Hosted and organized by Volda University College and the Interdisciplinary Research Forum on Protest Movements, Activism and Social Dissent (IFK Protest, Interdisziplinäres Forschungskolloquium Protestbewegungen).
Supported by The Freedom of Expression Foundation, Norway.
Supported by the Marie Curie Research Network “European Protest Movements Since 1945” (www.protest-research.eu)
The conference will direct its attention towards central aspects of the interaction of social/political protest movements and the media in the era after Second World War. Given the 40-year anniversary of the international revolt of “1968,” a special focus will be laid on the 1960s and 1970s and the notions of mass media and democracy in a globalized news world.
Recent research has emphasized the role of the mass media in the dissemination of protest ideas and practices across different countries and regions. However, the crucial role of the media played in a time of instantaneous satellite communication and increased time-space compression has largely been seen taken for granted. Only few studies have analyzed the way in which various media systems covered the protest movements around the world and their exchange and recontextualization of ideas and cultural practices. The relationship of protest movements’ relationship to the mass media in the period was often ambiguous, fraught with both interaction and conflict. In consequence, activists often sought to establish alternative media structures or their own news services.
The conference therefore follows a twofold goal: It aims to investigate the journalists covering protest and dissent in various geographical regions and political circumstances, thus creating the public images of the protest movement and their goals. From such a perspective, the mass media can be seen as a vantage point from which to further evaluate the establishment’s reaction to domestic and international protest. On the other hand, the conference will also focus on the various ways in which activists tried to reach out and presented themselves to the public, whether it was through the traditional mass media such as newspapers, radio and television or other channels of communication.
In doing so, we want to examine the complex interrelation between instrumental and expressive protest actions and the media coverage more closely: How do protesters design their protest actions in order to attract media attention of the media? And how, conversely, does the media assimilate the visual and performative aspects of the symbolic protest actions? Keeping these two strains in mind, the conference is dedicated to the creation of new approaches on the ways social, cultural and political protest is mediated.
Thematically, we therefore call for contributions from studies within:
- theoretical perspectives on the media’s coverage of the protests and dissent (including reception research, framing theory and discourse analysis)
- protest and media worldwide (comparative or studies of trans-national communication are encouraged)
- the depiction of protest movements in mass media (television, radio, newspapers)
- the role of imagery and pictures in news coverage of protest
- the use of political cartoons in framing protest movements or events
- studies of journalist covering protest and dissent
- editorial processes that directed or influenced news coverage
- international media structures and news transmission
- protest movements featured in the media debate (including the women’s liberation, the environmentalist or peace movement, or new and contemporary social movements)
- media strategies of activists (including the use of posters, pamphlets, underground radio and newspapers, and the internet)
The conference will feature workshops with leading media scholars and historians; panel discussions of trans-disciplinary and general thematical approaches. The purpose is also to promote a lively international and interdisciplinary dialogue and create a basis for future scholarly teamwork across national, cultural and regional borders.
Applications from postgraduate students, early stage researchers (PhD-students), postdocs and young scholars from all disciplinary and national backgrounds are strongly encouraged.
Successful applicants will be provided with living allowance that should cover all necessary expenses during the conference. The organizers will also provide a limited travel grant.
The conference language will be English.
Deadline for applications and abstracts: April 1, 2008.
Selections will be made by: May 1, 2008.
Please use online application at: http://www.hivolda.no/protest
Further questions or suggestions: firstname.lastname@example.org