Document A and B

Research question came up from the last week: conflicts of wars in terms of geographical, historical, philosophical and political theory. (using media theory or security theory and an idea of different area vs US) 

・We should narrow down more. 

・Flaming of a research question: How is media documentation of war in the US is different from other states? And we were going to answer to this with three quite different case studies, each of which have two sides. However, this might not be durable for 20 min presentation, and each case study might not fulfill the requirement of a specific documentation. For example social media cannot explain WWII in Hiroshima. 

・In order to argue the main argument, we need to discuss again what is the best case study. 


Last week we also discussed how media theory influences society and people’s responses.

・This is because all news could be potentially biased. Those who produce the news could have some intentions. 

・This is about the relationship between documentation and public opinion. 


Documentation of climate change could be durable to cover the research question, so we decided to focus on this case study. 

・Anthropocene theory could be useful theory to approach the case study. We can focus on human vs nature.

・How awareness of climate change is disseminated through documentation? 

・The climate change is needed to be documented because it  is a sort of an invisible war. 

・When you trace back to a certain period, climate change is demonstrated in a different war? In the 17th and the 18th, how extreme weather was described?

・We can use maximum three types of media, and we might have social media, academic documentation and so on could be useful in order not to be too broad. ex. Trump’s twitter. 


Next meeting: a conversation based on readings and a potential argument might we can make from the research. 

suggested readings:

Anthropocene or Capitalocene? by Jason Moore

Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital by Jason Moore



Group AB independent group meeting and progress update (Sebastian, Kayoko, Ares, Greta and Kistina)

Following the successful merger of Group ‘A’ and Group ‘B’, this week we made important strides towards nailing down the scope and content of our research for the presentation.

Firstly, we agreed upon the following research question (which may be subject to minor tweaking in the week to come): How has media documentation of war in the US differed from that of conflicting states?

Because our central theme is War, we looked into defining the term in our own specific disciplines (Sebastian – Geography; Kistina – Politics; Kayoko & Greta – History; Ares – Philosophy) and found that it can mean many different things depending on through the lens that it is seen from. Because of this, we settled on 3 wide and varied case studies of ‘war’, being:

  • 1945 US atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima
  • 1991 Gulf War between the US and its NATO allies against Iraq and the Saddam regime
  • Climate Change rhetoric within the US and other states as a war between the earth and its inhabitants

We agreed that each case study would be analysed by looking at the messages portrayed/documented by mass media outlets in the US versus those of the public (e.g. social or independent media) and from outside the US. Granted, this is quite a large scope so we will be looking to refine this in the weeks to come. We agreed on a loose allocation of work with respect to the case studies, which is the following:

  • Sebastian: 1991 Gulf War
  • Kayoko & Ares: 1945 Hiroshima
  • Kistina & Greta: Climate Change

These are all subject to change as we have not started specific research yet. In addition, as Kistina mentioned in the previous update, we will also be looking at aspects of ‘media theory’ to help us with the research and the analysis of each case study.

Overall, this week’s meeting was very successful as we settled on our case studies and approaches. We have come pretty far in a short space of time, taking the merger of our groups into account and will build on this for our supervised meeting commencing week 5.

Document A (ideas meeting), 22/02/18

We discussed potential themes to focus on for our project. It seems we are leaning towards an interdisciplinary study of race relations, using the recent Black Lives Matter movement in the US as a case study. Using this as a building block, we will look at not only the various documents that surround the movement (both presently looking at the recent uprisings in Charlottesville and historically through comparing it with the Black Panther Party), but also the different ways that ideas surrounding this movement have been documented, such as through film, TV and social media. Politics, Geography, Philosophy, Film and History are all relevant and will all be discussed.

Here are some key terms and documents we find essential to this theme:
– Social movements
– Black culture and popular culture
– #BlackLivesMatter
– Charlottesville, Virginia
– Black Panther Party
– Black Panther Party manifesto
– Black Socialists of America
– Kehinde Andres – Back to Black (book)
– Russel Brand – Under the Skin (podcast)
– Deeyah Khan – White Right: Meeting the Enemy (Netflix documentary)
– Spike Lee – Blackkklansman (film)

Here is a potential research question we came up with (subject to change):

What is the relationship between ‘social movements’, their practice of documents, and documents about them? A case study of race relations in the US and the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

We will use the week ahead to read, listen to, or watch some of the documents listed above, and re-group next week to move forward on formulating a plan and a question.

Kistina and Ares