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The 2019 Conference will take place on Saturday 23rd November 2019 at the University of Edinburgh's St Leonards's building again.

Utopia has been out of fashion for some time. It has long since been replaced by images of human catastrophe and survival struggles. Fostered by the insecurities, fears and threats of neoliberal crisis, war, terrorism, climate change, and pandemics, critics like Frederic Jameson, Slavoj Zizek and Mark Fisher famously claimed that it is ‘easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism’. The growing predominance of fearful utopias range from highly-controlled state societies of George Orwell’s 1984 to ones where central control of the means of violence has all but collapsed in post-apocalyptic images of war of all against all, as in Cormac McCarthy’s 2006 novel, The Road, (movie, 2009), that typically characterise the deluge of dystopian videogames, television and film.


Alex Law, Professor of Sociology at Abertay University will deliver the keynote address on Fear Images and the Eclipse of Utopia. His research is informed by relational and historical approaches to sociology. This work involves long-term perspectives in sociological theory and problems of nation, state and society, focusing particularly on Scotland, the UK and Europe. Recent research examines the ambivalent nature of civic nationalism, the crisis of the UK state, governmental uses of ‘sectarianism’, nationalism in international sport, and the sociology of unintended consequences in the Scottish Enlightenment. In addition to this we have the usual rich mixture of informative, analytical seminars and practical workshops for all sectors of education. Join us on 23rd November and make your teaching for the future a little less dystopian!


AMES gratefully acknowledges the support of Creative Scotland




0945-1015 Registration and coffee

1015-1025 Introduction: Wendy Elrick, Convener of AMES

1025-1110 Keynote: Fear Images and the Eclipse of Utopia: Professor Alex Law

1120-1130 Comfort break



A1: Accuracy, Authenticity & Gameplay in Red Dead Redemption 2 - Iain Donald & Andrew Reid (SF)

A2: Teaching The Breadwinner- Isabel Sarran AMES (SF)

A3: SQA: Qualifications and Beyond - Matt Smith and Kirsty McKinnon SQA (PSF)


1230-1315 Lunch


B1: Teaching "Society" at N5 and Higher - Wendy Elrick AMES (SF)

B2: Textual Analysis in Film & TV Drama - Des Murphy AMES (SF)

B3: BBC Young Reporter: Fake News - Janette Ballard, BBC (PSF)

1430-1445 Refreshments


C1: Teaching The Hate U Give - Roy Stafford (SF)

C2: Short Films - Sarah Grant Creative - Sarah Grant, Edinburgh Napier University (PSF)

C3: Podcasts 'Creative Me' and Social Media - Ica Headlam (PSF)


AMES AGM: You are invited to stay for the short Annual General Meeting of AMES. We are always looking for new members to join the Management Committee which involves just a few meetings each year (travel expenses paid). Come along and make a difference, add to the discussion and to the Media Education Journal, help shape the conference next year.


Non-member (£60)

Individual/institutional/retired member, student and concession fee (£20)

Joining AMES as new individual member + conference (£65)

Joining AMES as new institutional member + conference (£80) + £20 per each additional delegate


AMES members can reserve a place or places at the conference by emailing their name and institution to Robert Preece. Payment/official orders can be submitted later. You can also download a Conference Flyer and submit it.


Any queries about the conference should be addressed to ames.scot@gmail.com or through the Let's Chat button.

If you have not renewed membership then now is the time to do it! Address membership enquiries to AMES treasurer Robert Preece.



The substantial resources from the 2017 conference and previous events are available at the members only password-protected resources page.