CFP: IAMCR 2016 Memory, Commemoration and Communication: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Nostalgia might be an interesting topic in relation to this upcoming conference:

Complete CFP: here

This year’s conference theme seeks to explore the relationship between memory, commemoration and communication. This theme anticipates the 60th anniversary, in 2017, of IAMCR, which has played a strong role in the development of media and communication studies.

Although scholars have long been interested in memory and culture, advancements in technologies are providing new and innovative opportunities to think about how memory is created, preserved, passed on, and archived. Within academia, we have witnessed increased interest in cultural memory studies – from media representations of the past to oral history projects – and growing interest in digitizing data leading to the history of everything. Various public bodies are also engaged in this work. In the UK, for example, the BBC launched a Public Space Project in 2011, which saw the corporation link up with various other cultural institutions including libraries, galleries, museums, archives, schools, colleges and universities to make cultural material publicly and freely available to all. The following year, BBC’s Radio 4 launched the Listening Project, which seeks to broadcast ‘intimate conversations’ on topics such as living with Alzheimer’s and falling in love, in order to ‘help to build a unique picture of our lives today’ which will be preserved for future generations. Across the globe, there are numerous examples of oral history projects, associations, and commemorative organisations and websites on topics such as the Holocaust, the Armenian and Rwandan genocides, World Wars One and Two, immigration, oral literature, and popular memory.

As a result, the growing interest in (mediations of) cultural memory provides a timely opportunity not only to look back at which memories are preserved and which forgotten, but also to look forward to how cultural memories might be archived, remembered, (re)produced, storied, erased, modified and re-told across time and space. The theme also opens up space to commemorate IAMCR’s history and contribution to the field of media and communication research.

This year’s conference welcomes paper and panel proposals that engage with the concepts of memory and commemoration, and with the ways the past is (re)mediated, historicised, documented, archived, remembered, forgotten and (re)told. It also welcomes submissions which commemorate IAMCR as an organisation as well as the contributions its members have made over the years. Looking forward, papers might also address where the field is heading. Submissions might also focus on areas such as: memory and colonialism; commemoration of historic events; the reproduction of culture through story-telling; the media’s role in (re)producing cultural narratives and commemorations. We welcome submissions from early career researchers and veteran scholars alike.

Questions asked might include: Why and how do people/cultures/organisations/families share or hide memories? What strategies are used to share memories, either collectively or individually? What role does privilege/inequality play in the creation, sharing, or preserving of memory? How do individuals, groups, or cultures learn memories? How are events remembered, retold, preserved or erased differently in different locations, historic periods, spaces and cultures? How is storytelling conceived of as a form of cultural memory? When looking to the future, what is the relationship between forms of memory and ideas about technologies moving towards the “post-human”? We welcome contributions ranging from the empirical to the theoretical and methodological in focus.

Submission of Abstracts

Each Section and Working Group of IAMCR will issue its own Call for Papers, based on the general thematic outline above. Abstracts should be submitted from 1 December 2015 – 15 February 2016. Both individual and panel submissions are welcome. Early submission is strongly encouraged.


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