By Alexander Landa
This is a question we’ve gotten a few times. We get the question “What is Emerging Media Studies?” a lot more, though.
Luckily, we can (mostly) answer these questions now.
#Screentime is a student-run conference, organized by the Emerging Media Studies program at Boston University, part of the College of Communication. In short, we want to hold an event that represents our major as a whole, showcasing components that define emerging media, such as virtual reality, social media, new modes of communication, and so on. We want to see how other scholars, researchers, and industry professionals are using these new trends in technology in their lives, such as the news organization creating VR news reports, and those who use social media for health communication.
Last semester we explored the topic of emerging media from a much more theoretical approach, learning what methods researchers use to understand the field, and the supporting background that explains why we perform such intense research. This semester, we’re tackling these concepts head-on in almost every class, holding focus groups, conducting surveys, and lots and lots of content analysis.
All of this leads to our final project – #Screentime. As part of a year-long collaboratory class with different projects throughout, everything leads up to this event. We have to use various research approaches to determine what people want to see from a conference, we implement our professional and applied skills to create promotional material like flyers and videos, and we use our understanding of the field and theories to define the content we want to see and showcase once June 23rd hits.
For future students looking at the EMS program, be ready for a lot of work – but all fulfilling, practical work where we implement both the academic side of the degree, and the professional, applied track. EMS isn’t strictly academic, nor is it a completely professional MA program, rather it’s a unique combination of both. A big part of why we hold this conference – and now why we’re documenting so much of it – is to be transparent with a program that sounds confusing to many people.
For those looking at submitting abstracts, we’re still accepting submissions and we’d love to see your work! We want this conference to tackle different approaches towards emerging media, so if your institution or work uses these new trends, then let’s see what you’re up to!
Lastly, for those just wishing to follow the EMS brand and to check out the conference, be on the lookout for videos, event coverage, and tons of ‘day-in-the-life’ content that highlights our new brand and major within the BU College of Communication.
Be sure to follow our program and #Screentime on social media to stay up-to-date with speakers, schedules, location, and so on. We’ll be posting lots of fun stuff over the next few months, and we’re so excited to see this thing through!
Growing up with parents who were always getting the latest gadgets, gizmos, and games, I’ve always been so aware of all new technology coming out – and I love all of it. Originally from upstate New York, I graduated from Marist College in 2013 with a B.A. in Communication Studies and a Psychology minor Before coming to BU, I’ve worked in various industries, mainly gamification and copyediting, though I look forward to working with a non-profit upon graduation. The EMS program is a great outlet for me to combine all of my passions, but I mainly love this program since it gives me an excuse to play more video games, since now I can say it’s for research.