Models of Communication: Theoretical and Philosophical Approaches
October 8-10, 2015
Vilnius (Faculty of Philosophy, Vilnius University), Lithuania.
Keynote speakers: Robert T. Craig (University of Colorado Boulder), Klaus Bruhn Jensen (University of Copenhagen)
It is often claimed that the early phases of media and communication studies were dominated by a linear conception of communication, modelled as a process of transmission. The hegemony of this model may have been exaggerated – it never prevailed in studies of interpersonal communication, for instance – but it has undeniably provided a favourite target for critics of various stripes. While some communication theorists have proposed elaborations of the well-known sender-message-receiver schema, others have argued for more radical revisions of modelling rooted in e.g. semiotics, constructivism, and the ritual view of communication. At the same time, scepticism regarding the very notion of a model of communication has grown stronger; and in recent decades, the focus has often switched from first-level conceptions to second-order “meta-models” of the constellations of communication theory.
What is the status and relevance of communication models today? The proliferation of new forms of mediated communication seems to require new ways of making sense of a complex and rapidly moving field. Can the established perspectives provide adequate platforms from which to address emerging questions of “social media” and “big data”? Are we actually witnessing a revival of information-theoretical perspectives in the wake of the advance of computer-mediated communications? Should models of media and communication be descriptive or prescriptive? What, if any, exemplars should provide the basis for a future media and communications curriculum? What is their scholarly, scientific, and heuristic value?
The contributions presented in this workshop explore new models of communication and investigate various aspects of model construction as well as contributions that scrutinise the use and misuse of models in communication theory and education.
Mats Bergman, chair (University of Helsinki / University College London)
Kęstas Kirtiklis (Vilnius University), Emanuel Kulczycki (Adam Mickiewicz University), Carlos Roos (Ghent University / Leiden University), Lydia Sanchez (University of Barcelona), Johan Siebers (University of London), Bart Vandenabeele (Ghent University)