing to the internet. It traces the rise of mass-media and analyses the cultural, economic, social and political dimensions of the major broadcast forms and their impact. The module concludes with an exploration of the rise of computing and the internet, the digital transformation of all older media forms and the end of the dominance of the broadcast model of informational production, distribution and consumption.

  • MS-200 Theorising the Media

    The principle aim of the course is to enable examination of a diverse range of modern media theories to probe their relevance to our everyday lives: how far do they further our understanding of the role and influence of media and communication? Each lecture will assist in developing a critical perspective on a major theorist or major theme which binds together a school of thought. Every effort will be made to trace the evolution of theoretical perspectives as they emerge over time and to encompass the various foci which gain prominence as attention shifts from effects to reception, from indoctrination to active resistance and empowerment and the new postmodern information age holds sway.

  • MS-235 Media Law

    This module introduces students to the fundamental principles of the law as it relates to media and communications, as well as giving students an understanding of current law and regulations which relate to the media and communications industries. Broad topic areas will include broadcasting, advertising, copyright, and defamation as well as topical issues such as piracy, social media use, censorship, data protection and virtual property. The module aims to provide students of both media and the law with a good understanding of the area, enabling students to understand the implications for creative production and the responsibilities of media producers.

  • MS-306 Digital Futures

    This module explores contemporary developments in digital media placing tham in socila, historical and political contexts.

  • MS-311 Dissertation

    This dissertation enables students to engage in long term, in-depth research on a topic of their choice subject to the approval of the Department.

  • MSDM03 The Digital Edge: Contemporary Issues and Trends

    Through an examination of the contemporary issues that are the cutting edge of digital technologies, this module will examine the implications and possible future of new media technologies.

  • MSJM11 Development Communication

    This module introduces some of the issues and problems involved in using the mass media to promote development, including the issues of nation building, social inequality, health care and provision, population control and economic growth; provides an overview of the theory and practice of development communication and examines the effectiveness of mass media campaigns as well as alternative forms of development communication.

  • MSS236 Media Law Extended Project

    This module introduces students to the fundamental principles of the law as it relates to media and communications, as well as giving students an understanding of current law and regulations which relate to the media and communications industries. Broad topic area will include broadcasting, advertising, copyright, and defamation as well as topical issues such as piracy, social media use, censorship, data protection and virtual property. This module will provide LLB Media Law students with the opportunity to explore an area of media law in depth.

Supervision

  • A critical exploration of the development, form and effects of corporate digital surveillance upon users and consumers (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Matthew Wall