With the goal of fostering academic dialogue and collaboration across conflict zones, the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) is pleased to announce the establishment of IAMCR Peace Fellowships. These two-year fellowships aim to unite scholars from regions or communities currently or recently embroiled in antagonistic conflicts. By offering travel grants, membership benefits, and platforms for academic discourse, we seek to create collaborative contact zones that transcend geopolitical boundaries and contribute to peace-building and mutual understanding.
The deadline for application is 15 December 2023.
Established during the Cold War by researchers from East and West, IAMCR has a long history of promoting academic collaboration and dialogue in situations where governments or communities see each other as unfriendly adversaries at best, and enemies at worst.
IAMCR’s position has not always been easy, as these collaborations were considered by the outside world and by many academic colleagues as undesirable and unethical. The almost inescapable focus on the evilness of the other—sometimes legitimate, sometimes exaggerated and sometimes (black) propaganda—makes it difficult to take a long-term perspective, looking beyond the particularity of the conflict; to take a humanist perspective, recognizing the human in the other-academic and severing the automatic link between nation-states and communities on the one hand, and individual academics on the other; and to contribute to peace-building, preparing and supporting discursive and material structures that would allow for the transformation of antagonism into agonism, for the facilitation of reconciliation and forgiving, for the healing of cultural traumas, and for the defence of justice and human rights.
One vital method is the creation of contact zones that allow for these dialogues to take place, which can be organised in a variety of ways, through face-to-face meetings or purely online exchanges, as physical meetings are not always possible in the context of antagonistic conflict. As an academic association, the creation of collaborative contact zones is particularly important, allowing individual scholars from ‘both sides’ to work together in the production of knowledge. Here, the themes that structure these collaborations need to be kept open, not exclusively focussing on the antagonistic conflict itself, and its causes and/or remedies. Collaborative contact zones often function best when the conflict is not the theme, given the many sensitivities, restrictions and even risks that might burden collaborations thematically focussed on the conflict.
IAMCR wants to support the creation of collaborative contact zones, with the modest means at its disposal. By establishing IAMCR peace fellowships, IAMCR will facilitate the collaboration of pairs of individual scholars, who are based in, or strongly connected to, two regions or communities that are currently engaged, or recently have been engaged, in an antagonistic conflict. An IAMCR peace followship will last 2 years, in order to provide sufficient time for collaboration, and IAMCR will select up to two pairs of peace fellows per year. After four years, IAMCR’s Executive Board will evaluate the project and decide on its continuation.
Requirements and procedures
IAMCR will grant selected candidates the title of IAMCR peace fellows for two years.
Furthermore, IAMCR will provide support to IAMCR peace fellows in the following ways:
- A travel grant of 1500 USD, for each scholar, to attend one (1) main IAMCR conference, in order to present the collaborative work. When peace fellows are demonstrably in the impossibility to travel to IAMCR conferences, the funds can be used, pending IAMCR approval, for a different channel of communication to the IAMCR community.
- An individual membership for both scholars, for two years.
- Opportunities to present their work at online or face-to-face IAMCR fora, to be decided in consultation with both scholars.
The selection of IAMCR peace fellows is organised through an application procedure, initiated by a call, where a pair of potential peace fellows submits a joint proposal for academic collaboration on a particular theme. This joint proposal should include the following elements:
- A description of the specific, clearly-demarcated and focussed academic theme of the collaboration between the two scholars (max. 1000 words);
- A description of the process of the planned collaboration (max. 500 words);
- A description of the planned academic outputs (expected minimum of one peer-reviewed academic publication) and other outputs (max. 500 words);
- A description of: (1) the relationship of the scholars to each other; (2) the relationship of the scholars with the regions or communities in antagonistic conflict (e.g., being based there, having a strong engagement with the region or community), and (3) the nature of the antagonistic conflict itself (max. 500 words);
- A brief note describing any particular security needs of one or both scholars, if there are any (e.g., in relation to required discreteness or even anonymity) (max. 500 words);
- The CVs of both scholars.
The Executive Board will establish a Commission (after consultation with the IC) to evaluate the submitted proposals, chaired by the IAMCR president.
Pairs of scholars from all regions in the world, from all academic positions and affiliations, from all genders, ethnicities and ages are welcome to apply.
The submission deadline is 15 December 2023.
The evaluation Commission will announce its decisions on, or before, 1 February 2024.
If you have any questions about the IAMCR Peace Fellowships contact Mazlum Kemal Dağdelen.