Nordmedia-ECREA joint event

Malmö, Sweden, 21-23 August 2019

Joint call for papers for the Audience Studies section of Nordmedia and the Audience and Reception Studies section of ECREA.

As we know, rumors of the death of the audience in an age of social media and participation were greatly exaggerated. On the contrary,  a new “audience turn” can be witnessed in many areas of media and communication studies. As the media environment changes and expands it is vital we understand the contours and patterns of audiences as publics, users, consumers, and producers.

This Nordmedia-Ecrea joint event addresses the re-vitalisation of audience studies, following the 1980s audience turn in media and communication. Unlike this earlier account which focused on texts, audiences, and everyday life, this new approach offers a fresh theoretical territory that follows the patterns and contours of the new objective and subjective conditions of being an audience within digital media and society. These new lines of thinking can shape the future of audience studies as it intersects with other disciplines, for example   media industries, distribution and policy, social media, journalism studies, performative arts, museum studies, film studies, memory studies, or mobility and migration studies.

Audience studies have developed a tradition promoting a multifaceted understanding of audiences, emphasizing the complexity and diversity of uses, meanings, pleasures, affects and emotions that audiences invest in media and communication. But this understanding of audience studies still represents a challenge for organizing research, communicating the field and engendering dialogue with academic and industry sectors.

On the one hand, nuanced and complex understandings of audiences are threatened by diverse dualities that are still commanding major narratives of research. Utopian-dystopian or emancipation-colonization debates have recently informed the work on audience participation and creativity. Emerging discussions on mediatization or the datafication of society seem to repeat a familiar pattern to those who have studied other media panics in the past. While such dichotomies are a challenge to more nuanced and multifaceted account of audiences, they do offer clear narratives to relate to when organizing and communicating research and creating impact. On the other hand, findings about the complexity and diversity of audience experiences remain challenging both to carve into the scholarly space, to apply in pragmatic contexts, and communicate straightforwardly to industry and public stakeholders

In line with the general call of the Nordmedia conference encouraging creativity in research, the Nordmedia-ECREA joint event asks how holistic, nuanced, multifaceted understandings of audiences can be theorized, how research can move beyond dualistic narratives, how innovative methods can be deployed to account for varying degrees of audience agencies and complex media conditions, or how imagination in conceptualization of audiences, especially as a way to address artificial binaries, can orient the new audience turn that the field is currently experiencing.

Special events:

As part of this joint event, there will be:

  • A special ECREA panel highlighting papers from ECREA members
  • A round table on industry/stakeholder relations
  • An informal dinner for Nordmedia and ECREA audience researchers to mingle

Registration and paper submission:

This is an event integrated to the biennial Nordmedia conference, which entails participation to the whole conference programme of the Nordmedia conference.

Deadline for paper, panel or workshop submission exclusively to this joint event is set to April 4 th for ECREA members. We invite Nordic scholars to abide to the deadline set by Nordmedia on March 18 th.

Guidelines and submission procedures are available here: