Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap 2022
Call for papers

The Department of Communication Sciences of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel is happy to invite you to the 2022 Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap, the conference bringing together Dutch and Belgian communication scholars across all fields.

This year’s Etmaal conference puts ‘Diversity, democracy & communication’ central as its core theme. Challenges related to diversity, and how these impact democratic societies, are closely interlinked with emerging and reconfigured media and communications infrastructures and practices.


Pressure on business models of newspapers and the growing importance of the use of algorithms have sparked discussion and debate on news diversity. Media consumption has become more personalized than ever, and have been pivotal in business models developed by social media platforms and video-on-demand services like Netflix. And, although algorithms present users with the content they may want, in the form they want it, numerous concerns arise with regard to their effects on news diversity, transparency, and control, or the lack thereof.


In the audiovisual field, policymakers have imposed players like Netflix and the likes with quota, as a means to safeguard original production. The #metoo and time’s up movement have triggered discussions on discrimination of media workers, and diversity of production crews; evolving societal discussion resulted in an increasing push for media players to be more inclusive in representing diversity in media.


These developments have triggered the media scholarly community. While some of the issues related to diversity, democracy and communication echo the concerns of established research fields (e.g., flow theory, feminism studies, cultural studies), others warrant new methods and approaches to understand and grasp the complexity of the interplay between technology, media users, message, and messenger.


At the 2022 Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap, we invite our academic community to reflect on these debates. A keynote lecture and panel debate on the topic will also be organized, alongside a range of panels. We invite scholars to send in proposals in the broad field of media and communication studies that intertwines democracy and communications, and highly welcome contributions investigating diversity and communication, in its broadest sense, and this in terms of theoretical concepts, applied methodology and empirical findings.


Abstracts should be:

  • 750 words, references excluded

  • Written in Dutch or English

  • Clearly present topic, theoretical framework, method, data, results and conclusion

  • Indicate – at the beginning of your abstract – a division in which it should be considered (see NefCa for a description of each division):

    • Health Communication

    • Intercultural Communication and Diversity

    • Journalism

    • Media Psychology

    • Media Industries and Policies

    • Educational network

    • Organizational Communication

    • Persuasive Communication

    • Political Communication

    • Popular Communication

    • Science Communication


The deadline for abstract submission is 22 November 2021, 23u59.


Abstracts can be submitted here. Etmaal will only accept a maximum of one submission as the first author (with no limitation regarding submissions as co-author) to guarantee a diversity of speakers and equal chances for all to attend the conference. All abstracts will be reviewed anonymously by experts in the field.

Notification of acceptance

Notifications of acceptance of abstracts, panels and pre-conferences will be communicated in December 2021.

Preconferences and panels

Researchers that would like to propose a panel within the conference theme “Diversity, Democracy and Communications”, please send a general outline (500 words) and discuss the specific topics that will be addressed in the panel (300 words/participant) to

Interested scholars can also propose a pre-conference. To that end, please send a proposal (approx. 500 words) outlining the preconference topic before 22 November 2021 to Pre-conference submissions will be reviewed by the organizing committee.

On-site conference

Following current COVID-19 regulations and guidelines, we aim to organize the conference on site in Brussels. We are aware that many people might have questions regarding travel restrictions, safety and hygiene. We will therefore closely monitor the situation and policies, providing regular updates and working together with VUB’s central services to ensure a safe conference. At the moment we do not plan a hybrid format.