CFP – Political Studies Association, Media & Politics Group Annual Conference

Political Studies Association Media & Politics Group

Annual Conference

Theme: Media, Persuasion and Human Rights

Hosted by Network for Media & Persuasive Communication

Bangor University, Bangor, N.Wales


Call for Papers

Conference Date: Mon. 10th – Tues. 11th Nov. 2014



We welcome papers on any aspect of Media and Politics, or on this year’s conference theme of Media, Persuasion and Human Rights.

While human rights may appear inalienable in international law and covenants, in fact they are sites of contestation, conflict and redefinition, variably implemented across the globe.

Reflecting our theme, our key note speakers include Prof. Jon Silverman (University of Bedfordshire) who is currently working on the influence of the media’s reporting of war crimes trials in West Africa on civil society.

We seek papers on any of the following themes.

1. Media and Politics – any aspect.

2. Media, Persuasion and Human Rights, including:

a) Mediating Norms. Jeremy Bentham once called human rights ‘nonsense upon stilts’. What is the philosophical status of human rights and how are deontic norms complicated, challenged and threatened by current geo-political events and their mediation? Are liberal social aspirations being redefined and eroded? Did they ever exist? What betterment do we have to aim for today?

b) Communicating Trade-offs. When governments balance rights against each other (eg trading-off the right to privacy or freedom from torture in exchange for national security), how do the media respond? How does the complexity of decision-making and trade-offs get communicated? What are decision-makers’ insights on balancing and communicating rights?

c) Contestation and Articulation. What human rights are privileged by, and contested through, the media? How have these changed over time? How do articulatory struggles play out across the media, and via what persuasive ‘actants’, including NGOs, investigative journalists, the public, lawyers, companies, corporations, governments, and international governance bodies?

d) Media Forms. How does the struggle over articulation vary across different media forms and genres? How do minority media and the rise of mass self-broadcasting enable perverted viewing and production (eg torture porn, tour of duty war mementos), and with what implications for the normalization of abnormal situations (too taboo for mass view), and for the social enactment of human rights?

e) New Media, New Rights? What novel opportunities and challenges do new media technologies present for human rights that intrinsically rely on the media, such as the right to privacy and freedom of speech?

f) Mobilisation. In what ways do media inform and mobilise the public regarding their human rights? This may range from the practices of bearing witness (eg sousveillant communication); to the generation of empathy, intimacy, and a new solidarity through media forms that invoke engagement, identification and pleasure (eg Twitter, film, reality TV, comedy, music)?

g) Gender. Is there such as thing as ‘gendered’ human rights? How does gender impact and influence mediated construction of human rights around the globe? How has the media engaged in the representation of gendered and sexualised human rights abuses (for example mass rape, comfort women, sex trafficking and enforced prostitution)?

h) Cultural Imperialism? What are non-western insights on human rights liberal discourse, and how are these dealt with in various national and trans-national institutions ranging from satellite TV to the International Criminal Court?

We encourage diverse responses to the theme, but are especially interested in interdisciplinary responses, not least from policy-makers, activists, philosophers, information-management specialists, computer scientists, journalists, security analysts, and those with expertise in law or politics.


Abstract submission

All proposals should include the following: title and name, institutional affiliation and address, and email address; together with, a paper title, an abstract of not more than 300 words, an indication of which theme(s) you are addressing, and up to five key words about your paper. Please also indicate whether or not you are a postgraduate student.

Please indicate which section you wish your proposal to be considered under:

1. 10-15 minute panel presentation;

2. Practice-based work (15 mins – comprising showing of practice-based piece (or an extract) plus any accompanying discussion/context).

Abstracts should be sent by 1st July to [log in to unmask]

All abstracts will undergo peer review and decisions on papers will be given within 3 weeks of the submission deadline.


Postgraduate Travel Bursaries

There are 3 travel bursaries of £100 each to support the travel expenses of postgraduate students (who must be PSA members to be eligible) to the November conference. This will be awarded competitively based on quality of submitted abstracts.

Postgraduates & James Thomas Memorial Prize (Prize £100)

Postgraduate students are invited to submit a full paper that will be entered into the James Thomas Memorial Prize. This annual award is presented to the most outstanding paper by a postgraduate student at the Media and Politics Group Annual Conference. While abstracts must be submitted by 1st July, full papers must be submitted by 1 October 2014, to allow time for them to be reviewed by the MPG conveners.
Dr Vian Bakir
Senior Lecturer in Journalism
Bangor University
N. Wales


CFP: PSA Media & Politics Group Annual Conference – Media, Persuasion & Human Rights

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