IAMCR 2015: Communication Policy and Technology Section - CfP - Deadline 9 February

The Communication Policy and Technology (CP&T) Section of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) invites submissions for the IAMCR 2015 conference to be held from July 12-16, 2015 in Montreal (Canada). The deadline for submissions of abstracts for papers and panel proposals is February 9, 2015

Conference theme: “Hegemony or Resistance? The Ambiguous Power of Communication

See the conference key dates and deadlines: http://iamcr.org/congress/montreal2015-keydates

See all Calls for Papers for IAMCR 2015: http://iamcr.org/congress/montreal2015-cfp

Visit the conference website: http://congresiamcr.uqam.ca

The conference will be held under the general theme: Hegemony or Resistance? On the Ambiguous Power of Communication. The latter seeks to explore the ambiguous relationship of communication towards hegemony and resistance. This ambiguity has prompted debates in academia about communication being at the same time a value and a tool, a space of consent and one of struggle, and having (more authentic) local and global dimensions. Many recent events have triggered discussions and reflections about the utopia of communication. However while multiple sites of resistance are spreading around the world, much of the debates about communication technologies mark an increasing suspicion towards the new media’s capability for empowerment. In addition political reform promises, as well as the social, economic and cultural prominence of new technologies seem to contribute to the maintenance of a negotiated status quo, related to Gramsci’s notion of hegemonic domination by consent.

Giving the central role of technology in these developments, the theme closely links to the remit of the Communication Policy and Technology section. Therefore we invite abstracts that take an interdisciplinary perspective at how the empowerment and disempowerment of users/citizens/consumers are configured by the co-evolution of (disruptive) media technologies on the one hand and social, cultural, economic, and political forces on the other hand. In what way can we identify paths for exerting ‘democratic rationalisation’, defined – by Andrew Feenberg – as user interventions that challenge undemocratic power structures rooted in modern technology? Or are we entering a ‘post-hegemonic age’ – as defined by Scott Lash – based on algorithmic power and datafication? Answers on these and related questions can be found in media and communication studies, but also in associated fields of science and technology studies (STS), computer science (privacy, security, requirement engineering, etc.) and digital humanities (software studies, platform studies, critical code studies, etc.). The question is then to what extent and how researchers and civil society in these disciplines can formulate answers to strengthen user empowerment and to mitigate disempowerment on the levels of access, media literacy, privacy, publicness and surveillance in the age of social, mobile and ubiquitous media.

The CP&T section therefore invites submissions that critically engage with these issues. In addition we welcome papers and panel proposals addressing the following more particular themes that fit in the general call for papers and are relevant to the section. They are organised by a focus on governance, practices, and technologies:

1 – Policies and governance

  • Governance, control and (liquid) surveillance through technological infrastructures and algorithms
  • Critical perspectives on big data, datafication, cloud computing, including ecological issues
  • Social, economic and legal issues related to (new) regulatory initiatives in different regions of the world, on privacy, surveillance, and data protection
  • Struggles over and issues related to anonymity and the dark net
  • Public values, public sphere and the sharing economy
  • Copyright issues and the commodification of culture
  • Convergence and/or deconvergence of corporate strategies and value networks (platformisation)
  • New intermediaries, community and user management, and cross cultural issues

2 - Practices

  • Domestication revisited, in a media-saturated private and professional sphere
  • Tactics and strategies of resistance and protest in technology design and use (end-user programming, cheating, counterplay, hacking, hackathons communities of practice, etc.)
  • Consumer/citizen awareness, attitudes, capabilities and practices towards privacy, surveillance and the commodification of personal data in digital marketing techniques
  • Reconfiguring media literacy, digital literacy, digital inequalities and divides in online/offline social contexts
  • Critical perspectives on labour in social, mobile and ubiquitous media (free labour, immaterial labour, emotional labour, prosumer, gendered structures, cultures of communication work, etc.)
  • Ethics and data

3 - Technologies

  • Critical perspectives on social media and technology design, in particularly related to privacy and surveillance (e.g. PETs - Privacy Enhancing Technologies, Privacy Feedback and Awareness Tools)
  • Creativity, transparency, privacy and control through social, local and mobile technologies, autonomous systems and ubiquitous computing (e.g. RFID, sensors, etc.)
  • Interdisciplinary analyses of technologies for data inference, profiling, recommendations, and prediction of user behaviour (predictive analytics)
  • Datafication of digital broadcasting (television and radio)
  • Switch from analogue to digital radio and its consequences for community/local radio
  • Assessing socio-technical ‘by design’ perspectives (privacy by design, data protection by design, fundamental rights protection by design, surveillance by design, etc.)

The CPT Section will also look for opportunities for hosting joint sessions with other sections and working groups.

Submission information

The CP&T section welcomes proposals for papers bearing on the above or related issues by submitting an abstract. Abstracts should contain title, main question or research problem, theoretical framework, method(s) used, and – if applicable – (expected) empirical outcomes. Submitted abstracts will be evaluated by a double blind review on the basis of: (1) theoretical contribution, (2) methods, (3) quality of writing, (4) literature review, (5) relevance of the submission to the work of the CP&T section, and (6) originality and/or significance of the work.

The scholarly presentation of accepted submissions can take place in two types of sessions: paper presentation sessions (i.e. 4-5 presenters each with 12-15 minutes, requiring full paper submitted on time) and high intensity sessions (i.e. 6-8 presenters each with 5-7 minutes).

Proposals for panels of 90 minutes are also welcome. A complete CP&T panel proposal must have 4 to 5 papers and include:

  1. The panel description text, including, the panel title, a framing text, the names of the panelists and the titles of their papers. The framing text (maximum 350 words) should contain the overall idea and goal of the panel, and how it responds to the CP&T section call. A panel chair and a discussant should also be proposed.
  2. An abstract for each paper, including title and author(s)

The panel description text and the individual abstracts must be submitted individually. Thus a panel with 5 papers involves making 6 separate submissions via the Open Conference System (OCS). Abstracts can be submitted directly by the panel authors or the panel coordinator can submit them on the authors’ behalf. All abstract submissions in a panel must indicate “PANEL:” as the first word of their title and the complete title of the panel must appear in the first line of each abstract. The panel proposal will be reviewed and based on this review we will accept, accept with revisions, or decline the panel.

Submission of abstracts, panel proposals and (if accepted) full papers must be submitted through the online Open Conference System (OCS) at http://iamcr-ocs.org from 1 December 2014 until 9 February 2015. Early submission is strongly encouraged. There are to be no email submissions of abstracts addressed to any Section or Working Group Head.

It is expected that for the most part, only one (1) abstract will be submitted per person for consideration by the Conference. However, under no circumstances should there be more than two (2) abstracts bearing the name of the same applicant either individually or as part of any group of authors. Please note also that the same abstract or another version with minor variations in title or content must not be submitted to other Sections or Working Groups of the Association for consideration, after an initial submission. Such submissions will be deemed to be in breach of the conference guidelines and will be automatically rejected by the Open Conference System, by the relevant Head or by the Conference Programme Reviewer. Such applicants risk being removed entirely from the conference programme.

The CPT section will accept abstracts in any language, but English is preferred to facilitate the international peer review process. In addition, this section will arrange for presentations in English only

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. Presenters are expected to bring fully developed work to the conference. Prior to the conference, it is expected that a completed paper will be submitted to Section, Session Chairs, and Discussants.

If a proposal is accepted, the presenter must also register for conference participation in order to be included in the final conference programme of the Section. A CP&T best paper award prize may be awarded to one of the paper presenters, based on the full papers submitted in time.

Additional questions about the CP&T sessions (submission, themes, panels etc.) at the IAMCR 2015 conference can be addressed to the section heads (see below)

For general information on the CP&T section visit http://www.iamcr.org/cpt

Communication Policy and Technology Section


Jo Pierson
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, BE
jo.pierson [AT] vub.ac.be


Bart Cammaerts
London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
b.cammaerts [AT] lse.ac.uk

Aphra Kerr
Maynooth University, IE
aphra.kerr [AT] nuim.ie

See the conference key dates and deadlines: http://iamcr.org/congress/montreal2015-keydates

See all Calls for Papers for IAMCR 2015: http://iamcr.org/congress/montreal2015-cfp

Visit the conference website: http://congresiamcr.uqam.ca