Letter from the President

IAMCR Newsletter - January 2017

Dear Colleagues,

Our next conference will be in Cartagena, Colombia, July 16-20, 2017, and celebrates IAMCR’s 60th anniversary. The theme is “Transforming Culture, Politics & Communication: New Media, New Territories, New Discourses” and will provide us the opportunity to both celebrate and to reflect on the past 60 years of media and communication research, as well as the changing and emerging nature of contemporary culture, politics and communication.

The call for abstracts and other information about the conference can be found on the Cartagena 2017website. And don’t miss information in this issue about travel grants for Cartagena, as well as the 2017 Smythe, Urban Communication and Climate Communication awards.

Those of us able to attend the meetings will find an inviting and exciting city, rich in cultural heritage, natural beauty, an enticing cuisine, and diverse attractions. Cartagena was the home of Gabriel García Márquez and we can look forward to celebrating his cultural, political and journalistic contributions, as well.

The conference will be an opportunity for many of us to become more familiar with the current theories and research of our Latin American colleagues, as well as sharing our own work. The Local Organising Committee for the conference represents a diversity of universities and organisations that are planning many stimulating events. Keynote speaker, Jesús Martin-Barbero, will begin the conference, drawing on his extensive experience as an influential voice in Latin American intellectual life. The conference will also include events and activities involving local and regional associations and participants. The Executive Board and the Colombian Local Organising Committee are also working with a number of groups to prepare an exciting programme of pre-conferences.

We meet in Colombia at an important moment – when peace has emerged and the country is celebrating the return to “normal” life. Our Colombian colleagues are encouraging our participation during this historic period and we trust that you will make every effort to attend our meetings in Cartagena.

It is important to again emphasise that our international organisation must meet in different regions of the world, which provides chances for all members to attend our conferences, as well as enhancing our familiarity and understanding of the wide range of research in our discipline, as well as different media systems, cultures, and political realities. Please know that the Executive Board and International Council are working on plans for future conferences, which will be announced soon, and will take us to other parts of the world.

Meanwhile, we’re pleased to announce the election of Aimée Vega, vice-president of IAMCR, as head of the Global Alliance for Media and Gender (GAMAG). Carolyn Byerly, an IAMCR member, will serve as chair of the Alliance’s Research Committee.

We’re also excited about some of the activities related to some of our sections, for instance, the Participatory Communication Section’s PhD Winter School on Participation and Communication in Guangzhou, and a book that emerged from the Law Section’s pre-conference in Leicester. Our 31 thematic sections and working groups are the core of IAMCR and we will regular feature their initiatives in the newsletter. To get the most up-to-date information about the activities of the section or working groups that most interest you, make sure you join them by logging into your IAMCR account and choosing My Sections & Working Groups in the menu.

Finally, we again want to send more wishes to everyone for a peaceful, joyful and fruitful new year!

Janet Wasko
IAMCR President