Please forward! thanks, susana kaiser
Call for Papers: Special Issue on Human Rights Memory
Guest edited by Susana Kaiser, University of San Francisco,
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*Popular Communication: The International Journal of Media and Culture*
What is to be remembered, and what forgotten? Who takes
ownership of memories or presents credentials to speak authoritatively
about the past—e.g. the direct victims of human rights abuses, or society
at large? We can link the emergence, growth, and proliferation of memory
studies to post-violent environments and processes by which communities
must come to terms with human rights violations and traumatic events. The
aftermath of dictatorships, genocide, wars, massacres, forced migrations,
the effects of environmental destruction, as well as the legacy of
discrimination based on class, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual
orientation are problems of pressing concern to scholars working in
critical traditions. The duty to remember human rights abuses and the need
to re-focus on memory at the service of justice occupy central stage of
this special issue.
Communication and media are interlinked with human rights
matters and engaged with memory processes. This engagement is evinced in
strategies geared toward keeping records of abuses, encouraging
intervention to stop them, and using memories as tools to search for truth
and justice. This special issue aims to contribute to the body of
literature in what we label “human rights memory” and to narrow the gap in
research about audiences/publics and media production processes. We are
interested in research articles in an array of cultural productions,
ranging from television series to artworks. We welcome submissions which
highlight the processes by which people interact with, interpret,
appropriate, consume, and use these productions, as well as those which
elucidate how creative memory-writing—such as the activities of camera
persons and museum guides—can work in practice. We seek to complement
research centering on textual analysis, authorial intent, and expectations
about the potential effect on audiences/ publics and will look for
empirical support in studies that show the concrete impact of these
initiatives while also illustrating their producers’ creativity and
commitment to achieve specific goals.
The focus is global and multi-disciplinary. We are interested
in innovative methodological approaches and theoretical frameworks that can
contribute to the development of empirically grounded theory. We welcome
submissions analyzing the richness of popular communication in matters of
memory and human rights (civil, political, economic, social, and cultural).
We invite contributions focusing on grassroots and mainstream popular
communication, including traditional formats (theater, film, print,
television, radio), new media (social, digital, screen media, video games,
mobile phones), the arts (photography, exhibits, museums, memorials, public
shrines, music, concerts, performances, fashion, graphic/comic books,
cartoons), sports tournaments, and demonstrations. Topics may also include,
but are not limited to:
• Theoretical and methodological approaches useful for researching
human rights memory audiences/publics and production processes, and
especially, approaches highlighting conflicts between dominant/ hegemonic
memories and those of the groups contesting them.
• Audiences/publics’ decoding and use of productions promoting
official memories and/or advancing counter-memory(ies).
• Communication strategies developed by activists that have been
effective tools for educating, broadening the human rights memory public
sphere, generating action, and opening dialogical spaces (local, global,
• Tactics for accessing and impacting heterogeneous
publics/audiences, and for securing resources for production, distribution,
and exhibition (e.g., funding, technology, know-how).
• Production processes documenting and writing memories of ongoing
human rights violations (e.g. digital witnessing of major current crises).
Production teams’ participation in human rights memory processes, including
the role played by artists, writers, actors, technicians—the “above” and
“below-the-line” crews. Profiles of producers (e.g., filmmakers, musicians,
The deadline for submissions is December 15, 2016.
Papers should be no longer than 7,000 words (all inclusive)
Papers should be submitted using ScholarOne at
Full instructions for authors, including APA 6th Edition style guidelines,
can be found at the same page.
Correspondence and questions about this call for papers can be directed to
Susana Kaiser ([log in to unmask])
Susana Kaiser, Ph.D.
Media Studies and Latin American Studies
Director, Cine Acción at USF
University of San Francisco
Kalmanovitz Hall 147
2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117-1080
E-mail: [log in to unmask]
USF Human Rights Film Festival www.usfca.edu/hrff