Mexico 2009 - History Section Call for Papers

Mexico 2009 - History Section Call for PapersThe 2009 IAMCR Conference will be held in Mexico City from July 21 to 24. The overall conference theme is “Human Rights and Communication”. Along with this topic, which is closely related to our interest as researchers, the History Section also proposes specific sessions for papers devoted to other topics.

This notice is to call for submissions for the History Section of the IAMCR Program. Papers of historical perspectives, national studies and international comparisons are particularly sought around the following related themes:

1. The Fight for the Right to Communicate

Throughout the history of peoples and nations the fight for human rights has usually formed part of their own development process and even of their way to independence. Journalists, political and social leaders and other persons have used the press and other media to achieve those goals. More specifically, the right to communicate (including freedom of expression, the right to information, and universal access to information and knowledge) has been essential in order to reach further aims related to other civil rights.

An essential impediment for the right to communicate has always been censorship. Authoritarian and totalitarian regimes have created the most penetrating censorship mechanisms for controlling and manipulating the public word and mind. Journalists, authors and publishers have fought against censorship ever since Milton’s ‘Areopagitica’, and developed sophisticated ways of ‘sneaking the message past’ the authorities to their audience.

2. Media and Rebellion or Revolution

The media has played a significant role in the overthrow of regimes, of anti-colonial struggles, of political change from below. This has taken many forms: murals have been a feature of revolution in many places, most obviously in the context of the location for this year’s conference, of the Mexican Revolution of the early years of the twentieth century. There is a myriad of examples of the use of radio to effect political change. Pamphlets and newspapers forming an alternative or dissident media (samizdat) as a means of expressing opposition voices have been central to revolutions in all parts of the world.

3. The “ New Journalism” in the late 19th and early 20th century

The news paradigm had already changed before the so-called “New Journalism” renowned in the 1960s by Tom Wolfe. Actually that term was used to describe the new style appeared in some American newspapers, especially from New York, and later exported to other countries, which meant an important breakthrough. Maybe the inverted pyramid became the most prominent but not the only one of journalistic story structures that defined that new style. Contributions exploring the factors that influenced the progressive change of paradigm, according to the different national traditions in journalism, are welcome.

4. Journalism Work in Times of Political and Social Change since World War II

In 2009, two decades will have passed since the major political change which took place in 1989; many socio-economic events have happened since the fall of the Berlin wall and the collapse of bi-polar world of the Cold War. Media systems have changed in all post-Soviet countries, including transition/transformation of journalistic work, traditions and education. Transformations of media system after such a fundamental change have been described and analyzed not only in post-communist countries, but also in Germany, Norway, Spain, Portugal and other countries and continents as well. But the analysis is usually focused on media and media systems, not on the work, traditions and education of journalism. The importance of journalism education in the development of journalism as an independent profession has with foreign capital investments into national media become increasingly important.

Abstracts should be sent to the Section Chair through the Conference website, and should have between 300-500 words. Each abstract must include title, name(s), and institutional address and email address of author(s).

The deadlines are as follows:

  • Submission of abstracts:  February 16, 2009 (papers will be assessed and provisionally accepted on the basis of the abstracts).

  • Announcement of acceptances:  March 29, 2009.
  • Full papers due:  July 1, 2009.

IAMCR accepts presentations in English, French and Spanish.  However, it is requested that abstracts, if at all possible, be submitted in English.

Further information about IAMCR and this conference is available on the respective websites:

Contact address for questions regarding the Section:

Carlos Barrera
Chair, IAMCR History Section
Department of Public Communication
School of Communication
University of Navarra
31080 Pamplona

Email: cbarrera [AT]