The Centre for Critical Studies was incorporated in the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities in August 2015.

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‘Are you being heard?’: The challenges of listening in the digital age

Tuesday 15 April 2014, 2:30 - 3:30pm
CCCS Seminar Room, Level 4,  Forgan Smith Tower (Building 1)
St Lucia Campus [see map]

Click here for the audio recording


This seminar will explore the importance of ‘listening’ in the context of digital culture and user generated content. From increased spectrum availability to the explosion of social media, from the international boom in digital storytelling to the growth of citizen journalism, digital technologies have opened up unprecedented possibilities for marginalised communities to speak up, share stories and find a voice. Yet research increasingly suggests that greater capacity for media production does not always guarantee that diverse voices will actually be heard. While the 20th Century was characterised by demands for access to scarce media resources in order to ensure ‘voice’, the challenges of ‘listening’ are crucial in the post-broadcast era of rapidly expanding opportunities for media production. While there is no doubt that web-based communications technologies have enabled a proliferation of voices and participation, there is a need to analyse the extent to which voice is actually heard or has influence in wider debates and decision-making (Couldry 2010). Engaging with an emerging interest in ‘listening’ in political theory, media and cultural studies, this paper investigates listening as the crucial challenge for democratic media in the digital age. The seminar also suggests listening strategies for media justice as the problems of media scarcity are transformed by the challenges of abundance.


Dr Tanja Dreher is a senior lecturer in media and communications at the University of Wollongong, and program convenor for international media and communication. Tanja's research focuses on the politics and practices of 'listening' in contexts which more commonly foreground speaking and voice, including: media and multiculturalism, Indigenous and community media, and climate change communications. Tanja is currently completing a book manuscript 'Listening across difference: Media beyond the politics of voice'. Tanja is also working on pilot projects to develop methodologies to capture listening, and on Listening in to Indigenous Public Spheres.

This seminar will be chaired by Professor Gay Hawkins.
Members of the public are invited to attend this free seminar, after which light refreshments will be served.
Enquiries: Fergus Grealy, Events Co-ordinator
P: (07) 3346 9764 | F: (07) 3365 7184 | E:
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