Popular Culture Working Group - Call for Papers 2020

The Popular Culture Working Group of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) invites submissions of abstracts for papers and panel proposals for the 2020 IAMCR conference to be held from 12 to 16 July, 2020 at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. The deadline for submission is 10 February 2020, at 23.59 UTC. The abstract submission system will open on 1 December 2019.

IAMCR conferences address many diverse topics defined by our 32 thematic sections and working groups. We also propose a single central theme to be explored throughout the conference with the aim of generating and exploring multiple perspectives in plenary sessions and in some of the sessions of the sections and working groups. The general conference theme for 2020 is “Reimagining the Digital Future: Building Inclusiveness, Respect and Reciprocity”.

See the IAMCR 2020 general call for proposals.

The Popular Culture Working Group aims to examine and explore the various relationships between the production, content, and consumption of popular culture from a range of perspectives that are theoretically informed and empirically grounded. This year’s conference aims to respond to challenges posed by globalisation and technological advances by re-examining the roles and patterns of global communication while including local voices. The Popular Culture Working Group warmly invites papers that investigate how popular culture in all its shapes and forms can contribute to this response.

Members of the Popular Culture Working Group are interested in the academic intersections that the study of popular culture evokes. Embracing insights from various disciplines such as cultural studies, media studies, gender/sexuality and queer studies, audience studies, production studies, theatre studies and so on, the Working Group engages with multifarious perspectives and the richness of popular culture as a field of study.

Topics addressing the central theme

The Popular Culture Working Group acknowledges the dynamic character of social, political and cultural changes in relation to communication and specifically in relation to popular culture. It is often within the realm of popular culture that the first challenges to establishment and status quo become visible. We therefore invite abstracts and proposals that explore the following themes:

  • Technology and/in popular culture
  • Popular representations of resistance
  • Gender, race, class, sexuality, and disability identity narratives
  • Big data and popular culture
  • Popular culture and religious imaginaries
  • Celebrity, liminality, exoticism and identity
  • Ethical perspectives on popular culture
  • Truth in/by popular imaginaries
  • Identity, aesthetics and the popular
  • Nation, the national and nationalism in popular culture
  • Surveillance and consumer culture
  • Datafication, agency and identity
  • Commodification of human rights
  • Popular representations of human rights crises
  • Populism, sustainability and social media

Proposals not mentioned above but relevant to the field of popular culture will also be considered.

Conference Venue

IAMCR 2020 is organised by two leading Chinese universities in Beijing and Suzhou, ancient capitals that have integrated their histories with their status as contemporary metropoles. IAMCR 2020 is set to bring together different perspectives on how multiple stakeholders of global and local communication and media spaces negotiate heterogeneous communities and institutions in the hope of building an inclusive, harmonious and respectful digital future. Bringing IAMCR to China offers members a unique opportunity to access analysis and commentary on China’s experience of employing media and digital communication technology.

Language policy

This Working Group accepts abstract submissions and presentations in English only.

Guidelines for abstracts

Abstracts should be between 300 and 500 words. All abstracts must be submitted through IAMCR’s submission platform https://beijing2020.iamcr.org/submit. Abstracts sent by email will not be accepted.

The Popular Culture Working Group also welcomes abstracts for video presentations, as part of an initiative to allow for remote participation. If you wish to submit an abstract for a video presentation, please carefully read the call for video presentations, and follow the procedures explained there.

It is expected that authors will submit only one (1) abstract. However, under no circumstances should there be more than two (2) abstracts bearing the name of the same author, either individually or as part of any group of authors. No more than one (1) abstract can be submitted to any section or working group. Please note also that the same abstract or another version with minor variations in title or content must not be submitted to more than one section or working group. Any such submissions will be deemed to be in breach of the conference guidelines and will be rejected. Authors submitting them risk being removed entirely from the conference programme.

The deadline to submit abstracts is 23:59 GMT on 10 February 2020.

For other important dates and deadlines, please see IAMCR 2020 key dates on the conference website.

For further information, please consult the IAMCR Beijing 2020 webpage or contact beijing2020@iamcr.org or the heads of the Popular Culture Working Group.

Chair: Tonny Krijnen, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands (krijnen@eshcc.eur.nl)
Vice-Chair: Niall Brennan, Fairfield University, United States (nbrennan@fairfield.edu)
Vice-Chair: Frederik Dhaenens, Ghent University, Belgium (Frederik.Dhaenens@UGent.be)