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Call for papers

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), 19 - 22 October 2022. 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.

Submission and deadline

Proposals for individual papers, panels, and posters can be submitted to one of ECREA Sections, Temporary Working Groups and Networks through the ECREA 2022 submission platform until 17 February 2022. Please see 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.

Calls of ECREA sections, networks and temporary working groups


Audience and Reception Studies

The Audience and Reception Studies section invites contributions that focus on both the Reception site but also on the Engagement and Participation of/by Audiences so as to "rethink impact" and go beyond it.

Both traditional/ dominant and oppositional/ bottom-up/critical ways of seeing and thinking about the audience are called for, together with the reflection on the relations between these two paradigms and on the social valuation of diverse academic voices. In the complex network of influences between audience studies' research and education, and the wider society, we would like to address both novel questions and old dilemmas.

The section is particularly interested in audiences' interpretations and practices in relation to a number of phenomena topics such as platforms, datafication, artificial intelligence, fake news, protests and solidarity campaigns. These topics are by no means exhaustive, but merely indicative of some of the many themes we are looking for.

The section encourages submissions that cross disciplines and welcomes theoretical, empirical, and methodological discussions.

Children, Youth and Media

We are increasingly expected to achieve impact. But how much do we really think about it? Is it a goal in itself? This entails a risk, as negative impact can also follow from science when our insights result in undesirable situations. By placing 'impact' explicitly on the agenda, we call upon our accountability to think critically about this. We ask how we can have a positive impact through our research and practice, acknowledging that interpretation depends on the perspective taken. These nuances are important, if only because the meanings of children and young people do not necessarily correspond to what adults put first, and because media uses are embedded in local, cultural practices. Moreover, the discussion of impact remains an empty exercise if we do not think about how we assess it. Next to performative criteria of impact measurement, such as the change or strengthening of attitudes, behaviours and knowledge, normative aspects such as ethical sensitivity also play a role, as do substantive criteria such as our theoretical engagement. We therefore invite our community to contribute to the discussion on impact in a way that children and young people in a mediated society can benefit from our research and practice.

Communication and Democracy

The Communication and Democracy section invites abstracts for papers and panel proposals on the relationship between media, communication, and democracy. We take a broad definition of democracy that goes beyond institutional politics and practices, and the (Western) models of liberal democracy. Equally, we encourage engagement with the hybrid media system as well as non-media centric approaches. Papers and panels on non-institutional democratic practices (including social movements and NGOs) are explicitly encouraged. We welcome contributions from young scholars.

The theme for the 2022 conference in Aarhus is "Rethink Impact". The section invites submissions both within and outside of this general theme, ideally addressing one of the following sub-themes:

  • Social movements and mediation
  • Radical/ alternative/ participatory media
  • Media activism
  • The politics and polis of transnational activist/ political communication
  • Organising (for) political agency
  • Civic resilience in times of crisis
  • Political agency and civic engagement
  • Everyday life and civic cultures
  • Popular and civic cultures
  • The mediation of political actors
  • Media struggles over independence, recognition, and social justice
  • The political economy of participatory media
  • Algorithms and democracy: discourses and practices
  • Rethink impact: academic impact in the communication of democracy
  • Rethink impact: scholarship contributions to the democratic governance of public (mass, social) media

Communication History

Media and communications have impacted or have claimed to impact societies over centuries. These impacts have changed and been perceived in different ways through time and across different spaces. Many communication scholars have tried to address and understand impacts and have produced, especially from the early 20th century, a huge amount of literature on this topic.

For the ECREA General Conference held in Aarhus 2022, as always the Communication History Section welcomes papers on the history of communication in general, on the history of socially relevant media and mass communication, on memory studies, on the history of ideas related to the field of communication, and on the methodology and theory of communication history. But it specifically welcomes papers on the following topics:

  • Histories of impacts of communications over time, with a longue and short durée approach;
  • Comparisons among different historical times in which communications were seen as impacting politics, economics, and societies;
  • Contestations of mass media and their impact and search for alternative media and other kind of messages and impact;
  • Measurements of media impact over time thanks to surveys, audience studies, etc.;
  • Recurring ideas on how communications change societies: e.g. the history of the ideas of deleting distances, of suppressing spaces, of technological determinism, etc.;
  • Impact of media in times of upheavals and crises, like social movements, wars, dictatorships, sanitary crisis like the COVID-19, etc. How have historical events shown/reinforced the importance of mediated communications and their impact?
  • The impact of media and communication history on historiography and, conversely, the impact of historiography on the study of media and communication history;
  • The impact of media and communication history and historiography on media and communication studies, also in terms of new methods and sources;
  • Histories and theories of communications focusing on "strong" or "weak" effects of communications over time.

Communication, Law and Policy

Communications policy scholars have a complex relationship with the notion of ‘impact’. We are often concerned with the pressing policy problems of the moment and can be both examining and engaged in ongoing policy processes. Our field has established normative traditions, rooted in understandings of fundamental rights and theories about the function of media and communications forms and institutions in society. These frameworks make for critical scholarship that overtly aims to change policy. Other scholarship works to produce evidence that will be accepted by policymakers as valid so that it has the chance of being used to inform policy making. 

This is not for the sake of ‘impact’, but because our normative frameworks lead us to believe that such evidence is needed to make better policy. Some of us attempt to step back and look at processes, at how policy is made. Even then, our research often turns to questions around power, whose voices dominate and what are the policy silences. 

We invite scholars to “rethink impact” from specific CLP perspective, and to submit work that not only fits with any of these aims, but also reflects on the work’s relationship with impact and its driving normative frameworks.

Crisis Communication

As some countries begin to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and while some countries are still experiencing significant levels of transmission and deaths, the field of crisis and risk communication has the opportunity to learn from the experiences of the last two years to consider:

  • What impact in crisis and risk communication means across the field of communication?
  • Is pandemic communication fundamentally different from crisis and risk communication?
  • What are critical pedagogical, research, theoretical, amplification, and collaboration lessons have been learned through the pandemic?
  • What critical themes of research and practice should be addressed in the short, medium, and long-term?
  • What can be learned with a view to the communicative challenges that come with imminent wicked problems like climate change, mass migration, immigration, and other potential pandemics?
  • In moving forward from 2022, how can our field meet crisis and risk communication needs across sectors?
  • We welcome abstract-based submissions addressing these themes as we begin to "Rethink Impact" for the European Communication Conference.

Diaspora, Migration and the Media

The field of migration and media studies has evolved rapidly in recent years to better capture the complex trajectories of contemporary movements and narratives around migration. The variety of these contributions reflect the urgency of interrogating the relationship between media and migration in a world affected by political tensions, anti-migration populist discourses, increased societal polarization and human rights violations. In observing this relationship, scholars have addressed the impact of media representations on questions of identity and difference, the mediation of humanitarian crises and borders, the role of diasporic communities as agents of change and the forms of migration governance among others objects of enquiry.

The impact that scholarly research has had on advancing our understanding of such critical debates is an area of study that demands more attention. By inviting researchers to 'rethink the impact' of scientific research on the field of media and migration, this CFP focuses on the importance of designing and rethinking concepts/methodologies that promote the perspective of 'researching with' rather than 'researching on'.

Contributions might focus on, but are not limited to:

  • Ethical challenges in media and migration research;
  • The contribution of intersectional approaches, post-colonial and de-colonial perspectives;
  • Moving beyond Euro-centrism in media and migration studies;
  • The impact of diasporic imaginations and communities in the study of anti-migration discourses and transnational imaginaries.

Digital Culture and Communication

How is impact made to work in digital communications? The DCC section invites attendees to interrogate the different dimensions of "impact" as a contested field of participation. For example, scholars work with tech companies, governments, and third-sector organisations to make an impact on the digital world. But what does it mean to make an impact through your research? The rise of social movements in combination with increasingly polarized platform environments has transformed the extent to which users can make an impact via online engagement. Hashtags assemble political dissent and mobilize shitstorms; memes make news headlines; social bots boost like and follower metrics; digitally manipulated content triggers conflict. But who gets to make an impact as a user of digital technologies? Over the past few years we have also seen a rise in public discussion about the "impacts" of technology on our wellbeing and daily lives, reminiscent of older media effects theories that we perhaps thought we had left behind. But what should we make of debates about how people are "impacted" by tech?

Contributions can be both theoretically informed and/or empirically grounded, as well as critical and methodological reflections on the topic. The DCC section especially welcomes contributions from early-career scholars. We invite cross-disciplinary individual papers and panel contributions that identify the challenges of studying today's online cultures and enquire into alternative forms of communication, encouraging discussions about the ethics of impact. After all, with great impact comes great responsibility...

Digital Games Research

The Digital Games Research Section calls all scholars working in game studies and related fields. In line with the conference's main theme, there is a special interest in contributions that inquire into the impact of games and play in society. How do games and play as well as game studies as a field contribute to societal discourse? How may game studies allow for us to rethink the concept of "impact" going forward? In addition, the call is open to all contributions from the broad field of game studies. We invite contributions dealing with digital games as cultural objects, digital gaming as a social practice, digital games as media for communication and related topics. Particular interest goes to understanding the cultural, psychological and sociological implications of digital gaming and of digital games as cultural objects and mass-market products, as well as serious applications of digital games. The section offers an interdisciplinary platform for exploring the impact and meaning of games and play. We welcome contributions dealing with topics traditionally associated with specific fields such as communication, but also cultural studies, media psychology, educational sciences, economics, and others. We deliberately aim for both qualitative and quantitative work in the belief that both deserve equal attention and are able to reinforce one another.

Film Studies

The ECREA Film Studies section approaches the phenomenon of film in its broadest sense: film as content, as cultural artefact, as commercial product, as lived experience, as cultural and economic institution, as a symbolic field of cultural production, and as media technology. On a methodological level, we strive towards openness and multilevel approaches to the study of historical and contemporary cinema: film text, context, production, representation and reception. Cultural studies perspectives, historical approaches, political economy, textual analysis, and audience research all find their place within the section. We want to leave behind the institutional tensions between humanities and social sciences approaches.

The Film Studies section thus invites contributions that deal with film from a broad variety of perspectives. We also invite contributions that deal with the general conference theme 'Rethink Impact' and that explore the challenges and opportunities for the research field of film studies. From outreach initiatives to practice-based research among many others, the section welcomes a diversity of approaches that help us think in what ways film studies may impact today's society.

Gender, Sexuality and Communication

Applying a gender and sexuality lens is essential when 'rethinking impact' in the field of media and communication. Studies on gender, sexuality and media engage with social change in several ways. For example, by focusing on how media construct meanings of gender, challenging intersectional inequalities in media industries, audiences' constructions of gender and sexuality, and what it means to study media from a feminist, queer, postcolonial, and/or disability studies perspective. The Gender, Sexuality and Communication section welcomes contributions that explore different aspects of the relationship between gender, sexuality, and media (in a broad sense). This can involve research on media representation, production and reception. We encourage submissions from diverse geographical contexts and approaches that look at the intersection of gender with other identity markers. In recent years, there has been a growing pattern of attacks aimed at delegitimizing gender, sexuality and media research, silencing scholars and dismantling critical knowledge. The ECC conference is an opportunity to exchange ideas on these troubling shifts. Therefore, we are also interested in contributions that discuss the impact of these challenges on how we teach, build communities and support structures in gender, sexuality and media studies.

International and Intercultural Communication

The International and Intercultural Communication (IIC) section welcomes research exploring all types of cross-border, transnational, or global communication, including both mediated or (inter)personal forms. For the ECREA 2022 Conference theme "Rethink Impact," we particularly invite papers that discuss and/or rethink how research on IIC interacts with, impacts on, and reflects society, and/or communication researchers' responsibilities and strategies to reflect upon their own impact. We welcome three formats:

  • Thematic papers that address the conference theme, e.g., critically discussing conditions and strategies of translating IIC research insight into tangible outcomes for society, policy, and/or business; and/or the impact of IIC research results.
  • Work-in-progress papers on currently planned or on-going projects, e.g., discussing new research ideas or planned research designs, preliminary results, methodological problems, or specific theoretical reflections - including reflections of research impact on research subjects, policy making, or societal challenges, etc.
  • Reflections on research practice: papers that discuss and reflect on the context of IIC research (e.g., collaboration experiences and challenges in IIC research); challenges of conducting critical, publicly funded IIC research; the impact of IIC researchers in related settings; on how to deal with eurocentrism, ethnocentrism, or reflexivity; and/or on how to avoid reproducing existing inequalities in own research practices.

Interpersonal Communication and Social Interaction

The Interpersonal Communication and Social Interaction section welcomes contributions that focus on the study of human interaction and communication behaviour. The core is constituted of encounters between and relationships among people in private or public contexts, whether face-to-face or through various communication technologies. Since interpersonal communication and social interaction are the basic unit of humanity and enable to enhance mutual understanding, our research resonates with the general conference theme, Rethinking Impact. Therefore, we especially welcome research with tangible and applicable results for society, policies, business, and private life but also research with long-term implications through theory.

The research fields and theory development areas of interpersonal communication and social interaction are wide-ranging. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Relationship formation, development and termination
  • Group and team communication
  • Communicative competence and interpersonal skills
  • Verbal and nonverbal communication
  • Listening
  • Mediated interaction and digital interpersonal communication
  • Interaction with conversational human agents, personal assistants and chatbots
  • Persuasion and mutual influence
  • Public speaking, rhetoric, argumentation
  • Ethnography of speaking

All kinds of contexts are welcome, such as family, work, instructional, political, health. We also welcome different methodologies: qualitative, quantitative, mixed, meta-analysis etc.

Journalism Studies

The Journalism Studies Section invites abstracts based on empirical research or theoretical effort able to advance our conceptions of journalism and journalistic work. A plurality of theories, methods, and perspectives is encouraged. Subject areas include, but are not limited to, the roles of journalism in society, influences on news making, journalists' attitudes and practices, economic and business models for news, news content, news consumption, the multitude roles of audience, the shifting boundary of journalism, analysis of its news actors such as platforms. The research focus may be local as comparative. Included in this spectrum are theoretical works able to clarify, define, systematize the most important concepts link to the journalistic field. Research aimed to analyse the meso and macro level addressing therefore the relation between journalism and power, technological change, organization innovation but also financial pressures is stimulated.

Media, Cities and Space

The Media, Cities and Space section provides an interdisciplinary platform for European research and education at the intersection of media in all their diversity, urban space and other locations, in the context of increasingly pervasive algorithmic mediation of space and social life.

The section aims at establishing a strong international network, and welcomes theoretical, methodological and empirical contributions. Scholarship within Media, Cities and Space focuses on the multiple ways media and communications interrelate with and contribute to lived experience and social (inter)action in cities and other spatial contexts.

We invite contributions from scholars exploring and rethinking the impact of the various entanglements of media, space and place from different angles and in different fields such as communication and media studies; science and technology studies; geography and environmental studies; political communication studies; critical media and technology studies, locative and mobile media studies, performance studies, etc. We welcome all theoretical and methodological approaches.

This year we are especially interested in how such research and thinking: a) impacts the urban spaces and communities we research and b) is impacted by the local spatial configurations, local data cultures and data flows, as well as local and global politics of media, space and place.

Media Industries and Cultural Production

The Media Industries and Cultural Production section invites papers that address how new technological actors, digital services and infrastructures are reshaping the economic models, institutional practices and policies of media industries and cultural production, challenging the boundaries of the field. We welcome submissions that explore questions such as, but not limited to: How does platformization trouble the boundaries between different fields of creative industries and cultural production, and how can we analytically rethink them? What constitutes media labor in the context of algorithmically-mediated work? How do tech industries transform the logics and boundaries of media industries across regions and national contexts? In accordance with the conference theme of 're-thinking impact' we also invite papers and panels that examine the challenges and opportunities that platformization presents for the ways in which scholars research and engage with media and creative industries. All submissions will be assessed according to their diversity, in terms of region, ethnicity, gender and career stage. All paper submissions are encouraged to reflect on the diversity of the region, ethnicity, gender and career stage of the works that they are citing.


The ongoing mediatization process is subject to social transformations as well as technical innovation processes and creative practices. We endorse digital technologies with the promises of a better way of life, solving our problems of managing the world's complexity, allowing better participatory policies and helping us in our daily life. At the same time, however, we are confronted with the fundamental problems of technological structures, such as the problems of Internet surveillance, control and the unequal distribution of power. With Artificial Intelligence starting to be part of our social lives, and face recognition or tracking devices threatening our privacy and autonomy, we see media research being confronted with new responsibilities, whether for public or private media. We invite paper, panel and poster proposals on both theoretical and empirical questions concerning impact and responsiblity in our increasingly digitized life. Proposals may for instance address: private contexts like family life, health contexts, such as pandemic discourses, impact of technologies on the home, digital consumption, ecological impact of mediatized life styles or social inequalities due to digital technologies.

Organisational and Strategic Communication

Proving the value of strategic communication for business is still a challenge in many organizations, despite it is commonly understood that communication is crucial. In theoretical proposals, there are already some steps taken heading towards the identification of factors and opportunities that aim at exploring the diversity and intersectional character of emerging organizational and strategic communication. However, concepts, definitions, strategies, and methods, are not yet commonly shared or unified under stable theoretical understandings; perhaps due to a still dominant managerial approach that drives much of the research on this applied area of communication. And yet, at same time, the number of graduate and undergraduate programs in Public Relations and Communication Management in Europe is on the raise and it is important to show how this tradition of knowledge is also flourishing, innovative, and challenging, as well as relevant for the society as a whole. We need to prepare the terrain for the growth of future critical and responsible professionals and scholars.

Therefore, we invite researchers to submit proposals that contribute to the development of an inclusive an extended mapping that mirrors not only the technical and hermeneutic interests, but also critical/emancipatory perspectives. Such a map will help and contribute to a shared effort to rethink and to clarify the impact of our research for society while also fosters a common ground for further and future relevant and impactful scholarly research.

Philosophy of Communication

The field of Philosophy of communication might be seen as facing the questions of impact on the three levels:

  • On the social level - as reflections on whether philosophizing has direct social impact, and whether it should be expected to have it.
  • On the research level - as reflections on whether philosophical reflections on the objects of research and methodological approaches of research have (or should have) any impact on the research practices in communication studies (and beyond).
  • On the metaphilosophical level - as reflections on whether the distinction between regional philosophies (such as philosophy of communication) and philosophy (in general) makes any sense, and what impact do the regional philosophies have on the whole of philosophical knowledge.
  • Our section welcomes not only the attempts to answer these complex questions, but also the efforts to raise yet further questions and reflections concerning the scope and directions of the impact of philosophy of communication.

Political Communication

The Political Communication section invites empirical and/or theoretical contributions on the changing nature of the relationship between citizens, political actors and the media, old and new. We welcome papers that address issues such as: the implications of mediated and mediatized politics on the quality of modern democracy; the European political communication deficit; the link between political communication and media policy, new journalistic practices, but also rising antagonistic civic communicative inputs, practices and processes of the mediation and mediatization of politics. Similarly, we invite papers on communication strategies and news management of political elites; campaign communication; citizenship and public sphere; media effects on political orientations and participation; as well as interpersonal and digital political communication. Papers that take a comparative view on political communication in Europe are very welcome. The section aims to bring together, and encourage critical and interdisciplinary approaches while creating dialogue between a broad diversity of methodological and theoretical approaches.

Radio and Sound

Our daily lives are marked by immersion in complex sound environments that serve our information and entertainment needs. In this context, radio and digital audio services have become one source, among others, that provide voices and sounds. In tune with the conference theme, 'Rethink Impact', the Radio and Sound Section invites researchers to rethink not only the social impacts of both traditional and evolving radio broadcasting systems and sound services, but also the impact of systematic integration of radio and sound as a methodological tool within media and communication studies, including its use as a pedagogical tool of education. For example, how does thinking and researching through, and with, sound constitute a new type of inquiry into media and communication studies in particular, and social sciences in general? Thus, abstracts could be situated in, but not limited to, the following fields: audience studies; research methodologies; innovation and diversity; sound content and practices; audio narratives and acoustic language; podcasting; social networking and user-generated radio; web and mobile platform content; radio and music streaming platforms; radio history; community radio; radio and gender; radio identities; sound art; aural culture. Whole panel proposals are also welcome, which should also include the proposed chair for the session.

Science and Environment Communication

Rethinking impact is an essential aspect of science and environmental communication research and practice as we face environmental crises and unprecedented challenges in relation to societal and political uses of science and new technologies. Whether it is society impacting nature, or nature impacting society, or if it is about the mediation and communication of these processes - impacts are at the core of our scholarship. Furthermore, critical reflections on the impact and status of science in society are required to meet the new challenges pertaining to technological and environmental risks.

In light of this year's ECC theme, the Science and Environment Communication welcomes presentations, panels and discussions on 'Rethinking Impact in Science and Environmental Communication'. The Science and Environment Communication section seeks to foster a strong, reflexive and dynamic research network and welcomes work that crosses a range of disciplinary and methodological boundaries.

Examples of topic areas include - but are far from restricted to:

  • Representation/mediation of environmental impact
  • Impact of environmental protest and activism
  • Impact of scientific discourse on policy or behaviour
  • Public engagement with science and the environment
  • (De/Re-)politicisation of environmental and scientific discourse
  • Dialogical, participatory approaches to the communication of research-based knowledge
  • The climate footprint of the digital communication systems
  • Environmental impact of academic work
  • Science/environmental education and engagement
  • Transformative environmental journalism

Television Studies

The ECREA Television Studies thematic section aims to facilitate strong cooperation for European research and education in the field of television studies. In the face of technological, cultural, and economical changes to television 'as we know it', the section provides a network for TV researchers from a wide range of disciplines focusing on all aspects of television and connected screen cultures, both addressing the 'post-broadcast era' and television's history and its multiple futures.

This section invites papers and panel proposals on the phenomenon of television in its broadest sense: TV as medium, TV as aesthetic form, TV as lived experience, TV as cultural and economic institution, TV as part of legal and political actions, TV as symbolic field of cultural production, TV as popular entertainment, TV as media technology, TV as commodity, TV as part of convergence culture, etc. The section welcomes various approaches (theoretical, analytical, historical, empirical, critical, methodological) and encourages inter- and transdisciplinary work on television.

In the light of this year's ECC 2022 theme "Rethink Impact", we particularly encourage contributions that deal, for instance, with:

  • The role of Television in society and social change - and here particularly the role of Public Service Broadcasting.
  • The conditions of television production and working cultures (e.g. diversity of creatives).
  • The impact of new business models on the current television landscape (e.g., the "Netflix model"; new forms of partnerships and co-productions; the convergence of flow and streaming market).
  • The impact of "old" or traditional television models in new TV offers and productions, both for traditional channels and platforms.
  • The impact of social media on new trends in TV consumption and audience practices.
  • The impact of the digital divide (income, education, etc.) in relation to the access and configuration of global TV audiences.
  • The answers of Television Studies to societal questions such as policy making, media literacy or cultural heritage.

We look forward to your contribution and welcoming you in Aarhus 2022.

Visual Cultures

Visual Cultures Section welcomes contributions that engage both explicitly and implicitly with discussions on societal impact of visual research in critical and timely forms. For example, through research on visual literacies in media and communication practice, like routines of using press photographs in journalism or ad transparency on social media. We also seek research that addresses current challenges like the use and reception of visual representations and diagrams throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and critical literacy towards memes or fake news involving manipulated or composite pictures and deepfakes.

While visual studies have a long tradition of using participatory methods with direct societal impact, they are less popular in media and communication studies than in other disciplines. Media education projects seem to be an exception, as they often combine research agenda with societal impact by developing educational programs in visual and media literacy.

We are therefore also interested in papers on research collaborations with institutions like museums, schools, artists, creative agencies etc. where non-academic actors are directly involved in developing methods and generating impact as well as theoretical ideas and concepts.


Central and East-European Network

We propose to rethink the relatively new (recently introduced to scholarship in CEE region) concept of impact of university research and education on society. It is of significance to define what the assessment of the so-called societal impact of science means in Central and Eastern Europe and how it can be measured. The societal impact is becoming a component of the new evaluation of researchers and universities, which entails different levels of public funding for higher education institutions. It has a particular meaning in this part of Europe. It is important to discuss how societal impact is understood and what the challenges and limitations for scholars it involves and how it influences the conduct of critical research, especially research that might be problematic or in opposition to dominant political agenda. In this context, it is also important to debate on the autonomy of academy in a broader sense. We invite to rethink and reconceptualize the scholarly contribution to society and the service to citizens in Central and Eastern Europe.

Women's Network

We are seeking contributions to a panel on 'Rethinking the impact of gender inequalities in higher education', organized by ECREA Women's Network at the ECC 2022 conference in Aarhus, Denmark (19-22 October 2022).

The Women's Network aims to address gender inequalities in research and higher education and to amplify the voice of female and LGBTQ+ scholars. In the previous events of the network, various issues were addressed such as the role that gender plays in terms of job security, the unrealistic expectations placed on academics, the negative effects of precarization at individual levels, the role of intersectionality in academic settings, the difficulties of researching sensitive topics, and the importance of building networks to disseminate examples of good practice.

Starting from the recognition of the strategic role played by media and communication studies in societal transformations, this panel is particularly interested in exploring challenges and opportunities to reduce (gender) inequality in academia by considering both structural and cultural dimensions. We welcome presentations on (though not exclusively) the following topics:

  • Neoliberalization and precarization of academic work
  • Gender violence and academia
  • Intersection between gender and other power dimensions in academia
  • Networks and solidarity movements
  • Organizational policies and equality plans
  • Everyday working life conditions in precarious academic positions
  • Local, informal experiences of early career researchers
  • Informal strategies of resistance to neoliberal academia
  • The role of 'open access' in developing equality in research
  • Citation politics

We especially encourage submissions from early career researchers and from diverse geographical contexts.

YECREA (Young scholars network)

The notion of impact can have diverse connotations depending on who is part of the conversation. For early career researchers (ECRs), concerns around academia's societal impact may be overshadowed by questions around their experiences of, and location within the academic system. Specifically, ECRs find themselves at the crossroads of impact: the impact that capitalism and the neo-liberalization of academia have on facilitating precarity and pressure; conversely, the impact that the invisible labour of ECRs as 'academic proletariat' (Teeuwen & Hantke 2007) has on academia.

In 'rethinking impact' we seek to examine these dual forces and encourage submissions exploring:

- How transformations within the academic system are affecting PhDs and ECRs, focusing on issues such as employment precarity, publish-or-perish culture, mental health and wellbeing, and others.

- The different forms of labour - academic, emotional, aspirational - that ECRs engage in as part of their precarious and relatively invisible position within the academic system, considering also the impact of gender, race, class, and other interlocking structures and categories of experience.

While these issues impact ECRs most acutely, we welcome submissions (re-)considering impact on scholars more broadly.


Affect, Emotion and Media

Bridging the long-standing dichotomies of reason and emotion or mind and body in scholarship, the TWG Affect, Emotion & Media invites submissions focusing on the development of theoretical concepts and methodological approaches that explore and investigate how affect and emotion shape and are shaped by media technologies, texts, and productions in mass and social media. This comprises affect and emotion in numerous media and communication contexts, such as journalism, politics, entertainment, advertising, and everyday lifeworlds. Scholars may submit contributions that touch upon one or more of the following aspects:

  • production, regulation, and circulation of affect and emotion in journalistic media, film, art, mediated cultural productions, and social media platforms
  • affective and emotional labor of media and cultural practitioners
  • use of affect and emotion in political communication and activism
  • (meta-communication about) collective emotions in public discourses
  • affective publics and other conceptualizations of affect and emotion in public spheres
  • affective everyday media practices
  • affect, emotion and algorithms
  • media and the psychology of affect and emotion

In terms of methodology, the TWG welcomes all kinds of approaches, from qualitative methods to quantitative and/or computational methods.

Communication and Sport

As a growing social and economic phenomenon, sport plays a key role in contemporary societies. The societal role of sport is inextricably linked to the potentials of mediated communication. Sport is distributed, consumed and even practiced via media. Considering the unparalleled impacts of sports communication in the current landscape, the ECREA Communication and Sport Temporary Working Group invites submissions that bridge the study of mediated sport and the ECC's main theme "Rethink Impact". We wish to concentrate on the still growing number of communicators who are now present in the European sports media landscape and represent a range of very diverse interests and agendas in relation to sport communication. We invite submissions that address, but are not limited to, issues such as: sports journalism; sports media content; strategic communication of sport-related issues; equality and diversity in sports coverage; advertising in sports; mediatization of sports; sport and emerging technologies such as mobile media, e-sports, and virtual reality; patterns of media sports consumption; and fan communication and mediated engagement with sport. The TWG understands itself as interdisciplinary. We encourage submissions from different theoretical and methodological perspectives that stimulate the debate on these pivotal areas for the present and future of sports communication.

Ethics of Mediated Suffering

The Ethics of Mediated Suffering Temporary Working group invites scholars to join the ongoing debate on the societal impact of instances of mediated distant suffering as well as the scholarly body of knowledge, research and teaching surrounding them. In tandem with the conference theme, we are particularly interested in contributions that are considering how we can rethink practices of reporting, theorizing and engaging with disasters, crises and human vulnerability in ways that challenge existing gaps and limitations in the field. How can journalistic practices and humanitarian communication more effectively engage their audiences? How can victims get a voice and be listened to in relevant media coverage? How can stereotypes and sensationalism in relevant coverage be challenged? At the same time, we welcome theoretical and empirical contributions that engage with the broader questions that are of interest to the field: what are the political and moral implications inherent in the representation of suffering and the spectacularisation of human pain? What is the role of (social) media and journalism in transforming practices of witnessing? How are relationships between spectators and sufferers mediated? How is the concept of the 'victim' constructed and employed in both media and public discourses? We encourage scholars from different fields to engage in a dialogue on how research on mediated suffering can have impact and contribute to society.

Health Communication

The Temporary Working Group Health Communication invites paper and panel proposals that focus on different forms of communication in the context of health. This includes Media issues, such as media coverage of health topics, health literacy, information seeking behaviour, usage and effects of health messages; Strategic issues, focusing on communication strategies and prevention campaigns, narrowcasting health messages, and health public relations; Health technologies issues, such as usage and effects of novel health technologies, communicative challenges related to novel technologies, e-health, telemedicine; Social and community issues, such as health-related interpersonal communication, social influence and support, as well as community health risk management; Patient-provider issues, such as determinants, content, and outcomes of patient-provider interactions, communication skills, or trust and disclosure in interactions; Intercultural issues, such as health communication for ethnic minorities, challenges of intercultural health communication, and cross-cultural differences in health communication issues; Methodological issues, comprising methodological innovations and challenges in current health communication research, both qualitative and quantitative approaches; Academic issues, such as self-observations and introspective studies in the field of health communication. We welcome empirical studies, theoretical contributions, and literature reviews.

Journalism and Communication Education

The TWG calls for presentations which discuss the impact of journalism and communication education (JCE) on (media) organizations and society/citizens in the past, present and/or future through five topics:

  • JCE's impact on society (contribution through innovative teaching methods; best practice examples; community building; service-oriented learning, etc.)
  • JCE's contribution to media economy (higher education qualifications in the labour market trends regarding collaboration of educational and media organizations; conflicting demands of the media industry and the normative claims on media and communication in society, etc.)
  • scientific contexts and paradigms of JCE (transformation demands in terms of its identity and autonomy; different theoretical concepts; empirical approaches; methodologies of conceptualizing and measuring the impact of education; European values, etc.)
  • conditions of working in JCE (different work cultures; methodologies of quality measurement; structural constraints that support/prevent innovations; education discourse vs practice, etc.)
  • impact of initiatives on education and professional policies and decisions; collaboration with stakeholders on the (re)creation of policies (laws, bylaws, rule books, codes and declarations), etc.

The TWG invites abstracts that are in keeping with the conference theme, but is also open to other topics relating to the training and education of media professionals.