Health Communication and Change and Communication and HIV/AIDS Working Groups – CFP 2018

The Health Communication and Change and Communication and HIV/AIDS Working Groups of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) welcome the submission of papers for the 2018 Conference to be held in Eugene, Oregon, USA, June 20-24.

Reimagining Sustainability: Communication and Media Research in a Changing World

With the promise of “leaving no one behind”, the UN General Assembly adopted the universal, integrated and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  Of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the SDG 3 focuses on health and calls for putting an end to the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria and achieving universal health coverage. The SDGs aim to catalyze transformations in global health and help achieve the vision of Global Health 2035. Health communication has a pivotal role in this endeavor. Sustainability is an issue of growing international concern but translating awareness of ecological and wider sustainability challenges into social and political action is a complex problem. In order to facilitate enactment of change, it is vital to identify factors that inform citizen-consumers’ everyday behaviours and social practices and how these are interconnected with questions of sustainability. This encompasses structural conditions in addition to individual attitudes and knowledge in relation to opportunities for and barriers to change. It is important that advice directed toward sustainability goals takes into account the information environments in which a variety of actors and messages circulate, including those that contest or contradict sustainable practices.

As health communication scholars we are interested in the intersections between health and sustainability, between human and environmental health. How do sustainability considerations figure in people’s health practices, health care, health policy and health communication? What role can media and communication play in generating public debate about the global dynamics of sustainability and the intersections between human and environmental health? How are activists and industry groups seeking to capitalize on the affordances of new technologies to advance their views and interests with respect to sustainability? Whose accounts of sustainability are people listening to? Whose interests are served by particular approaches to encouraging sustainable practices and whose voices are marginalized in media and public discourses? How can sustainability thinking be integrated into discourses and practices in a way that engages and mobilizes citizens without diluting or sanitizing the issue? What are the tensions between efforts to change individual behaviors for health and sustainability purposes and the demands of everyday life?

The working group is interested in facilitating interactions between practitioners and researchers and sharing and creating strategies that can increase the relevance and uptake of research findings. We encourage papers in but not limited to the following areas:

  • how concerns about sustainability can be embedded in health communication and promotion practices;
  • how health communication scholarship can inform communication for sustainability;
  • the intersections between healthy and sustainable lifestyles;
  • How the convergent action of other sectors impacts health e.g. nutrition, water sanitation and hygiene, environment education and housing, etc.;
  • Advocacy for accelerating universal health coverage;
  • how people’s ideas and values in relation to health and the environment are shaped by situated, local knowledge and experiences;
  • how digital media is reshaping health communication;
  • the (bio)mediatisation of health and medicine;
  • ethical dimensions of public health interventions;
  • health activism and resistance;
  • media and citizen/consumer discourses about health risks;
  • emerging conundrums in health and HIV and AIDS communication

We encourage abstracts/papers from multiple disciplinary perspectives and are particularly interested in qualitative approaches and critical theoretical contributions. The sessions of the working groups will be organised to suit emerging themes from submitted abstracts.

Guidelines for Abstracts

Individual papers and panels are possible, but all proposals must be submitted through the online Open Conference System at from 9 November 2017 – 31 January 2018. Early submission is strongly encouraged. There are to be no email submissions of abstracts addressed to any Section or Working Group Head. Unless otherwise stated by a Section or Working Group, abstracts should be between 300 and 500 words in length. A complete panel proposal includes: (i) a panel description (panel title, details of the moderator and optional discussant, and a framing text) and; (ii) an abstract for each presentation. The panel coordinator must submit the complete proposal.

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.

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. Prior to the conference, it is expected that a completed paper will be submitted to Section, Working Group, Session Chairs, and/or Discussants.


We will accept abstracts and presentations in English and Spanish.

Criteria for Evaluation

Submitted abstracts will generally be evaluated 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 Section or Working Group
  6. originality and/or significance

Decisions on acceptance of abstracts will be communicated to applicants by their Section or Working Group Heads no later than 15 March 2018.

For further information about the conference please consult the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) by email at oregon2018 (at)

Important dates and deadlines to keep in mind:

  • 9 November 2017 – Abstract submission system (OCS) opens

  • 31 January 2018 – Deadline for submissions

  • 8 March 2018 – Registration opens

  • 15 March 2018 – Notification of decisions of abstracts

  • 20 March 2018 – Deadline to apply for travel grants and awards

  • 3 April 2018 – Deadline to confirm your participation

  • 7 May 2018 – Last day to register at discounted early-bird fee

  • 28 May 2018 – Deadline for full paper submission

  • 1 June 2018 – Final conference programme published on the website

  • 20–24 June 2018 – IAMCR 2018 Conference

For further information about this call for papers please contact:

Health Communication and Change and Communication and HIV & AIDS Working Groups

Visit Health Communication and Change Working Group's webpage >>>

Visit Communication and HIV & AIDS Working Group's webpage >>>


SubbaRao M Gavaravarapu

Nanna Engebretsen

Ravindra Kumar Vemula

Yolanda Paul

Kate Holland