Oregon Update #3

This is the third in a series of “Oregon Updates” that we will be sending to IAMCR members and IAMCR 2018 participants. This third update was sent on 11 April, 2018.

In this issue

  1. Welcome to IAMCR 2018!

  2. Conference Opening and Keynotes

  3. Plenary sessions

  4. Special and Partner Sessions

  5. Earlybird registration and IAMCR membership

  6. Green Gala Dinner and Dance

  7. Get together informally with your section and working group

  8. Ecomedia Arts Festival and Ecofair

  9. The University of Oregon and things to see and do in Eugene and Oregon


Welcome to IAMCR 2018!

The University of Oregon (UO) is looking forward to welcoming you to the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) conference, June 20-24, in Eugene, Oregon.

The overall theme of the event is “Reimagining Sustainability: Communication & Media Research in a Changing World.” The theme encourages participants to challenge the traditional models of sustainability by reimagining, revising, and remixing theories, methods, applications, and institutions that look towards thriving cultures. Many of the more than 1,400 papers accepted for presentation at the conference address a range of issues connected to communication, science, media, technology, and the environment.

In addition to the papers and debates of the 31 thematic Sections and Working Groups, the conference will feature a range of events and activities that we hope will stimulate and inspire participants. In this Oregon Update, we’ll present an a few highlights.

Conference Opening and Keynotes

Wednesday, June 20, 17:00 - 20:00
Hult Center for the Performing Arts • Silva Concert Hall

The conference will open at the Silva Concert Hall in the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, where we will hear from the two keynote speakers: Wendy Hui Kyong Chun and Marcin Jakubowski. Get more information and speakers’ bios on the conference website.

Wendy Hui Kyong Chun is a theorist of digital media and Professor and Chair of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. She approaches digital media by combining and mutating her training in Systems Design Engineering and English Literature. Her publications include a trilogy: Remain the Same: Habitual New Media, 2nd edition (MIT, 2017), Programmed Visions: Software and Memory, 2nd edition (MIT, 2013), and Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics, 2nd edition (MIT, 2008). Dr. Chun’s research spans the fields of new media, software studies, comparative media studies, critical race studies, and critical theory. She was a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow, ACLS and American Academy of Berlin Fellow, and she has been a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton), a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard and a Wriston Fellow at Brown.

Marcin Jakubowski’s work represents a new generation of digital breakthroughs with the potential to deliver important social benefits by adopting technology in new and different ways. He graduated with honours from Princeton University and earned his Ph.D. in fusion physics from the University of Wisconsin. He is the founder of Open Source Ecology, a collaboration of engineers, producers, and builders, who are working on projects that represent decentralized production that give people the raw power to rebuild their communities and solve wicked problems. He is co-author (with Cameron Colby Thomson) of Toward an Open Source Civilization in Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization (MIT Journal, 2012). Dr. Jakubowski has been recognized as a 2012 TED Senior Fellow, a 2013 Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow, and a 2013 White House Champion for Change.

Plenary Sessions

Two plenary panels will address the conference theme and important current issues. The panels will take place in the Ballroom of the Erb Memorial Union (EMU) on the University of Oregon campus, which is the central location for the conference.

Reimagining Sustainability: Communication and Media Research in a Changing World
Thursday, June 21, 10:30-12:30

Panelists will explore the role of communication and media in both promoting and impeding sustainability. They will further discuss the role of various actors, including governments, industry, advocacy organizations, community groups, and the environmental justice movement at the global, national, and local level. Of particular interest will be the practices that move beyond merely sustaining—towards thriving societies and cultures. Speakers: Robert Hackett, Simon Fraser University, Canada; Jack Qui, Chinese University of Hong Kong, China; Hlami Ngwenya, University of Free State, South Africa. Get more information and speakers’ bios on the conference website.

Global Perspectives: Communication, Populism and Democracy
Friday, June 22, 10:30-12:30

Neoliberal policies in western economies have resulted in a deregulated and more globalized world economy. This, in turn, has led to number of contradictions, including greater social and economic inequality, the displacement of peoples across the world, and the rise of populist movements. The speakers will explore the tensions between global forces and renewed assertions of nationalism and offer critical perspectives on the role of media and technology in both enabling and impeding democratic processes. Finally, the panel will explore the possibilities for the promotion of human rights and moves toward more progressive politics. Speakers: Renata Avila, Web Foundation, Guatemala; Doug Kellner, University of California at Los Angeles, USA; Fatoumata Sow, Université du Sine Saloum ElHadj Ibrahima Niass, Senegal. Get more information and speakers’ bios on the conference website.

Special and Partner Sessions

Eleven Special and Partner sessions will be held throught the conference.

Special sessions take up cross-cutting contemporary issues or ones that are vital to IAMCR and this year’s selection will debate issues such as: the precarious labour conditions faced by many media and communication scholars, especially in the early stages of their careers; disability, communication rights, and social innovation; gender mainstreaming in journalism and communication schools, and; the environmental sustainability of academic conferences. 

Another special session will offer a moment to mark the contribution of Denis McQuail to our field. Denis, who passed away last June, made major contributions to scholarly inquiry and policy debate and was active in IAMCR for many years. This special session will formally acknowledge and celebrate his work, his notable character, and his enduring contribution. Speakers: Helena Sousa, Janet Wasko, Kaarle Nordenstreng, Graham Murdock, and Johannes Bardoel. Get more information on the conference website.

Partner sessions are opportunities for IAMCR to feature and interact with other organisations. This year our partners include: the Urban Communication Fund (sponsors or the UCF/IAMCR Research Grant); the International Communication Association (ICA), and regional associations from Europe (ECREA) and Latin America (ALAIC and FELAFACS).

Our ongoing partnership with UNESCO will be emphasised in a partner session titled “Whither the Communications Landscape in the Next Five Years?” where speakers will discuss the findings of the third edition of UNESCO’s report “World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development.” The session will also explore ways that communications scholars researching in these areas could engage with UNESCO more systematically. Get more information on the speakers and the UNESCO report on the conference website.

Earlybird Registration and IAMCR Membership

The earlybird registration period for IAMCR 2018 will end soon. On 8 May, registration fees in all categories will increase by 80 USD. If you are a not a member of IAMCR and want to join to take advantage of the lower fees, please do not wait until the last minute - it may take up to two business days to process your application and activate your membership so you can register. If you are a member, make sure your 2018 membership fees are paid on time. You can always check if your membership is current by logging into your account. To register now, go to https://iamcr.org/register2018.

Green Gala Dinner & Dance

On Saturday 23 June the conference’s central social event, the Green Gala Dinner and Dance will happen at the University of Oregon Quad. It will feature Pacific Northwest cuisine, local microbrews and Oregon wines, and a range of lively music for your dancing pleasure. The whole experience will only cost $10 USD but you have to sign up to join at the same time as you register.

Get together informally with your section and working group

The evening before the Green Gala Dinner, Friday 22 June, many of IAMCR’s Sections and Working Groups will hold informal get-togethers for dinner and/or drinks in various Eugene restaurants and pubs. Ask the heads of your group if they have anything planned or make a suggestion from a list of possible venues prepared by the experts at the University of Oregon.

Ecomedia Arts Festival and ECOFAIR

The ECOMEDIA ARTS FESTIVAL will take place at the Erb Memorial Union on Thursday 21 in collaboration with Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. It will feature a wide range of artists who utilize emerging technology to reconceptualize media from environmental, ecological, and systems approaches. Utilizing various techniques and platforms, ECOMEDIA will stretch the imagination to envision sustainability and thrivability from new and unique perspectives.

A variety of works will address this theme through the lenses of text, painting, sculpture, multimedia, projection mapping, designed environments, site-specific works, etc.  You can expect a wide range of 2D-3D-4D artworks that will offer participatory experiences that will engage artist-artifact-audience as a process of meaningful discourse.

Our environment is a medium that continues to expand with the integration of the arts, sciences, and humanities with communication. In hacking materiality, virtuality, and hybridity, ECOMEDIA reveals our developing contemporary condition in an ecology of inquiry.

The ECOFAIR, Thursday and Friday, 21-22 June, also at the Erb Memorial Union, will offer an opportunity to sample Sustainable Eugene at the conference site during the event. The ECOFAIR will include booths, displays, and activities featuring local non-profits, activist groups, etc.

The University of Oregon and things to see and do in Eugene and Oregon

Want to know more about the University of Oregon or about things to do in Eugene and Oregon? The conference website is one starting point.

The University of Oregon


Things to see and do

Eugene, Cascades & Coast, a tourism promotion association, has a website dedicated to letting IAMCR participants know about local events and sites.


Read the second update that was sent on 26 March, 2018.

Read the first update that was sent on 26 February, 2018.