Call for Papers: Media and Conflict Memory workshop, Glasgow, November 2023

Call for Submissions

Media and Conflict Memory: an Interdisciplinary Workshop

University of Glasgow, 22-23 November 2023.

Media are integral to how we both remember and forget conflict.  While individuals refer to the family photo album, the collective memories of communities are often shaped by iconic photographs of traumatic events such as popular uprisings, terrorist attacks, and wars. This memory work was traditionally confined to repositories such as historical archives, museums and institutions. In recent years the ‘connective turn’ has ‘unmoored’ memory from these institutions, replacing traditional notions of collective memory with the searchable ‘memory of the multitude’ online (Hoskins, 2017). The automated systems of online platforms like Facebook ‘dig’ for memories on behalf of their users, including those of (Jacobsen and Beer, 2021). Historical photographs shared on photo sharing sites like Instagram facilitate informal learning about events such as the Holocaust among younger generations (Commane and Potton, 2019). This has empowered a new generation of memory activists who leverage the affordances of online platforms for commemoration rituals (Fridman, 2022). More recently, apps like Telegram have made it easier to document human rights violations during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, whilst simultaneously creating a curated, unsanitized ‘war feed’ for global audiences  (Hoskins and Shchelin, 2023). 

This hybrid workshop seeks to advance the discussion about the role of media in conflict memory work. We adopt a purposefully broad definition of conflict which includes (but is not limited to) armed insurrections, civil disorder, geopolitical interstate conflict, political violence in divided societies, terrorist attacks, and wars. 

We are looking for original and creative contributions that demonstrate the broad range of methodologies (e.g. qualitative, quantitative, digital) in this emergent field. Abstract submissions should explicitly address the role of media (e.g. newspapers, social media, television) in conflict memory. We will accept both theoretical and empirical studies provided they are relevant to the workshop’s key themes.

Possible topics for the workshop include:

  • Conflict memory, media and education
  • Mediatization of war, terrorism, armed conflict and civil disorder
  • Journalistic practice and collective memories of conflict
  • Media and conflict memory in post and neo-authoritarian societies
  • Memory activism after conflict
  • Radio, memory and conflict
  • Social media and conflict memory
  • Television news and audience understanding of conflict

We especially encourage submissions from early career researchers and those based in Global South countries. There will be a limited number of travel bursaries available for those traveling to Glasgow to attend in-person. 

Abstracts of 300-500 words, excluding references, should be sent to and Please indicate on your submission whether you will attend in-person or online, and if you wish to be considered for a travel bursary should your abstract be accepted. There will be no registration fee for participants accepted for the workshop. Workshop participants will be invited to submit an abstract for a co-edited volume based on the workshop.

The deadline for submissions is 17 August 2023.

This event is co-sponsored by the Crisis, Security and Conflict Communication and Communication in Post and Neo-Authoritarian Societies Working Groups of the International Association of Media and Communication Researchers (IAMCR). 

If you have any questions about the workshop please contact the organisers:

Dr. Paul Reilly, University of Glasgow (

Dr. Virpi Salojärvi, University of Vaasa/University of Helsinki  (

Dr. Katja Lehtisaari, Tampere University (

Paper presented at Technology in Movement, Movement in Technology conference

This afternoon (9 May) Suay Özkula and I will be presenting a paper based on our systematic review of digital activism research. This builds on our paper published in Information, Communication & Society last year, which found a preponderance of Twitter studies in digital activism research between 2011 and 2018.

For further information on the study, please feel free to contact us.

The abstract can be read below:

Where exactly is the Global South? Exploring Northern visibilities in digital activism research

The seemingly global nature of hashtag activism makes it difficult to assess what regions are being studied in digital activism research and the extent to which this  scholarship is  subject to ‘digital bias’ (Marres, 2017).  This is of particular concern to scholars who have problematised the dominance of ‘Western’, Global North actors in digital media research whilst also calling for internet research methods to become de-westernised, internationalised, or decolonised (e.g. Badr & Ganter, 2021; Bosch, 2022; Milan & Treré, 2019; Karam & Mutsvairo, 2022; Mutsvairo, 2019; Schoon et al., 2020). While some argue that a ‘decolonial turn’ in digital media research is belatedly occurring (Couldry and Mejia, 2021), questions remain about whether similar trends are evident  in digital activism research. 

In response to this issue, this paper explores geographic representation in digital activism research. The corpus for the systematic review was created by running queries spanning 21 relevant keywords describing digitally enabled activism on the Scopus database. The final corpus consisted of 315 articles published between 2011 and 2018, which was tested on a range of attributes including methodological approaches and factors for evaluating regionality with a focus on regionally disadvantaged communities (towards capturing “Global South” and semi-periphery regions), incl.: case study origin and location, author affiliation, regional foci of the publishing journals, and researched digital/ social media platform (as tied to specific user demographics). 

Results indicate that Global North and non-region specific campaigns dominated digital activism research during this period, particularly in articles featuring digital data. As such, extant research in the field has disproportionately produced what we term Northern Visibilities –  privileged demographics & popular platforms of the “Global Majority” (i.e. Global North and privileged economies), above all in research applying software-based approaches. 

The paper concludes by outlining a number of epistemological provocations around the extent to which the methods and methodological instruments researchers choose affect which social groups they capture or potentially omit as demographics may become diffused over multiple spaces and language contexts. Challenges in capturing Global South and semi-periphery communities apply, above all, in computational approaches as these are often based on high visibility as well as the API access options platforms provide. This means that researchers may need to rethink (a) where (e.g. which platform spaces) and how disadvantaged and less visible social groups are represented online, (b) which precise social groups digital social research is meant to capture, (c) gaps in digital activism research, above all in relation to “unheard” groups, as well as (d) what these skewed representations mean for inclusive research practice. 


Badr, H., & Ganter, S. (2021). Towards Cosmopolitan Media and Communication Studies: Bringing Diverse Epistemic Perspectives into the Field. Global Media Journal-German Edition, 11(1).  

Bosch, T. (2022). Decolonizing Digital Methods. Communication Theory, 32(2), 298-302. 

Couldry, N., & Mejias, U. A. (2021). The decolonial turn in data and technology research: what is at stake and where is it heading?. Information, Communication & Society, 1-17. 

Karam, B., & Mutsvairo, B. (2022). Decolonising Political Communication in Africa: Reframing Ontologies (p. 254). Taylor & Francis. 

Marres, N. (2017). Digital sociology: The Reinvention of Social Research. Cambridge: Polity Press.  

Milan, S., & Treré, E. (2019). Big data from the South (s): Beyond data universalism. Television & New Media, 20(4), 319-335. 

Mutsvairo, B. (2019). Challenges facing development of data journalism in non-western societies. Digital Journalism, 7(9), 1289-1294. 

Schoon, A., Mabweazara, H. M., Bosch, T., & Dugmore, H. (2020). Decolonising digital media research methods: Positioning African digital experiences as epistemic sites of knowledge production. African Journalism Studies, 41(4), 1-15.