IAMCR 2012 - Participatory Communication Research Section Call for Papers


IAMCR Durban 2012

Annual Conference of the
International Association for Media and Communication Research
Durban, South Africa
July 15-19, 2012

Theme: ‘South-North Conversations’

The International Association for Media and Communication Research invites submissions of abstracts for papers and panel proposals for the 2012 IAMCR conference to be held from July 15-19, 2012 at the Howard College Campus of the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) in Durban, South Africa.

The deadline for submissions is February 14, 2012.


The conference will be held under the general theme, 'South-North Conversations'. The theme reflects the asymmetry of global communication flows, but without implying the negatives that usually accompany discussions of the 'digital divide'. The theme also calls for balanced and empowering narratives that do not regard those in ‘the South’ as victims primarily in need of handouts from the more affluent.

Participatory Communications Research Section

The PCR section has been among the most vibrant sections at IAMCR. It has, over the years, explored the theory and practice of participatory communications, and has played an important role as a platform for new thinking. While the PCR section has traditionally accommodated old and new approaches to participatory communications, it has over recent years, intentionally encouraged inter-disciplinary approaches marked by creativity, critique and innovation.

This year’s theme ‘South-North Conversations’ offers the section an opportunity to highlight advances in the theory and practice of participatory communications from the South and North. The section welcomes abstracts that explore the theory and practice of participatory communications, tensions and struggles between agency and structure, power flows, methodological innovations, engagements with participatory communications as process, political economy, the relationship between PC and gender and other markers of identity, urban interventions, social movements, ICTs and social networking.

While all abstracts will be reviewed, the section is specifically interested in abstracts on the following themes:

  1. Contributions by Critical Theories and Theorists from the South
  2. The Co-option of Participatory Communications by Corporate Structure
  3. Rethinking the Role of the State in facilitating/promoting Participatory Communications in the Context of Globalization
  4. Social Networking, Social Movements & Social Change
  5. Participatory Communications, Free and Open Source Software & Social Change
  6. The Critique of Empowerment, Participation & Other Buzzwords within the Development Industry
  7. Understanding Participatory Communications as Process
  8. Theorising Voice: Listening, Speaking and Public Spheres
  9. Participatory Communications in  Africa
  10. Participatory Communications and the Marginalised


The deadline for submission of abstracts is February 14, 2012. Please note that this deadline will not be extended.

The OCS system at http://iamcr-ocs.org will open on December 1, 2011, and will close on February 14, 2012.

Decisions on acceptance of abstracts will be communicated to individual applicants by the Section or Working Group Head no later than March 12, 2012.

On the same day, March 12, 2012, conference registration will open for bookings by participants.

For those whose abstracts are accepted, full conference papers are to be submitted via the IAMCR OCS by June 10, 2012.

Guidelines for Abstracts

Abstracts should be between 300 and 500 words in length.

All abstract submissions must be made centrally via the OCS at http://iamcr-ocs.org. There are to be no email submissions of abstracts addressed to any Section or Working Group Head.

In the interest of equity, the PCR Section encourages the submission of 1 abstract per individual. We encourage Spanish speakers to submit their abstract in Spanish.

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.

For further information, please contact the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) or consult the Conference Organizers via the website at:


or by email at:


Satarupa Dasgupta (Vice Chair)
Florencia Enghel (Vice Chair)
Pradip Thomas (Chair)