IAMCR 2016 - Popular Culture Working Group - CfP

The Popular Culture Working Group of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) invites submissions of abstracts for papers and panel proposals for the 2016 IAMCR conference to be held from 27 -31 July, 2016 in Leicester, UK. The deadline to submit your abstract is midnight GMT on 15 February 2016.

Conference theme: "Memory, Commemoration and Communication: Looking Back, Looking Forward"

See the conference key dates and deadlines: http://iamcr.org/leicester2016/keydates

See all Calls for Papers for IAMCR 2016: http://iamcr.org/leicester2016/cfp

Visit the conference website: http://iamcr.org/leicester2016

Conference theme: Memory, Commemoration and Communication: Looking Back, Looking Forward

This year’s conference theme seeks to explore the relationship between memory, commemoration and communication. This theme anticipates the 60th anniversary of IAMCR in 2017, an organisation which has played a strong role in the development of media and communication studies.

Although scholars have long been interested in memory and culture, advancements in technologies are providing new and innovative opportunities to think about how it is created, preserved, passed on, and archived. Within academia, we have witnessed increased interest in cultural memory studies – from media representations of the past, oral history projects and growing interest in digitizing data leading to the history of everything. Various public bodies are also engaged in this work. In the UK, for example, the BBC launched a Public Space Project in 2011, which saw the corporation link up with various other cultural institutions including libraries, galleries, museums, archives, schools, colleges and universities to make cultural material publicly and freely available to all. The following year, BBC’s Radio 4 launched the Listening Project, which seeks to broadcast ‘intimate conversations’ on topics such as living with Alzheimer’s and falling in love, in order to ‘help to build a unique picture of our lives today’ which will be preserved for future generations. Across the globe, there are numerous examples of oral history projects, associations, and commemorative organisations and websites on topics such as the Holocaust, the Armenian and Rwandan genocides, World Wars One and Two, immigration, oral literature, and popular memory.

As a result, the growing interest in (mediations of) cultural memory provides a timely opportunity not only to look back at which memories get preserved or forgotten, but also to look forward to how cultural memories might be archived, remembered, (re)produced, storied, erased, modified and re-told across time and space. The theme also opens up space to commemorate IAMCR's history and contribution to the field of media and communication research.

This year’s conference welcomes paper and panel proposals that engage with the way the concepts of memory and commemoration, and the ways the past is (re)mediated, historicised, documented, archived, remembered, forgotten and (re)told. It also welcomes submissions which commemorate IAMCR as an organisation as well as the contributions its members have made over the years. Looking forward, papers might also address where the field is heading. Submissions might also focus on areas such as: memory and colonialism; commemoration of historic events; the reproduction of culture through story-telling; the media’s role in (re)producing cultural narratives and commemorations. We welcome submissions from early career researchers and veteran scholars alike.

Questions asked might include: Why and how do people/cultures/organisations/families share or hide memories? What strategies are used to share memories, either collectively or individually? What role does privilege/inequality play in the creation, sharing, or preserving of memory? How do individuals, groups, or cultures learn memories? How are events remembered, retold, preserved or erased differently in different locations, historic periods, spaces and cultures? How is storytelling conceived of as form of cultural memory? When looking to the future, what is the relationship between forms of memory and ideas about technologies moving towards the "post-human"? We welcome contributions ranging from the empirical to the theoretical and methodological in focus.

The Popular Culture Working Group acknowledges the centrality of the role of memory and experience in the formation of Popular Culture. Abstracts and proposals that explore the following themes

  • The concept of the Nation and the national-popular
  • Memory and Popular Political Movements
  • Gender, Race and Sexuality and Narratives of Identity
  • Mass media and the production of political and cultural amnesia
  • Cinematic Tourism
  • Media Tourism
  • Popular representations of nostalgia without memory
  • Oral History as a popular practice
  • Social media and popular memory
  • Wars and commemoration
  • Fashion and the consecration of Time
  • Proposals not mentioned above but relevant to the broad topic area will also be considered.

Submission of Abstracts

Abstracts should be submitted only via IAMCR's Open Conference System (OCS) from 1 December 2015 – 15 February 2016.

Both individual and panel submissions are welcome. 

Early submission is strongly encouraged.


The deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 February 2016.

Decisions on acceptance of abstracts will be communicated to applicants by their Section or Working Group Head no later than 1 April 2016.

For those whose abstracts are accepted, full conference papers are to be submitted by 30 June 2016.

Guidelines for Abstracts

Unless otherwise stated by a Section or Working Group, abstracts should be between 300 and 500 words in length.

All abstract submissions must be made via IAMCR's Open Conference System. There are to be no email submissions of abstracts addressed to any Section or Working Group Head.

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.

Technical guidelines, if any, are defined by the individual Sections and Working Groups. Consult the Section or Working Group's specific CfP or contact the heads of the Section and Working Group you want to submit to if you have questions.

For further information, please consult the conference website or contact the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) by email at iamcr2016 (at) leicester.ac.uk.

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 of the work

Important dates and deadlines to keep in mind:

  • 1 December 2015 Open Computer System (OCS) available for abstract submission
  • 15 February 2016 Deadline for submissions
  • 1 April 2016 Notification of acceptances of abstracts
  • 15 April 2016 Deadline to apply for travel grants and awards
  • 28 April 2016 Deadline to confirm your participation
  • 20 May 2016 Last day to register at discounted early-bird fee
  • 30 June 2016 Deadline for full paper submission
  • 7 July 2016 Final conference programme published on the website
  • 27-31 July 2016 IAMCR 2016 Conference

Popular Culture Working Group


Barry King

Tonny Krijnen

See the conference key dates and deadlines: http://iamcr.org/leicester2016/keydates

See all Calls for Papers for IAMCR 2016: http://iamcr.org/leicester2016/cfp

Visit the conference website: http://iamcr.org/leicester2016