CFP: IAMCR Participatory Communication Research Section

The Participatory Communication Research Section of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) invites submissions for the 2018 IAMCR Conference to be held from 20-24 June 2018 in Eugene, Oregon, USA. The deadline to submit your abstract is 23:59 GMT on 31 January 2018.

Proposals for consideration by IAMCR’s thematic sections and working groups must be submitted via the Open Conference System at https://iamcr-ocs.org/

The Participatory Communication Research Section (PCR) explores the theory and practice of participatory communication, and has played an important role as a platform for new thinking. The PCR section addresses issues related to communication processes within the local, regional, national or international spheres and the ways in which communication, information and/or media foster social change through participation. While the PCR section has traditionally accommodated creative approaches to participatory communication, it has over recent years, intentionally encouraged interdisciplinary methods marked by critique and innovation.

This year’s conference theme -Reimagining Sustainability: Communication and Media Research in a Changing World- allows the section an opportunity to highlight research that relates participatory communication and social change to sustainability. The PCR section calls for work that engages with participation and the many ways it interconnects with sustainability, in its variety of meanings. This includes 1) the sustainability of participatory processes themselves, 2) the sustainability of democracy in a threatening context of authoritarian, violent, populist, nationalist, racist, misogynist (and many other) voices, 3) the role of participatory processes in ecological sustainability, but also in economic, cultural and social sustainability.

In addition to submissions related to the conference theme the section also welcomes contributions that discuss theoretical or methodological perspectives on a variety of participatory communication research issues and specific case studies. In particular, the section invites proposals for paper presentations and panels sessions that engage with any of the following themes:

1. Participatory theory

The section calls for presentations that develop a deeper understanding of the theoretical backbones of participatory practices. Proposals that ground participatory practices in social, political and/or cultural theory, or that provide a philosophical reflection on participatory practices are most welcome. Also conceptual discussions about the nature of participation, and its related concepts, as, for instance, power, empowerment, interaction and engagement, are welcomed.

2. Transcontinental dialogues about participation

The section invites colleagues working in the field of participatory communication research to submit panel proposals (and, if possible, individual papers) that bring together scholars from different regions, continents and territories to discuss particular aspects of participatory communication (social phenomena, theoretical and paradigmatic approaches, methods, …). Also comparative research and multi-regional case studies that are discussed in individual papers, is called for. The section believes that an intellectual exchange between different parts of the world would strengthen our work on participatory communication.

3. Regional-communicative perspectives on participation and CDSC (communication for development and social change)

The section invites practitioners as well as academics working in the field Communication for Development and/or Social Change (CDSC) to critically reflect on the role of regional communication, and on its participatory dimensions. What are the similarities and differences in how CDSC is conceived and practiced across the globe? Who are the changemakers, what are their goals and challenges, and how do they articulate and enact processes of change? What is the role of participation in these contexts? And how does the transformation of social, cultural and political territories influence and/or function as a pretext for their work? The section welcomes presentations and studies of a broad spectrum of initiatives, ranging from institutionalised actors such as governments, NGOs, or INGOs, to civil society-driven platforms and social movements.

4. Civil society participation: Critical voices

The increased democratic deficit in our host country (USA) has raised crucial questions about the role of civil society, in the US, and in all other countries in the world. The PCR Section wants to tackle these issues head-on. Is there still space for critical civil societies with its alternative forms of participation in the economic, social and political systems, within the USA and beyond? Whether in sparse and spontaneous events, or embedded in more organized and strategically designed movements, alternative forms of democratic participation have not disappeared, but have in many cases and places even gained prominence. How do they relate and react towards the local and global threats of authoritarianism? Are they part of an empowering, awareness-driven, critical discourse, are they part of a media-staged scenario, or do they have material consequences in the daily lives of communities? Can they be truly critical? How to they emerge, survive, or disappear in the vortex of contemporary existence? What powers do they subvert or create? How do they relate to the state? What are issues for academic research and why are they relevant?

5. Methodological challenges in participatory communication research

The section calls for presentations that focus on the methodological challenges that we meet as researchers in participatory communication, with specific regard to the sustainability concept. Relevant questions are here: How do we as participatory researchers work towards sustainability? What do we do to ensure sustainability, if anything, in the ways we conduct participatory communication research? Is sustainable action required for doing participatory communication research? How do we construct our identities as researchers, and negotiate our positions towards research participants and other stakeholders in a sustainable fashion? How do we design the analytical process, and implement criteria for validating our findings? How can we present and implement our work in more interactive, participatory and sustainable ways? Submissions to this subsection are preferably grounded in concrete research experiences within participatory communication. All research traditions are welcome, including quantitative, qualitative, ethnographic, arts-based, action-oriented, etc.

6. Participation and the private sphere

The section calls for theoretical or research-based individual paper and panel proposals, from researchers or media practitioners working on participatory communication projects dealing with thematics that challenge the traditional split between public and private spheres. It welcomes innovative proposals that emphasise the importance of discourses of participation and power in areas of social life which are traditionally considered private; or free from political or institutional interference. The section is interested in proposals dealing with participation in the economic sphere (including advertising, branding, etc.), but also in proposals that extend the discourses of the political beyond performativities of gender, sexuality and moral behaviours socially defined as ‘conventional’ and ‘normal’.

Submission of Abstracts:

Abstracts should be submitted from 9 November 2017 through 31 January 2018.

All abstract submissions must be made via IAMCR’s Open Conference System at https://iamcr-ocs.org. There are to be no email submissions of abstracts.

Both individual and panel submissions are welcome and early submission is strongly encouraged.

Deadline for submissions:

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 31 January 2018 and will not be extended.

Decisions on acceptance of abstracts will be communicated to applicants by their Section or Working Group Heads no later than 15 March 2018.

Guidelines for Abstracts:

Both panel and individual abstracts are welcomed.

Individual Abstracts should be between 300 and 500 words in length.

A complete panel proposal includes: (i) a panel description (panel title, details of the moderator and optional discussant, and a framing text) and; (ii) an abstract for each presentation. The panel coordinator must submit the complete proposal

All abstract submissions must be made via IAMCR’s Open Conference System at https://iamcr-ocs.org. There are to be no email submissions of abstracts.

It is expected that for the most part, only one (1) abstract will be submitted per person. However, under no circumstances should there be more than two (2) abstracts bearing the name of the same author either individually or as part of any group of authors. Please note also that the same abstract or another version with minor variations in title or content must not be submitted to more than one Section or Working Group. Such submissions will be deemed to be in breach of the conference guidelines and will be rejected by the OCS system, by the relevant Head or by the Conference Programme Reviewer. Authors submitting them risk being removed entirely from the conference programme.

Criteria for Evaluation

Submitted abstracts will generally be evaluated on the basis of:

1. theoretical contribution
2. methods
3. quality of writing
4. literature review
5. relevance of the submission to the work of the Section or Working Group
6. originality and/or significance

Important dates and deadlines to keep in mind:

31 January 2018 – Deadline for submissions
8 March 2018 – Registration opens
15 March 2018 – Notification of decisions of abstracts
20 March 2018 – Deadline to apply for travel grants and awards
27 March 2018 – Deadline to confirm your participation
7 May 2018 – Last day to register at discounted early-bird fee
28 May 2018 – Deadline for full paper submission
1 June 2018 – Final conference programme published on the website
20–24 June 2018 – IAMCR 2018 Conference

Visit the Participatory Communication Research Section’s webpage:



Stránka MedKult navazuje jmenovitě i obsahem na vrstevnaté štěpení kultury v různých prizmatech jejího zkoumání. Volně se proto zařazuje k termínům jako highcult, masscult, midcult, popcult a dalším, které slouží k pojmenování právě těchto kulturních vrstev. MedKult je platformou interdisciplinárního zkoumání napříč zejména dvěma obory, těmi jsou kulturální studia a mediální studia.

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