Call for Proposals

The International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) invites the submission of abstracts of papers and proposals for multi-paper sessions (the online conference equivalent of a panel in a face to face conference) for IAMCR 2021, which will be held from 11 to 15 July, 2021. IAMCR 2021 will be held online with a regional hub in Nairobi, Kenya. The conference will be hosted by the Department of Journalism & Corporate Communication of United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) in Nairobi. The deadline for submission is 9 February 2021 at 23.59 UTC.

IAMCR conferences address a wide diversity of topics defined by our 33 thematic sections and working groups. We also propose a single central theme to be explored throughout the conference with the aim of generating and exploring multiple perspectives. This theme is addressed in plenary and special sessions, and in some sessions of the sections and working groups. The central theme for 2021 is Rethinking borders and boundaries: Beyond the global/local dichotomy in communication studies. Not all submissions have to address this central theme. See the individual calls for proposals of the sections and working groups for other themes and for other perspectives in the central theme.


The main theme of IAMCR 2021, Rethinking borders and boundaries: Beyond the global/local dichotomy in communication studies, is concerned with how changes in communication theory and practice are challenging our understanding of global and local, creating new identities and discourses, and enabling a hybrid glocalisation, with both positive and negative consequences. 

Five sub-themes have been identified: The rebirth of populist discourses; Activism and the new global social justice movements; Trends in global media ecosystems; Identity: Gender, class, ethnicity, religion, sexuality; and Communication for development in health, climate change and education. See the complete theme here.

Section and working group themes

Proposals submitted to sections and working groups can be centred on an aspect of the main conference theme as it relates to the central concerns of the section or working group, or they may address additional themes identified by the section or working group. 

Download this call for proposals and the complete theme as a PDF file

Consult the calls for proposals of IAMCR's 33 thematic sections and working groups

See the call for proposals for Flow34

Conference model: Online with an African "hub" and global satellite activities

In alignment with the possibilities offered by the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the conference’s main theme, Rethinking Borders and Boundaries, IAMCR 2021’s conference will offer multiple modalities for participation. It will be an online conference with an African “hub” at USIU-Africa, and satellite activities at various points around the globe. The various components of the conference include:

1. Online Conference Papers – Abstracts submitted in response to this CfP will be reviewed by the sections and working groups and accepted authors will be invited to submit short conference papers  (1,000 to 4,000 words). These papers will be grouped into sessions and published on the conference website prior to the conference on a platform that will enable discussion during the conference. 

2. Section and Working Group Online Sessions – IAMCR sections and working groups will curate a number of video sessions highlighting key issues within their thematic areas of specialisation.

3. Flow34 – A stream featuring videos that integrate academic and aesthetic narratives. Proposals for this component will be reviewed by the Flow34 team. Topics can originate from the entire field of Communication and Media Studies. The selected videos will be scheduled and presented on the conference platform. 

4. Plenary Sessions – Several plenary sessions streamed from the conference hub at USIU-Africa will feature contributions from around the globe. 

5. Special and Partner Sessions – These video sessions will be produced by IAMCR and its partners. 

6. Nairobi Hub – In addition to being at the centre of the global online activities, the conference hub, at USIU-Africa, will host a regional face-to-face event (in accordance with the possibilities afforded by the pandemic). The regional event will interact with the global at several moments of the conference.

See full details of the components here

All IAMCR members will have online access to all online components. 

This call for papers is for the Online Conference Papers.

Guidelines for abstracts

Abstracts are requested for the Online Conference Papers component. Abstracts must be submitted to one of IAMCR’s 33 thematic sections and working groups. Before submitting, please consult the specific CfP of the section or working group

Abstracts should have between 300 and 500 words and must be submitted online at the submission platform. Abstracts submitted by email will not be accepted. 

It is expected that authors will submit only one (1) abstract. However, under no circumstances should there be more than two (2) abstracts bearing the name of the same author, either individually or as first author. No more than one (1) abstract can be submitted by an author to a single section or working group. 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. Any such submissions will be deemed to be in breach of the conference guidelines and will be rejected. 

Proposals are accepted for both single papers and multi-paper sessions (the online conference equivalent of a panel in a face to face conference). Please note that there are special procedures for submitting multi-paper sessions.

For other important dates and deadlines, please see the key dates.

Technical guidelines, if any, are defined by the individual sections and working groups. If you have questions, consult the section or working group's specific CfP.


Each section and working group adopts its own policies regarding languages. Some accept abstract and programme sessions in English, French and Spanish while others conduct their programmes in only one or two languages. Consult the CfP of your section or working group for details of its language policy.

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