Call for Papers: Participatory Communication and the Struggle Over Human Rights

Call for Papers: Participatory Communication and the Struggle Over Human Rights
University of the State of Rio de Janeiro
Campus Francisco Negrão de Lima (Maracanã)
1-2 July 2019

Abstract submission deadline: 26 May 2019
Please send your extended abstracts of 4 – 6 pages (max) to Your abstract can be in English, Portuguese or Spanish.

English call:

Versão em Português:


The international seminar "Participatory Communication and the Struggle Over Human Rights" aims to bring together researchers, activists, and institutions to discuss how the right to participatory communication can extend and deepen the recognition of human rights.

Struggle Over Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was ratified by the member countries of the United Nations (UN) on December 10, 1948, including Brazil. The document inspired legislation and international treaties in defense of the fundamental rights and freedom, including the right to freedom of speech. The Declaration, art. 19, highlight that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.

After 70 years, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the concept of human rights and its implementation is (still) challenged. This raises questions about the nature of the challenges of human rights, and, particularly, of the right to communication.? After all, communication, especially (but not only) digital, is a key in the democratic process. What are these challenges, in general, and in relation to communication-related rights? How are the human rights struggled over? What is the role of citizen participation in these struggles themselves (e.g., through activism) and how is citizen participation the object of these struggle? How are the struggles over the right to communicate connected with (the affirmation of other) fundamental human rights, such as those in relation to education, health, and housing?

Participatory Communication

Brazil is particularly relevant to these debates. In 2018, Brazil also has completed 30 years of the Federal Constitution (CF), most known as Citizen Constitution. It was approved after decades of military dictatorship in the country. Nowadays, the CF was changed more than 100 times, which removed political and social rights that had previously been approved. The recent political changes in Brazil only threaten to further increase the levels of violence, and racism … However, the Law of access to information was approved in 2011, ensuring that any citizen can request public information directly to public institutions. Do these (relatively) new legal provisions contribute to broadening the right to communicate and make it more inclusive and participatory?

But we do not want to focus exclusively on Brazil. Latin America, as a whole, faces a critical situation, with, for instance, the murder of social leaders in many of the Latin American countries. In Brazil, the council Marielle Franco, a defender of human rights, was killed in 2018 and political violence is increasing, especially in rural areas. In Colombia, the peace agreements between the government and the guerrilla groups are ruptured and the conflicts are growing all around the country. Venezuela faces a conflict about the legitimacy of its leadership, putting the entire continent on alert. Central America suffers critical situations due to the high levels of violence and the migratory crisis, involving citizens of El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua – who attempt to escape these high levels of violence in their countries of origin – and the governments of the United States and Mexico. 
Thus, in this seminar, we welcome proposals, that explore the following issues (among other issues):

-Advances and challenges to the right to communicate and its participatory dimensions;
-Participatory (communication) practices and interventions which extend and deepen the recognition of other human rights, as the right to education, health, and housing, etc.;
-Projects, practices, narratives that link communication, education, health, and human rights.

Thus, we especially welcome proposals in the following topics:

1) Communication and Education:
This strand addresses research that are inserted in the interface of communication and education, in a broad way, also beyond the media and formal and school education. It investigates practices, processes, narratives and communicative-educational products in their socio-historical, political, economic context, also considering subjective, artistic, ... nuances, and the relations between race, class, and gender within these practices.

2) Communication and Human Rights:
This strand highlights the relation between communication – in its media, products, and processes – and human rights in a variety of aspects. It investigates communication as a human right, articulating historic, political / economy, socio-cultural aspects at different levels (local, regional, national, continental and global).

3) Dialogic/Participatory Communication and media activism:
This strand articulates all forms of communication aimed at promoting democracy and social development. It is also concerned with participatory forms of research in the universe of dialogic communication. It discusses the trajectory of the main concepts that surround the field.

We expect to have the participation of about 50 scholars and activists, mainly from Brazil and Latin America, but the call for participation will be not limited to them. The seminar will feature oral presentations, a Ph.D. workshop and a conversation wheel with participatory communication activists, in a two-day event. The participants will be invited to submit the papers presented during the pre-conference to the Dialogic Communication Journal (UERJ). The event is co-organized by the Participatory Communication Research Section (PCR) of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR).

Master and Ph.D. students are invited to present extended abstracts (4-6 pages) about their research and receive feedback from established researchers. The idea is provided resources to improve their research process, as well to strengthen the field of participatory communication.

Abstract submission deadline: 26 May 2019
Notification on submitted abstracts: 3 June 2019
Article submission deadline to Dialogic Communication Journal (UERJ): 01 August 2019

Submission of an abstract for the seminar:
After filling out the registration form, and sending the payment as instructed, please send your extended abstracts of 4 – 6 pages (max) to You can present your abstract in English, Portuguese and Spanish.

University of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Campus Francisco Negrão de Lima (Maracanã), Rua São Francisco Xavier, 524, Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro – RJ – Cep 20550-900.

1-2 July 2019

9h – 18h

Participation and registration:
The event is open and to everyone. However, to present a paper and receive a certificate, you will need to be registered, using this form:, and you should have paid the registration fee.

Registration fee:
Professors/professionals: 12 USD
Students: 7 USD

Payment registration fee:
• Paypal:;
• TranferWise:;
• or during the seminar

Adilson Vaz Cabral Filho (EMERGE / PPGMC / UFF)
Ana Lúcia Nunes de Sousa (NUTES / UFRJ)
Luana Inocêncio (UFF)
Nico Carpentier (PCR-IAMCR and Charles University)
Marcelo Ernandez (LCD / UERJ)