Programme

The European Conference on Arts & Humanities (ECAH) is an interdisciplinary conference held alongside The European Conference on Media, Communication & Film (EuroMedia). Keynote, Featured and Spotlight Speakers will provide a variety of perspectives from different academic and professional backgrounds. Registration for either conference will allow participants to attend sessions in both.

This page provides details of presentations and other programming. For more information about presenters, please visit the Speakers page.


  • Testimonies of Light: Photography, Witnessing and History
    Testimonies of Light: Photography, Witnessing and History
    Keynote Presentation: Dr Paul Lowe
  • The Challenges of Doing Research and Creative Activity in the Arts and Humanities Today
    The Challenges of Doing Research and Creative Activity in the Arts and Humanities Today
    Featured Panel Presentation: Professor Donald E. Hall & Professor Anne Boddington
  • Mythologizing One’s Own History Through Narrative: Francis Coppola’s Tetro
    Mythologizing One’s Own History Through Narrative: Francis Coppola’s Tetro
    Featured Presentation: Dr Rodney F. Hill
  • Water Protectors or Protesters: Examining Media Coverage of the Dakota Pipeline Protests
    Water Protectors or Protesters: Examining Media Coverage of the Dakota Pipeline Protests
    Spotlight Presentation: Dr Kimberly Cowden
  • The IAFOR Documentary Photography Award – 2017 Winners Announcement
    The IAFOR Documentary Photography Award – 2017 Winners Announcement
    Featured Event
Testimonies of Light: Photography, Witnessing and History
Keynote Presentation: Dr Paul Lowe

In its relatively short history, photography has arguably become the predominant medium through which we represent the world around us. It is hard to imagine a world without the photographic image, so ubiquitous has it become as a form of communication, documentation and personal and artistic expression. Today, more photographs are taken every two minutes than in the whole of the nineteenth century. We now photograph everything, every moment of our lives and the world around us. Photography has arguably become the means through which we most strongly remember the past – and represent the present – forming the foundation of not only our collective social memory, but also our personal memories. Photographs capture a moment in time and in space, condensing and concentrating experiences into artifacts. They preserve within the frame the ghostly traces of the past as well as the knowledge that that past is no longer there, and therefore serve to preserve our sense of history and memory. As such, they form an important part of remembering, fluctuating between past and present, connecting moments in time. This is not necessarily a “stilling” of time, but rather a concentration of experience into an image that suggests time interrupted, retaining the sense of a time before the image and a time after it. As soon as the shutter closes, that moment of representation is forever in the past, yet still preserved in the present and into the future. The paradox is that although the still image is a single, discrete temporal event, it has the ability to transcend time; by playing on the imagination of the viewer, it can project backward and forward through time. The image retains within the frame a self-contained story, a sense of occurrences before the photograph and possibilities afterward. This presentation will therefore explore how the photographic image has engaged with the historical moment, from its inception in the mid nineteenth century to the present day.

Image | View from the Window at Le Gras (1826 or 1827) by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

The Challenges of Doing Research and Creative Activity in the Arts and Humanities Today
Featured Panel Presentation: Professor Donald E. Hall & Professor Anne Boddington

Given the rise of anti-intellectualism and increasing emphasis on technical and skills-based education, 2017 and beyond will prove particularly challenging times for those of us working in the arts and humanities. Our panellists will each speak for five to ten minutes about the broad political constraints on their work, as well as their respective national and institutional contexts of funding and prioritisation. This will be followed by a general discussion with the audience about collective experiences and strategies for individual and collective response to the challenges that we face.

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

Mythologizing One’s Own History Through Narrative: Francis Coppola’s Tetro
Featured Presentation: Dr Rodney F. Hill

Since 2007, Francis Coppola has been pursuing a more independent, low-budget mode of filmmaking, and the results have been some of the most personal films of his career. Tetro (2009), Coppola’s first film from an original screenplay since 1974, centres on the troubled relationships between two estranged brothers – both aspiring playwrights – and their brilliant but emotionally crippling father, a famous orchestra conductor. Key aspects of the narrative are drawn from Coppola’s own family history, but only loosely so, and in transposing these conflicts into fiction, Coppola symbolises them, indeed mythologises them, into a drama of Greek proportions. In its stylistic blend of realism and artifice, combined with its narrative focus on dramatic writing, the film calls attention to its own theatricality and process of narration.

Image | Francis Ford Coppola by FICG.mx

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

Water Protectors or Protesters: Examining Media Coverage of the Dakota Pipeline Protests
Spotlight Presentation: Dr Kimberly Cowden

The Standing Rock Sioux reservation is located about an hour south of North Dakota’s capital city, Bismarck. The reservation extends into South Dakota. Since April of 2016, members of the Standing Rock Sioux nation have established a camp, the Sacred Stone Camp, to protest the Dakota Access pipeline project that will cross the Missouri river on tribal lands. What started out as a few “water protectors” bloomed into thousands of visitors showing support from every part of the globe, largely due to social media. This movement has illuminated the issues of water protection, our reliance on fossil fuels, environmental implications of carbon footprints, indigenous rights and the historical and present issues of treaty compliance and respect by the dominant culture for native peoples. The protests have created an international forum for indigenous rights and sovereignty. The purpose of this study is to examine print media coverage of the Standing Rock protests (also known as #NoDAPL) from the inception of the Sacred Stone camp, located on reservation lands in Cannonball, North Dakota, through November 2016. It is important to examine how mainstream media versus Native American media portrays the activists for dissemination. This study asks: in what ways does mainstream reporting differ from a Native American-centered media regarding coverage of the Dakota Pipeline protest.

Image | “Dakota Access Pipe Line” by Carl Wycoff

Read presenter biographies on the Speakers page.

The IAFOR Documentary Photography Award – 2017 Winners Announcement
Featured Event

The IAFOR Documentary Photography Award is an international photography award that seeks to promote and assist in the professional development of emerging documentary photographers and photojournalists.

The Award is supported by The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) and builds off of the strength of the IAFOR Documentary Film Award, now in its sixth year. Documentary has a rich history of exposing truths, telling stories, raising awareness and creating discussion – all practices valued at IAFOR.

The Award follows the theme of the conference, with 2017’s theme being “History, Story, Narrative”. In support of upcoming talent, the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award is free to enter.

All delegates receive free entry to the award screening.