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CfA: “Ambivalence and the Media,” Lisbon 2024 Workshop

By August 31, 2023September 1st, 2023No Comments

Ambivalence and the Media

9-12 January 2024 | Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Lisbon
Is this for you?

Are you interested in the media as a tool for mass communications, influence, and representation? Do you want to explore important relationships between media and society, the socio-economic and political elite, pluralism, identity, climate change, and more? With a wealth of different angles, the workshop promises to be incredibly dynamic and multifocal, but the thread that connects it all will be that of the media as a double-edged sword. Is ambivalence positive or negative? And are there finer distinctions to be made within this kind of simple binary? Is this state of ambivalence something we can change or unavoidable?

This workshop offers a truly multi-disciplinary approach, to hear from leading researchers and contribute your own thoughts. Applicants must be studying towards a master’s or doctorate and must be attending a university that is a member of the Europaeum network.

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Ambivalence—the state of having mixed feelings, contradictory ideas about a topic—is ubiquitous in today’s media environments but one shrouded in, well, ambivalence! For some, it undercuts and undermines those environments, introducing a level of uncertainty which conceals how media works and the convergent influences shaping it. For others, it is an inevitable response to complex modern lives and pluralistic societies, a few even consider it radical, a means of promoting tolerance and creativity. Either way, it is a feature of contemporary communication that is here to stay. This school throws a spotlight on ambivalence by asking what kind of presence it has. What are its primary attributes and pitfalls? How do these connect with, amplify or modify, dominant media practices, production, and consumption? It considers these in relation to:

  • media platforms
  • techniques to counter ambivalence
  • human rights and representation
  • history
  • national/regional/identity discourse
  • discourses on racism, misogyny, classism, settler colonialism
  • science, AI, and technology
  • climate change

Currently, we have two confirmed speakers for the workshop: Prof. Nina Khrushchev (The New School, New York) and Prof. Dr. Juliane Prade Weiss (Ludwig-Maximilians Universität).

Successful applicants will have their accommodation, travel and meals covered for the duration of the trip. They are expected to book their own travel and will be reimbursed after the end of the workshop. There will also be a cultural programme on day one, the costs for which will also be covered by The Europaeum.

How to apply

Please read the full details in the Guidance for Applicants page before applying. You will need to submit the following documents – all in English – to by the deadline: Sunday, 8 October 2023, by 23:59.

  • a CV
  • a 1-page letter of motivation introducing themselves, explaining their interest in the topic, and detailing what they feel they can bring to the workshop
  • an academic reference (preferably from their supervisor, if possible)
  • a 200 word abstract for a short (10 min) presentation addressing some aspect of ambivalence and media
  • a Europaeum application form

The Guidance for Applicants page should answer most queries. If not, Michael or Milan at will be happy to help.


You will need to submit your application by Sunday, 8 October, at 23:59. If your application has been successful, you will be notified by 19 October.