IAMCR 2018 | 20-24 June | Eugene, Oregon, USA | Call For Proposals

The International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) invites submissions of abstracts for papers and panel proposals for the IAMCR 2018 conference to be held 20-24 June at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon, USA.

Consult the individual CFPs of IAMCR's Sections and Working Groups >>>>

Reimagining Sustainability: Communication and Media Research in a Changing World

IAMCR conferences address a wide diversity of topics defined by our 31 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 on a shared set of issues. This is accomplished through plenary and special sessions, and in the meetings of the sections and working groups. For IAMCR 2018, the central theme is Reimagining Sustainability: Communication and Media Research in a Changing World.

As part of its Sustainable Development Agenda, the United Nations defines sustainability as harmonizing three core elements, environmental protection, social inclusion, and economic growth, so as to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It calls for concerted efforts towards building an equitable and resilient future for people and planet.

There is an immediate need to promote responsible and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems that incorporate local and global reflection and action. This inevitably raises urgent issues of entrenched power, social justice, democracy, and the need to eradicate poverty, raise basic living standards, and address the present climate crisis.

This ambition is currently under attack. In spite of overwhelming scientific evidence, climate change denial is used to build public support for unsustainable environmental practices and policies while corporate greenwashing promotes the perception that these practices and policies are in fact environmentally friendly. Encouraged by the rise of populism and ever-smaller media bubbles, intolerance is on the upswing around the world. Inequality is outpacing economic growth. Wealth is ever more concentrated.

We find it imperative in these times that IAMCR and its members expand and extend our understanding of current and emerging models of sustainability, the struggles that surround them, and their multiple relationships with communication and media.

We encourage proposals that address these intersections by revising and remixing theories, practices, and institutions that move beyond merely sustaining—towards thriving societies and cultures. How are they contended, globally, nationally and locally, by actors that include governments, industry, advocacy organisations, community groups, and the environmental justice movement? The State of Oregon, for example, has a history of commitment to sustainability and the environment. When the current administration announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change, signed by 194 other countries, Oregon, along with 23 US states and territories representing more than 50% of the country’s population and responsible for 40% of its CO2 emissions, broke with the federal government and committed to supporting the agreement. Worldwide grassroots community groups and activists are coming together in an emerging environmental justice movement committed to sustainability, but also to social change.

The role of communication and media in both promoting and impeding sustainability has increasingly been the focus of commentary and research. Material communication systems consume energy in their manufacture and use, contribute to problems of pollution and waste, and in their dominant commercial forms, support and encourage a general culture of unsustainable hyperconsumption. What alternatives would advance the full and equal access to diverse information and comprehensive knowledge bases that UNESCO advocates as central to achieving sustainable societies?

We encourage participants to address these issues, in relation to both prevailing systems of communication and the systems now emerging around the application of artificial intelligence, the rise of automation and robotics, and the internet of things. We also welcome analysis that reassesses and reimagines sustainability in relation to openness, transparency, accessibility, and the recomposition of power, as we continue to explore the implications of media and communication in an interconnected world.

The conference venue

The University of Oregon in the Pacific Northwest offers an ideal location to discuss these issues. The university is a national leader in campus sustainability through the efforts of administration, faculty, staff, students and the larger community and is actively engaged in greening facility operations, innovative research, supporting and encouraging student initiatives, implementing environmentally and sustainability focused curriculum, and sponsoring public service initiatives.

The City of Eugene takes a comprehensive approach that places equal importance on advancing social equity, economic prosperity, and environmental health. It is home to a number of grassroots initiatives for sustainability.

The State of Oregon has a long history of commitment, vision, and innovation to sustainable lifestyles locally as well as addressing global climate change.

We look forward to IAMCR members engaging with these issues at the 2018 conference hosted by the University of Oregon, in Eugene, Oregon.

Submission of Abstracts

Each Section and Working Group of IAMCR has issued its own Call for Papers, based on the general thematic outline above. Both individual and panel submissions are welcome and early submission is strongly encouraged.


The deadline for submission of abstracts was 31 January 2018 and will not be extended.

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

Guidelines for Abstracts

Unless otherwise stated by a Section or Working Group, abstracts should be between 300 and 500 words in length

All abstract submissions must be made via IAMCR's Open Conference System. There are to be no email submissions of abstracts addressed to any Section or Working Group Head.

It is expected that for the most part, only one (1) abstract will be submitted per person. 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. 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. Such submissions will be deemed to be in breach of the conference guidelines and will be rejected by the OCS system, by the relevant Head or by the Conference Programme Reviewer. Authors submitting them risk being removed entirely from the conference programme.

Technical guidelines, if any, are defined by the individual Sections and Working Groups. If you have questions, consult the Section or Working Group's specific CFP or contact the head of the Section and Working Group that interests you.

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

Sections and Working Groups may use additional criteria and may assign different weights to the above criteria. Consult the specific CFP or contact the head of the Section and Working Group you want to submit to if you have questions.

Consult the individual CFPs of IAMCR's Sections and Working Groups >>>>