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Deadline extended: ECREA 2022 at Aarhus University “Rethink Impact”

Attention: Abstract submission deadline is extended to February 17. The 9th European Communication Conference will be held in Aarhus, 19-22 October 2022. Proposals for papers, panels and posters can be submitted through the submission platform until 17 February 2022.

The European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA), the Department of Media and Journalism Studies at Aarhus University (AU) and the Danish School of Media and Journalism (DMJX) are delighted to host the 9th European Communication Conference (ECC) in Aarhus (Denmark). The conference has the theme ‘Rethink Impact’. The organisers call for proposals that contribute to rethinking impact from multiplicity of perspectives represented by ECREA Sections, Networks and Temporary Working Groups.

Conference theme

Research and teaching in the field of media and communication are increasingly called upon by governments across the world to legitimise themselves in terms of their societal impact. Research into the many ways that communication shapes and changes social cohesion and political processes is regarded as crucial in networked societies. Impact is seen as a shortcut to relevance of research, and researchers, administrators and educators need to negotiate conflicting demands for impact on all levels of academic work. Discussions and assessments of impact may indeed help to legitimise public spending on research and teaching. But they also present challenges for scholars in their liberty to conduct critical research that is seen as problematic or in opposition to dominant political agendas or opinions. Demands for impact can also create problematic incentives to conduct instrumental research that reproduces existing inequalities in academia and societies at large.

Impact raises fundamental questions on whether — or to what extent — university research and education should directly contribute to social, economic and political demands and be driven by agendas external to the academy. Is it possible to conduct critical research that is publicly funded? Are there models of academic collaboration with society that are not adequately described by current impact assessments? Are funders determining what impact research ought to have? Is there another way of doing impact, as impact ‘from below’, serving the needs of common spaces and grassroots communities? What is the impact of scholars working in the field of communication and external stakeholders, historically and in the present? Why is the long-term contribution of higher education often overlooked in impact discussions? What would an adequate assessment of impact look like in the field of media and communication research, respecting different work cultures, disciplinary orientations and methodologies?

By inviting researchers to ‘rethink impact’ the organisers are wishing to further discussions about both the more traditional ways of thinking about impact as well as some of the more subtle and long-term ways in which researchers and educators in media and communication make a difference contribute to society. Discussions about impact draw on different cultural, social and political histories and ambitions, dealing with contemporary funding and employment structures and incentives, as much as they relate to the place and recognition of scholarship in wider societal and global developments. Rethinking Impact raises fundamental questions about the identity and autonomy of media and communications researchers as an interdisciplinary field of research at the centre of current debates of societal transformation.

Read more about the call for papers and for specific calls by the ECREA sections here:


Submission and deadline

Proposals for individual papers, panels, and posters can be submitted to one of ECREA Secitons, Temporary Working Groups and Networks through the ECREA 2022 submission platform until 17 February 2022. Please see the link below for specific calls by the sections, networks and temporary working groups.

Abstracts should be written in English and contain a clear outline of the argument, theoretical framework, and, where applicable, methodology and results. Abstracts should be between 300 and 500 words (500 is the maximum number of words, incl. references). Panel proposals should consist of five individual contributions, combining a panel rationale with five panel paper abstracts, each of which shall be no more than 500 words.

Please note that participants can be nominated as the first (presenting) author in one accepted submission only. If more than one contribution with the same first (presenting) author is accepted, the participant stated as the first (presenting) author will be asked to decide which paper they want to present. There is no restriction on the number of presentations where a conference participant is listed as co-author and participants can still act as chair or respondent of a panel.

All proposals must be submitted through the conference website until 17 February 2022. The submission system and registration system will be available from early December 2021. Early submission is strongly encouraged. Please note that this submission deadline will not be extended. Abstracts will be available online. Full papers (optional) will be published via the conference submission system and available to registered attendants after logging into the system. Specific guidelines will be released in due time.

Conference Organisation

The theme Rethink Impact resonates with Aarhus University’s approach to facilitating collaborative partnerships with the business community, the city administration, the region and civil society. It draws on the experiences of Aarhus as European Capital of Culture in 2017. Both the vision and the preparation of the conference adopt a collaborative approach to creating legacy and impact from the conference in the local community. The Local Organising Committee puts the collaboration between the Department of Media and Journalism Studies at Aarhus University (AU) and the Danish School of Media and Journalism (DMJX) at the heart of its efforts to shape a memorable conference. We want to welcome the scholars of the ECREA community to experience the rich cultural and social life of Aarhus on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Along with a broad range of local partners the Local Organising Committee will develop innovative formats of connecting academic debate to the wider society to facilitate exchange with citizens, policy makers, businesses and the wider public.

The conference website https://conferences.au.dk/ecrea2022/ will over the course of the coming year update delegates on the host city, the events planned around the conference and ideas to “rethink impact”.