CFP: Audience in contemporary mediascape

ECREA Audience and Reception Studies Conference is looking now for submissions. The event’s title is “Audience research in a ‘post-media’ age? Reflections on media-centric and non-media centric approaches to researching audiences in the 21stcentury”. It will take place in Tartu, Estonia, between the 25th and 27th of June.

The conference welcomes papers on a wide variety of subjects related to audience research, media-centric or otherwise. In addition to paper presentations, the event features an intensive course for young scholars titled “Analysing Dialogue, Participation and Power”. Paper abstracts of 200 words are due on the 15th of April.

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Audience research in a ‘post-media’ age? Reflections on media-centric and non-media centric approaches to researching audiences in the 21stcentury

ECREA Audience and Reception Studies Conference 2015
25-27 June 2015, University of Tartu, Estonia

Deadline for submission: 15th April 2015. Notification of acceptance: 25 April. Conference Fee – 55 Euros.

As media environments diversity around us, and audiences continuously commute across a range of different communicative spaces, encompassing a wide variety of platforms, the centrality of media and its texts in our analysis of audiences has started being questioned. There is a strong argument for retaining a focus on texts (and their interpretation) at a time when it is only too easy to claim that texts are far too fluid, far too many and far too ambiguous now for ‘text’ to be retained as a basis of interrogation in audience studies.

Audiences continue to interpret, listen, receive, produce and share texts and therefore, the media continues to be central in our endeavour as audience researchers. On the other hand, a new wave of research in our field argues for a non-media centric approach to audiences, where there is a shift of focus from the interpretation of specific texts to the spaces occupied by audiences, to audiencing being analysed not in response to a particular genre or format, where the focus on media and reception is replaced by a focus on spatiality and practices outside of the space in front of the television screen. This conference seeks to bring together scholars who advocate a retention of focus on texts and interpretation with scholars who ask for a non-media centric approach to the field.

We are looking for abstracts from both sides of the media-centric and non-media centric approaches to audience research. Abstracts could be theoretical reflections, methodological reflections or conventional presentations of well-theorised empirical work, as long as the topic relates to the theme of this conference. Some potential areas we are looking to address include, but are not restricted to:

Non-media centric theoretical approaches to audiences
Text-centric theoretical approaches
New media, audiences and the role of ‘text’
Spaces, places, urban geographies in relation to being audiences
Advertising and audiences
Cities and audiences
Ethics, morality and audiences in an age of converged media
Tourism, global flows and transnational audiences
Meta reviews or birds’ eye views of the field
Empirical and theoretical papers

Keynote speakers:

Prof. Triin Vihalemm, University of Tartu, Institute of Social Studies

Prof. Louise Phillips, University of Roskilde, The Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies, Dialogic communication

Additional session: Young scholars’ short intensive course: Analysing Dialogue, Participation and Power.

Around the conference, prof Louise Phillips and prof. Pille Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt will also host a designated young scholars seminar looking at the questions of dialogue, participation and power where the focus will be on prof. Phillips’ Integrated Framework for Analysing Dialogic Knowledge Production and Communication (IFADIA) which combines Bakhtin’s dialogue theory, Foucauldian discourse analysis and elements of Action Research and STS.

The focus on the course will be on theorising and analysing forms of participation in terms of IFADIA’s Bakhtinian and discourse analytical approach. The framework will be introduced during lectures and then students’ PhD projects will be discussed through a focus on how to analyse the co-production and negotiation of meanings in different contexts that co-constitute/shape processes of meaning-making. Event is open to all interested young scholars from across and around communication studies interested in the issues of dialogue, power and communication. If you wish toinclude your PhD project in the discussion, please submit short project abstract via the conference submission form

There is no additional fee for Young Scholars course.

Formats for submission

Please submit abstracts up to 200 words by 15th April on our conference paper submission portal available at this link

Notification of acceptance/rejection will be made by 25th April.

Best regards,

Ranjana, Pille and Jakob (ARS Section Management Team)

Local organisers: University of Tartu, Institute of Social Sciences: Ragne Kõuts, Inga Kald, Ene Selart, Katre Sakala and Kristel Vits.

Conference fee is 55 EUR and this includes conference materials, coffees lunch and dinner during the conference.


The conference will take place in the University of Tartu, Institute of Social Sciences ( The sessions of the conference will be located at the historical building of Institute of Social Sciences, in the very heart of the beautiful downtown of Tartu (, in the walking distance of number of hotels and restaurants.

The nearest airport in Tartu has direct flights to Helsinki, the biggest Estonian airport in Tallinn is 2.5h bus ride or 2 hour train ride away, but bus connections also provided access to Riga airport.


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