IAMCR 2015: Islam and Media Working Group - CfP- Deadline 9 February

Islam and Media Working Group of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) invites submissions of abstracts for papers and panel proposals for the IAMCR 2015 conference to be held in Montreal, Canada, from 12th to 16th July 2015.  The deadline for proposal submissions is 9 February 2015

Conference theme: “Hegemony or Resistance? The Ambiguous Power of Communication

See the conference key dates and deadlines: http://iamcr.org/congress/montreal2015-keydates

See all Calls for Papers for IAMCR 2015: http://iamcr.org/congress/montreal2015-cfp

Visit the conference website: http://congresiamcr.uqam.ca

The conference theme in 2015 is “Hegemony or Resistance? The Ambiguous Power of Communication”. The theme seeks to explore the ambiguous relationship of communication towards hegemony and resistance. It relates, for example, to the various ways in which communication has been described not only as a value of our times – echoing an ideal for social transparency and communality – but also as a threat in terms of global domination. This ambiguity has prompted debates in academia about communication being at the same time a value and a tool, a space of consent and one of struggle, and having (more authentic) local and global dimensions. While multiple sites of resistance are spreading around the world, much of the debates about communication technologies mark an increasing suspicion towards the new media’s capability for empowerment.

Given the very marginalized position of Muslim and Arab peoples in relation to global means of communication be it traditional or digital, the theme of the conference closely links to the main concern of Islam and Media Group.  

It is a fact that the global means of communication have been politicized by linking them to the concept of soft power (Nye, 2004 in Van Dijk). The advantage of soft power lay chiefly in the assumed ability to pull, rather than push, audiences toward an actor and subtly reshape opinions and perceptions indirectly via exposure to international media content. As a result, governments have created entire policies around expanding soft power influence with the ultimate goal of exercising media and communication symbolic, persuasive and ideological power.

On the other hand, there is no doubt that the one-sided media coverage, and negative attitudes toward Arabs and Muslims, not only affect the public’s perception, but also create hostility and ignorance. Edward Said, 1981, concluded that he has not been able to discover any period in European or American history since the Middle Ages in which Islam was generally discussed or thought about outside a framework created by passion, prejudice, and political interests.  Muzaffer (1990) also came to a similar conclusion “that Western media deal with Islam and Muslims as a threat to Western civilization. He stated that the negative attitudes are deeply embedded in the Western psyche.

The global media, as Manual Castells (2000) asserts, have become the essential space of politics.  The media power reflects itself in many aspects: media ownership, media control and media manipulation of peoples’ minds.    As Van Dijk (2007) concluded in his work “Power and New Media”, another important notion in the analysis of media power is that of access, or control of the means of communication, as one of the crucial conditions of the social power in the contemporary societies. 

Arabs and Muslims may have access to internet communications as well as to other global means of communication, but they lack the resources to use it in a way to counter the imbalance of information flow of the powerful countries of the north. Given the fact that the internet is primarily  an English based medium with about 60% of the all web content in English, Arabic language and  Islamic culture are surviving  under the hegemony of  the dominant language of only 10- 15% of the human population. 

In addition to domination of Western media, Arabs and Muslims suffer from the hegemony of media power internally through the undemocratic governments, suppressive political systems and tyranny of military rulers who usurped power through military coups.  

Given this analysis, Islam and Media Group invites submissions that critically engage with these issues. In addition we welcome papers and panel proposals addressing the following more particular themes that fit in the general call for papers and are relevant to the group. 

  1. Biased global media coverage of Arab and Muslim issues,
  2. Digital divide and marginalization of Arabic language,
  3. Internet communication and cultural imperialism,
  4. Global means of communication and the stereotyped image of Arabs, Muslims and Islam,
  5. Resistance of some Arab internet sites and lack of empowerment,
  6. Media control, media power and lack of understanding of Arab and Muslim issues,
  7. Military coups in Arab countries, media monopoly  and the Arab Fall,
  8. Deficit of freedom of expression, lack of media freedom in Arab and Muslim countries and marginalization of the will of the peoples,
  9. Weakness of Arab news agencies and the imbalance of international flow of communication,
  10. Western media entertainment programs, talk shows and Islamphobia,
  11. News media framing, terror, and Islam,
  12. Internet governance, media policies and ambiguous influence of information on identity,
  13. Arab media, the restrictive public sphere  and the dominance of the illegitimate authority,
  14. Media diversity, tolerance and values of coexistence between cultures,
  15. Professional ethics, self- regulation,  the autonomy of media and the empowerment of marginalized peoples,
  16. Private media ownership, commercialization of information and ignorance of human rights in Arab and Muslim countries,
  17. Lack of Arab public media and manipulation of people’s mind against their basic interests,
  18. Virtual society and the Arab and Muslim cultural identity,
  19. Social networks, knowledge production and the power of Western culture,
  20. Global media,  symbolic and ideological power,  and economic hegemony.

Islam and Media Group welcomes the interdisciplinary scholarly works that relate media power, to social, political and economic power and that utilize multi- methodological approachs. Papers based on field surveys or content analysis or that lack critical and analytical thinking may not be accepted. The group welcomes theoretical, interdisciplinary works that deal with the above mentioned controversial issues. All papers should be based on sound and comprehensive theoretical background. Historical and comparative  researches and papers are highly appreciated.

Submission information

Islam and Media Group invites proposals for papers bearing on the above or related issues by submitting an abstract. Abstracts should include title, main question or research problem, theoretical framework, method(s) used, and the expected empirical outcomes if applicable.  Abstracts will be evaluated by a double blind review on the basis of: (1) theoretical contribution, (2) significance of the work, (3) methods, (4) quality of writing, (4) paper organization, (5) literature review, and (6) relevance of submitted  work to Islam and Media Group and to the overall theme of the conference.

Proposals for panels of 90 minutes are also welcome. A panel proposal must have 4 to 5 papers and include:

  1. The panel title, names of the panelists and  titles of their papers. A panel chair and a discussant should also be mentioned.
  2. An abstract for each paper should include title author(s) and institutional affiliation. 

The panel proposal will be reviewed and will be accepted,  accepted with minor change, accepted with major change or rejected. 

Guidelines for Abstracts

Abstracts should be between 300 and 500 words in length.

All abstract submissions must be made via IAMCR's OCS at http://iamcr-ocs.org. 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 for consideration by the conference. However, under no circumstances should there be more than two (2) abstracts bearing the name of the same applicant 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 other Sections or Working Groups of the Association for consideration, after an initial submission. Such submissions will be deemed to be in breach of the conference guidelines and will be automatically rejected by the Open Conference System, by the relevant Head or by the Conference Programme Reviewer. Such applicants risk being removed entirely from the conference programme.

Upon submission of an abstract, you will be asked to confirm that your submission is original and that it has not been previously published in the form presented. You will also be given an opportunity to declare if your submission is currently before another conference for consideration.

This working group accepts abstracts in English only, to facilitate the international peer review process. In addition, this working group will arrange for presentations in English only.

For further information, please consult the conference website at: http://congresiamcr.uqam.ca/ or contact the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) by email: iamcr2015[at]uqam.ca.

Islam and Media Working Group


Dr. Basyouni Hamada
Professor of Communication and Public Opinion, Department of Mass Communication, Qatar University


Dr. Mahmoud Mohamed Galander
Associate Professor of Communication, Department of Mass Communication, Qatar University

Dr.Bushra H Rahman
Associate  Professor of Journalism
Institute of Communication Studies
University of the Punjab, Pakistan.

See the conference key dates and deadlines: http://iamcr.org/congress/montreal2015-keydates

See all Calls for Papers for IAMCR 2015: http://iamcr.org/congress/montreal2015-cfp

Visit the conference website: http://congresiamcr.uqam.ca