Virtual Informational Digital Workshop

One-day workshop : exploring cultural, social, economic and political issues in the new hybrid media environments

Papers | Program

Thursday 10 October 1996
Conducted under the auspices of the
Centre for Research in Culture and Communication
Murdoch University


This one day workshop will explore the social, economic, political and cultural meanings of the new hybrid media forms--internet, hypermedia, CD Rom, and pay-TV. The aim of this workshop is to give those who are doing analytical and theoretical work on hybrid media a chance to present their research in progress to others interested in the area.

A number of researchers at Murdoch and elsewhere in Perth have been doing research on the social meanings and cultural significance of hybrid media from electronic publishing to the new media technologies. Most of this research is being done in an isolated fashion whether Garry Rodan on the censorship of the web in Singapore, Catherine Waldby on the Visible Human Project, Vanessa Pogorelic on the future of newspapers in an electronic environment, Phil Roe and Alec McHoul on hypertext as a reading practice, Julie Johnson on Australian information policies or Phil Morle applying performance theorising to cyberspace.

While some workshop participants--like Kathy Trees and Phil Morle--will be talking from their involvement producing material for CD Rom or the web--all participants will be concerned with conceptual, social, political and cultural issues relating to hybrid-media formats.

The many seminars on "how to produce materials for the web" or "how to use electronic environments for teaching" reflect a predominantly "how to do" and "how to integrate into existing practice" approach to hybrid media. While not wanting to denigrate these seminars and courses (we all do them!), the aim of this workshop is to take stock of these broader developments, considering some of their directions and social and economic impacts.

The School of Humanities at Murdoch University has had a reputation for its theoretical, critical and analytical approach to the study of communication. This one day workshop extends this emphasis from traditional media to the new hybrid media platforms. By bringing together researchers we hope to consolidate and build our collective research expertise.


The outcomes to follow from this workshop are:

1. Networking of people involved in researching new technologies from an analytical, critical and cultural studies viewpoints.

2. Development of research profiles and possible collaborative research projects on hybrid media forms by workshop participants.

3. Investigation as to whether it would be useful or not to consider Virtual Informational Digital (VID) as the basis for the CRCC's Critical Arts issue for 1997.

4. Input into the interactive development of the VID site in the Culture and Communication Reading Rooms as a way of continuing the workshop aims.

5. Possible publication on the web (in the VID Room) of papers presented at this workshop.


Some participants would give 20 minute papers on their work in progress. Others would not give papers but would be involved in the ample time to be set aside for discussion. Three papers would be given each session and papers would be arranged according to subject/thematic area covered. Because this is a workshop, not a conference, its success will not be measured by attendance but by the quality of the interaction coming out of the workshop.

Possible Participants and their Research Interests

The list of possible participants below is by no means exhaustive or meant to be exclusive. It is based on the Centre Director's preliminary inquiries as to scholars doing work in this area. It is provided here as part of the information gathering and sharing which is one of the aims of the VID Workshop. If you think you should be included or know anyone who should be added to this list please contact Tom O'Regan.

Each person listed below is being approached to contribute to the Workshop. Each is also being asked to indicate the nature of their research on hybrid media for inclusion in a follow up posting and to indicate whether they want to be a paper-giver or simply a participant. Our apologies if your research interests have been wrongly listed.

Murdoch University (Humanities/Social Sciences)

Phil Roe, (hypertext and reading)
Vanessa Pogorelic, (newspapers in an electronic environment)
CatherineWaldby, (the virtual human project)
Kathy Trees, (conceptualising culturally appropriate information for remote Aboriginal communities)
Phil Morle, (performance/theory and the web)
Garry Rodan, (regulating the web in Singapore)
Alec McHoul, (hypertext as a reading technology)
Liz Wood, (journalism in an electronic environment)
Antonio Traverso (minorities and virtual communities)
Garry Gillard
Michael Grau

Other areas at Murdoch University

Hume Winzar, (implications of the web for marketing)
Grant Stone, Murdoch Library, (fanzines and the web)
Malissa Pearl Helms (ethnography of internet cultures)
Geoff Rehn
John Phillimore

Involvement outside Murdoch

Julie Johnson, "Australian Information Policies", Edith Cowan University
Jon Stratton "Internet Communities", Curtin University
Jane Feuer, Visiting Fellow, Curtin University
Kathie Ferraro, Visiting Fellow, Murdoch University
Peter Morris "Newspapers, Classifieds and the Web", Journalist, The West Australian
David Utting "Pay TV in Australia", Curtin University

Dr Tom O'Regan
Senior Lecturer in Communication Studies
Director, Centre for Research in Culture and Communication
Website: Culture and Communication Reading Room

New: 13 September, 1996 | Now: 11 May, 2015