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MEDIA MUTATIONS 10 - The "-tainment" Effect. Cultures and Logics of Entertainment Across Audiovisual and Digital Media

Bologna, Dipartimento delle Arti, May 21-22, 2018
Organized by Luca Barra and Paola Brembilla (Università di Bologna), in collaboration with Liz Evans (University of Nottingham)

Entertainment cultures are spreading widely across contemporary media, from press to fashion, from music to television, from videogames to politics, from sports to museums. Audiovisual and digital media ease the connection between entertainment and a wide range of realms in everyday life (information, politics, education, emotions, and many others), both at a global and local level; yet processes of hybridization and narrativization permeate and transform their logics, strategies and imageries through forms of performance, amusement and divertissement. This is not a new phenomenon, but the result of a long history of interwoven developments and connections. Simultaneously, the strength and depth of this transformation has increased dramatically, if not multiplied, in recent decades. After having been long accused of corrupting the masses, or dismissed as minor and banal, the cultures and practices of entertainment are now widely studied and thoroughly researched, with interdisciplinary approaches accounting for their complex and mixed nature.

The conference aims to expand the academic knowledge of this fundamental trend, establish new trans-medial and multidisciplinary research perspectives in the field, and strengthen the understanding about how entertainment has shaped (and is still shaping) media sectors, how it is defined, produced and perceived, and with what outcomes.


▶ Watch the Conference Videos


Monday, May 21

9:45 Institutional Greetings
Giacomo Manzoli, director, Dipartimento delle Arti, Università di Bologna
Luca Barra, Paola Brembilla, Università di Bologna

10:15 Keynote Address
Chair: Paola Brembilla, Università di Bologna
Reality Entertainers. The Hidden Work of Warm Up Acts for Reality Television
Annette Hill, Lund University

11:15 Tele-tainment. Television Production and Distribution
Chair: Roberta Pearson, University of Nottingham
The “-tainment” Effect of Emotions. Producing Emotions in Reality Television
Laura Sūna, Freie Universität, Berlin
The Rise of Datatainment. How Big Data are Reorganizing the Logics of TV Entertainment
Enrico Menduni, Università Roma Tre, and Luca Massidda, Università degli Studi della Tuscia
Provocative Television Production
Pauliina Tuomi, Tampere University of Technology
From Barnum to the Small Screen, and Back. The Freak-ization of Television Entertainment
Daniela Cardini, Università IULM, Milano

13:00 Lunch Break

14:00 Poli-tainment/Info-tainment. News, Campaigns, Social Issues
Chair: Giovanni Boccia Artieri, Università di Urbino Carlo Bo
The “New Media Reality” of Donald Trump
Gabriele Cosentino, Lebanese American University
Political Commentary Shows in 2015 Spanish General Elections. A Perversion of the Democratic Public Space?
Alvar Peris Blanes, Universitat de València
Visualizing Necropolitics. The Infotainment of Human Suffering
Pierluigi Musarò, Università di Bologna, and Francesca Di Renzo, University of Sheffield
Redefining News Photography? Smarthphones, Instagram and the Logics of Visual Infotainment
Marco Solaroli, Università di Bologna

15:45 Edu-tainment/Cine-tainment. Screens and Museums
Chair: Héctor Pérez López, Univesidad Politècnica de València
Cura-tainment and the Contradictions of Decontextualized Contextualization
Jennifer Gillan, Bentley University, Boston
Museums as Entertainment, Entertainment in Museums
Peppino Ortoleva, Università degli Studi di Torino
Immersive Entertainment. Cinema and Virtual Reality
Adriano D’Aloia, International Telematic University UniNettuno, Roma
Branded Entertainment, Urban Environment and Cinema. “New” Spaces for Promotional Paratexts
Stefania Antonioni, Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo

20:00 Conference dinner


Tuesday, May 22

10:00 Keynote Address
Chair: Luca Barra, Università di Bologna
The Tyranny of Tech Empires. Engineering Consumer Containment Inside Digital Ecosystems
Denise Mann, UCLA

11:00 Digi-tainment. Digital Media and Communities
Chair: Paul McDonald, King’s College London
The “Wow” Factor in Choosing Digital Resources for Teaching. Entertainment or Empowerment?
Joséphine Rémon, Université Lyon 2
The Star Trek Infotainment Complex and “Slow” Versus “Fast” Fandom
Roberta Pearson, University of Nottingham
Politainment. Mutant Identities and Pop Culture Memes
Carolina Fernandéz Castrillo, New York University-Madrid and Madrid Open University
The “Engagement Effect”. The Social Media Communication of Netflix in Italy
Elisabetta Locatelli, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano
Swimming with Whales. The India Chapter
Ishani Dey, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

13:00 Lunch Break

14:00 Media-tainment/01. Music and Video
Chair: Ed Vollans, University of Leicester
The Concert Will Be Televised. The Influence of TV Entertainment on Pop Concerts (and vice versa)
Gianni Sibilla, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano
Exploring the Impact of New Media in the Entertainment Industry. A  Malaysian Music Reality TV Show
Nurulhamimi Abdul Rahman, University of Liverpool, and Syamsul Hirdi Muhid, University of Liverpool
Entertaining the Driver. How Radio and Streaming Services Compete for the Music Experience in the Car
Marta Perrotta, Università Roma Tre
On Air, in Air. Inflight Cinema as the Leading Frontier of On-the-Go Entertainment
Emiliano Rossi, Università di Bologna

15:45 Media-tainment/02. Transmedia Landscapes
Chair: Stephanie Janes, Royal Holloway, London
Historical and Cinematic Information as Entertainment in Video Game Promotion
Esther Wright, University of Warwick
The Survival Mediasphere. Dystopic Games in the Japanese Media Mix
Stefano Locati, Università IULM, Milano
Telling a Sports Story. Creation and Production Strategies of Federico Buffa’s Programs on Italian Pay TV Channels
Paolo Carelli, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano

17:30 Presentation of the new website of the CUC
Organized by Adriano D’Aloia and directors of the CUC – Consulta Universitaria Cinema
The President, Giulia Carluccio (Università degli Studi di Torino), and vice-presidents, Ruggero Eugeni (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano) and Stefania Parigi (Università Roma Tre), will be present.

19:30 Reception
DAMSLab/Laboratori delle Arti, Piazzetta Pier Paolo Pasolini 5b