ALAIC /ECREA Panel at Istanbul 2011

alaic_ecrea_It has become a tradition for IAMCR to invite other international communication and media studies associations to organise a panel within the IAMCR conference, based on the principles of diversity, curiosity, exchange and reciprocity.

ECREA, the European Communication Research and Education Association, and ALAIC, the Latin American Communication Researchers Association, accepted the invitation and decided to co-organise a panel at IAMCR Istanbul 2011.

The joint ALAIC-ECREA panel aimed at fleshing out the interconnections between the different organisations and the (many) research traditions they represented, an objective which was also translated in the titled of the panel: ‘Time for creative interconnections: Latin-American & European cross-fertilizations in Communication and Media Studies’.

The intellectual starting point of this ALAIC-ECREA panel, coordinated by Nico Carpentier (ECREA) and Fernando Oliveira Paulino (ALAIC), was that regional diversity is a significant asset to our field, but at the same time we should (through the organisation of creative dialogues and exchanges) avoid counter-productive processes of intellectual isolationism or hierarchisation.

The contributions in the ALAIC-ECREA panel, by Gabriel Kaplún, Miquel de Moragas, Alejandra García-Vargas & Patria Román-Velázquez, Cláudia Álvares, Eliseo Colón and Leonardo Custódio, were explicitly aimed at contributing to this interregional dialogue by emphasising the regional specificity and contextual embeddedness of theories, methodologies and research traditions in Latin-America and Europe, critically comparing the strengths and weaknesses, the abundances and gaps, and then articulating these differences as opportunities for the intellectual enrichment of both academic communities.

The joint panel was also the first activity of the ALAIC-ECREA joint Task Force which has been established in 2010 by both organisations to investigate and develop a closer collaboration between both organisations, in the same spirit that inspired the joint panel at the IAMCR.

Fortunately, the conversation between both associations will continue. On May 10 2012 a special session will be organized at the XI Latin American Communication Research Congress in Montevideo, where they will be joined by IAMCR, NORDICOM and UNESCO. Another special session, and hopefully a new joint panel involving European and Latin American Researchers, will be organised for IAMCR's Conference in Durban.

by Nico Carpentier and
Fernando Oliveira Paulino