Section Head Election 2019 - Call for candidates and statements

Diaspora and Media Working Group

The IAMCR Diaspora and Media Working Group will run elections for the Chair and Vice-chair positions during its business meeting at the IAMCR 2019 conference in Madrid. 

The current chair, Sudeshna Roy, and Vice-chair, Sofia Zanforlin, were elected in 2015 at the Montreal conference. 

The Working Group hereby calls for candidacies for the Chair and Vice-Chair positions. Please send your statement (300 words) to the Working Group chair, Sudeshna Roy (, with a copy to IAMCR General Secretary, Gerard Goggin ( and to the IAMCR secretariat ( The duration of all mandates is for four years.   

Candidate statements must be received by Friday, June 14, 2019. Only current IAMCR members in good standing and registered as members of the Working Group may vote or stand for elected positions. 

You will find information about the Working Group at: and the election rules at: If you have any questions, do contact Sudeshna Roy ( for further information.

Candidates and statements

For Chair:

For Vice-Chair:

Statements of candidates for Chair

Sofia Cavalcanti Zanforlin (Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil)

This statement aims to introduce myself as a researcher interested in a vacancy for Chair of the Diaspora and Media working group. I participated as an exhibitor for the first time in 2011, in Istanbul, and as vice Chair since 2016. My desire is to continue being closely involved in the group's activities since I identify with its profile and areas of interest.

The starting point of my research is the intercultural dialogue, the connection between communication epistemology and contemporary migrations to Brazil. The focus of my work is on sociocultural practices and on how they enable the construction of diversity. 

My current research focus on the NGO`s that promotes programs to capacitate migrants to raise thair own business as enterprenerur as a way to laboral integration in brazilian society, in the research, its discussed how entrepreneurship for migrants in the context of the affirmation of neoliberalism and the retraction of the role of the State as manager of public policies aimed at the integration of migrants and refugees. 

Accordingly, in my studies I highlight migration and its negotiations of belonging with local and global culture, interference in the urban area due to  several flows and transits, the formation of ethno-landscapes and the construction of diversity, expressions and transcultural languages and, finally, the presence of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in interpersonal and transnational mediation.

Therefore, I reafirm my desire and availability to get involved in the work of the Diaspora and Media group to strengthen knowledge exchange and learning on topics that interest me directly as a researcher.


Sofia Cavalcanti Zanforlin
Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil,

Jessica Retis (California State University Northridge, United States)

I have been an active member of the Diaspora and the Media Working group for many years now, attending most of our annual conferences and working closely with many of my colleagues and WG members. During 2011-2014 I served as Vice-Chair of our WG and fostered our collective efforts to define the role of diasporic transnationalism and the media, resulting in the proposal for a new text in the IAMCR handbook series. I am a co-editor of the recently published The Handbook of Diasporas, Media and Culture (IAMCR-Wiley, 2019) an edited volume that reunites 39 chapters written by researchers from a wide-range of geographical areas. This innovative book explores a better understanding of diasporic cultures and their impact on the globalized world. It also provides an authoritative outline of the relevant intellectual terrain by presenting key debates and state-of-the-art research on the intersection of diasporic phenomena, media and cultural studies. 

I envision a new phase for our working group as a vibrant physical and virtual space where researchers, professors and students come together to further our knowledge, build community, and to create ties and reinforce them, locally and transnationally. I would like to improve the international attendance from low-income countries by facilitating more bilingual participations. We can work together in academic publishing proposals for special issues on academic journals and edited volumes in different languages. We can also facilitate networking and collaborations along the different universities and colleges represented in our membership list. Likewise, I would like to implement new awards for papers and research projects. This can be done through outreach programs and workshops. 

I will be honored to serve as Chair of the Diaspora and the Media Working group for the following 4 years.

Jessica Retis
California State University Northridge

Statements of candidates for Vice-Chair

Sumana Chattopadhyay (Marquette University, United States)

I am an Associate Professor in the College of Communication at Marquette University and am honored to nominate myself for the Vice Chair position of IAMCR’s Diaspora and Media Working group. I believe in IAMCR’s mission and want to contribute to the organization in a leadership role. I have been actively involved in service for USA’s National Communication Association (NCA) since 2010 through the Mass Communication and Political Communication Divisions. I served as the Chair of the Committee of Research and program planner for the Mass Communication Division from 2010-2011 and I also served as the Chair of the division from 2015-2016. During my stint as Chair of the division I was actively involved with the Legislative Assembly for two years. Currently I am the Vice Chair and program planner of the Political Communication Division of NCA. I am a Legislative Assembly representative for the Mass Communication Division and a member of NCA’s Leadership Development Committee. Also, I am the Chair of Marquette University’s Academic Senate. I enjoy serving the broader academic community in my varied leadership roles.  

I have attended a few IAMCR conferences in recent years and have submitted my scholarship to the Diaspora and Media Working group. I enjoy interacting with scholars from around the world at IAMCR and my research fits well with the Diaspora and Media Working group. In recent years, one research area I have focused on extensively has been the cross-cultural media coverage of crises. I just published an article on the media coverage of Central American migrant families at the U.S. and Mexico border. I am also working on a big research project focusing on Puerto Ricans’ and the Puerto Rican diaspora’s experiences with Hurricane Maria. I am keenly interested in understanding cross-cultural phenomenon and how different populations respond to cross-cultural factors.