Archive for calls, November 2012

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[ecrea] CfP ICA Preconference at Leicester: "Audiences, Elsewhere?"

Wed Nov 21 07:12:51 GMT 2012

Call for Papers

Audiences, elsewhere?

Reviewing the applicability of audiences and audience research to those in other fields

A pre-conference at ICA 2013 co-organized by the Audience and Reception Studies section of ECREA and the COST Action IS0906 Transforming Audiences, Transforming Societies, and presented in collaboration with ICA Division for Communication and Technology

Hosted by the University of Leicester

June 17th, 2013

Please visit our website at

Opening keynote address: Professor Kirsten Drotner, Institute of Literature, Culture and Media Studies, University of Southern Denmark and founding director of DREAM: Danish Research Centre on Education and Advanced Media Materials.

Closing keynote address: Professor Sonia Livingstone, Department of Media and Communications at London School of Economics and Political Science, director of EU Kids Online network.

Submissions are invited in a range of two possible formats for an exciting pre-conference titled ‘Audiences, Elsewhere?’ to be held on the eve of the 2013 annual conference of the ICA. The pre-conference will be hosted by the Department of Media and Communications at the University of Leicester on 17th June 2013. The pre- conference features addresses by Professor Sonia Livingstone and Professor Kirsten Drotner, with an intensive, innovative and interactive format for discussing audience research throughout the day.

Intellectual scope - More than five decades after the theoretical and empirical appearance of in communications research, it seems apt to ask what, if at all, the idea of audiences and the insights from reception studies might imply for those elsewhere. Caught up in internal debates about establishing the role of the reader, countering and then qualifying the narrative of powerful media effects, over-celebrating diversity, accumulating too much empirical work at the expense of theoretical advancement, and lately, the advent of users and produsers – audience research has seldom had the chance to (re)consider its applicability and utility for other fields. Some of these links ‘elsewhere’ have already been theorised by audience researchers – consider the public or the citizen from democratic participation theory. Consider also, how the text-reader metaphor that lies at the heart of audience reception becomes a tool worthy of interest in the face of discussions about technologies as texts or the affordances and appropriation of technologies. But there are other links waiting to be unpicked – how best might the audience (a media-framed concept) and insights from reception research inform, for instance, education studies, tourism, sociologies of the family? Such a line of questioning places the tradition of audience research into a direct dialogue with other trajectories communication scholars walk on.

We suggest that reviewing the applicability of audience research to those outside communication studies is an important task for two overlapping reasons. First, in intellectual terms, indeed, there is a danger in not engaging with these questions, for these fields, ‘elsewhere’ often assume the audience to be homogenous, singular, or even passive – an ironical fact after the last fifty years of theoretical advancements in audience studies, which have proved otherwise. Second, in more socio-economic terms, audience researchers are often called upon to inform policy, a task in which we must convey the justification for our agenda to economists, political scientists, sociologists, educators and others. This should make us question as to what we must cross-fertilise for these bridges to be built, which insights shall not prove to be useful. And so, Audiences, Elsewhere brings together keynote speakers from both within and outside the field of academic audience research and proposes a work-in-progress format where the latest research can be discussed with aim to look at what may be useful for ‘elsewhere’.

Paper submission guidelines- Research will be presented in a more interactive fashion than in usual conferences. Hence, we will be offering two formats for presentations over the day.

Participants can choose to make submissions for both formats. However, to encourage diversity and spread we will include only one submission per participant as a first author. You should clearly indicate in your proposal text which of the two formats your submission targets.

1. Guidelines for submission to the roundtable component – This format will involve a roundtable discussion where presenters are requested to present one concept of value from their work with media audiences which they believe are of utility to scholars elsewhere. Presenters are encouraged to focus particularly on developing potential linkages with democracy and participation, science and technology studies, education studies, media policy, travel and tourism, politics and government, and other fields as they choose.

a. For this format, participants are required to clearly indicate what concept they will focus on from their work.

b. Submissions of up to 300 words, clearly elucidating the concept, and how it links audience research with a field of their choice, are invited.

c. Submissions will be judged on conceptual clarity and a real attempt to build bridges between audience research and other areas of media and communications studies or indeed, other social sciences

d.       Please also include a 75 word biography with your submission

2. Work in progress component – This format includes brief presentations of latest/on-going audience research, which demonstrates strong existing or potential linkages with other areas of research, outside audience studies. Presenters are to focus key ideas of their current research from the perspective of their relevance and applicability in terms of delivering insights to other fields. We are looking for the latest audience research, which demonstrates methodological rigour, and a strong demonstration of existing or potential linkages with other areas of research, outside audience studies.

a. For this format, participants are required to clearly indicate the key questions, methods and theoretical frameworks they are using in their projects

b. Submissions of up to 300 words, clearly demonstrating how the research builds links between audience studies with a field of their choice, are invited.

c. Submissions will be judged on conceptual clarity and a real attempt to build bridges between audience research and other areas of media and communications studies or indeed, other social sciences

d.       Please also include a 75 word biography with your submission

Deadlines and schedules – Please submit abstracts by 15th December 2012 to (audienceselsewhere /at/ in order to reach the conference team. Notification of acceptance will be made by 31st January 2013. The preconference will be held on 17th June 2013. Registration will be at 9 am, the proceedings of the day will be concluded by 15.40 pm enabling participants to take the train back to reach Central London soon after 5 pm, in time for the opening session of the ICA conference.

Costs and venue – The event will be held at the Charles Wilson building of the University of Leicester. The University of Leicester is home to the Centre for Mass Communications Research which has had an important role to play in the country’s media and communications scene in the past. The Department of Media and Communications is a lively and big department with a number of faculty members intellectually committed to audience research and thus the pre-conference enjoys a high amount of support at Leicester.

Transport on East Midlands Trains – the fastest route between Leicester and London will be pre-arranged for participants so that they can avail of the best possible prices owing to a group booking, and they reach central London well in time for the ICA Plenary at the end of the pre-conference. The journey should take approximately one hour from London’s St Pancras Station. The venue at Leicester is located at a convenient walking distance, or a short bus ride from the railway station.

A conference fee of $50 will be required to attend this pre conference. This covers conference materials, three coffee breaks, a 2 course buffet lunch and the train travel from Leicester to London. In case participants do not wish to book the train ticket back to London through the group booking scheme via the organisers, the conference fee is $30.

Organising teams

ECREA organising team: Pille Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt, Ranjana Das, Jakob Bjur

COST organising team: Geoffroy Patriarche, Helena Bilandzic and the Steering Group of the COST Action IS0906

ICA Division for Communication and Technology: Lee Kwan, James Danowski and Lee Humphreys

Local organising team: Ranjana Das, Peter Lunt and the University of Leicester Department of Media and Communications

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