Section Head Election 2016 - Candidate statements

Emerging Scholars Network Section

The Emerging Scholars Network (ESN) Section will be electing its officers at its business meeting during the upcoming IAMCR's congress in Leicester. The business meeting will be held on Friday, July 29th, 4-5.30 pm in Room 2 (Attenborough Seminar Block). The current officers of the section are Francesca Musiani and Sandra Ristovska who have served a four-year term as Co-Chairs.

The positions of two Co-Chairs are up for election and sought for a four-year term. Nominations and self-nominations are welcome. Being an ESN Co-Chair is a demanding but highly rewarding and formative position; responsibilities include all phases of conference programming for the section as well as participation in association-wide decision-making. Candidates need to be members of IAMCR and familiar with the work of the association and the section. Other volunteer positions with ESN will eventually be available as the new co-chairs will see fit.

For further information and updates on the section please visit the ESN web site at, and join the ESN listserv:

Any IAMCR member who would like to serve as an officer of the Emerging Scholars Network Section must submit his/her name, institutional affiliation, and a candidate statement (up to 500 words) to the current officers (<francesca.musiani[at]> and <sristovska[at]>) by July 13th at the latest, with copy to IAMCR General Secretary Maria Michalis <M.Michalis[at]> and and to the IAMCR secretariat <membership[at]>.

Candidates and statements

For Co-Chairs:


Sylvia Blake, Simon Fraser University, Canada

I am delighted to be running for the role of Chair of the Emerging Scholars Network. Over the last four years, the ESN has had a crucial role in my development as a scholar. I look forward to giving back to the Network that has been so important to me.

I attended my first IAMCR conference in Durban, 2012. I had recently finished my MA degree, and wasn’t sure what it meant to share academic work at a professional level. The ESN welcomed me and helped show me the ropes. Suddenly, this massive conference didn’t feel so scary.

I approach this opportunity with a desire to support new scholars who are facing the same trepidations that I did four years ago. The ESN is special: in an increasingly competitive academic world, where emerging talent feels the pressure of a tightening job market, inconsistent institutional support, and fears of imposter syndrome… the ESN is one of the only spaces I know of where it is safe to take risks and – at times – to fail. Those who pass through an ESN are indebted to current and former chairs for fostering this dynamic environment.

Over the years, I have taken on positions with increasing responsibility with the ESN. I began as a member of the review committee in 2013 – a position that I have held for the last four conferences. This position showed me the caliber and diversity of scholarship that comes through the ESN: everything from early graduate students experiencing their first ever conference talks, to early-career professors who are eager to try out new ideas and receive valuable feedback in a supportive environment.

In 2014, I was asked to take on the position of Mentorship Coordinator within the ESN. In my first year as Coordinator, I succeeded in matching 25 pairs of mentors-mentees – what I believe is the largest cohort of mentees since the program’s initiation. This year, I am pleased to report that I was able to match every eligible applicant with an experienced mentor in their general research area.

The Mentorship Coordinator position provides an ideal bridge for the Chair role: I have worked with many senior scholars who are supportive of our section. I have opened my network beyond my own research interests and contacts, and begun making lasting connections with scholars working in different fields. I have grown more familiar with the IAMCR’s structure. I have a strong understanding of and respect for the ESN’s position as a fluid section that provides scholars a place to grow, make mistakes, and receive meaningful feedback before (or while) graduating to other conference sections.

Two years ago, I was honored to receive a significant scholarship organized through the ESN with support from the Open Society Foundation. This year, I will be presenting on an ESN panel that is jointly run with the law section. As ESN Chair, I look forward to fostering relationships with the other sections, and pursuing funding, mentorship, and professional development opportunities that will best support our participants.

Ksenia Ermoshina, Center for Sociology of Innovation, Mines-ParisTech, France

It’s an honor for me to candidate for the position of Chair of the Emerging Scholars Network. The ESN was for me a real initiation into the world of media and communication research and played an important part in both my academic work and socialization. For the last three years I have been engaged in the life of the Network in different ways. This precious experience helped me to meet a community of peers and find my own voice within the highly competitive contemporary academic world. I now wish, in my turn, to contribute to the further development of the ESN and to provide all the necessary conditions for young scholars to benefit from this highly educatory and encouraging environment.

My very first IAMCR conference was in Dublin, in 2013. On the first year of my PhD, I was delighted to meet both experienced scholars and young researchers who gave me an extended and useful feedback and helped me determine the axes for the following years of my research. The subject of my PhD being rather experimental, I was glad to see other students working on unusual and burning topics - I did not feel that lonely anymore! I appreciated this unique atmosphere of openness, support and collaboration between renown academics and early stage researchers that makes ESN a very special section.

It is with the desire to contribute to this spirit of participation and sharing that I decided to become a member of the review committee in 2014 and 2015. This experience was formative for me, as I found myself “from the other side” of the evaluation process, opening the black box of the peer-review procedure. It gave me an overview of the ongoing research in the field of media and communication studies, and the opportunity to get familiar with science “in the making”, with the most vivid and experimental part of it.

In 2015, I was asked to chair sessions during the IAMCR Congress in Montreal. Having a certain experience in organizing academic and cultural events (I organized my first international academic conference in 2010, at the State University of Saint-Petersburg; since then I co-organized a dozen of events, from cryptoparties and hackathons to musical festivals and art exhibitions), I was happy to apply these skills while chairing. I also learned a lot from the ESN as I had a chance to meet previous ESN chairs and was initiated into the craft of chairing. This experience helped me to get familiar with the functioning of the IAMCR and with the responsibilities of the ESN chairs.

I regret that my impending dissertation deadline prevents me from coming to Leicester this year, but if elected, I commit to attending the IAMCR conferences that will take place during my mandate and to investing my time and efforts into the development of the ESN, opening it for collaboration with other academic networks and encouraging scholars from Eastern Europe (Ukraine, Belorussia, Russia, where young scholars encounter problems with academic visibility due to the difficult political context) to join the Network.

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