Call For Papers IFM 2021 Conference

Photo by Regina Cunha, 2021


Hosted by
Ryerson University (Canada)
The Glasgow School of Art (Scotland)
University of Sao Paulo (Brazil)
The University of Texas at Dallas (USA)
August 5-7, 2021

Extended deadline: Monday April 26th, 2021

Abstracts deadline: April 12th, 2021

This virtual edition of the Interactive Film and Media conference on ‘new narratives, racialization, global crises, and social engagement’ is dedicated to the development, analysis, and research processing of the digital experience that is transforming our contemporary world vision through the immense range of storytelling practices, including visual arts, cinema, digital/graphic/interactive narratives, virtual reality, games, etc. The purpose of this conference is to bring together researchers and practitioners working in diverse disciplinary areas to establish an interdisciplinary framework for research on contemporary narratives, including case studies of the multimodal narratives across media and cultures.

The conference will convene entirely online and will be hosted by several universities. The organizers believe that now is the right moment to evaluate the saturation and fragmentation of media during the pandemic experience of the last year, as well as to discuss new online media interactivities in a virtual environment.

In the wake of the death of George Floyd, the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter has gone viral across the world raising many concerns about the media’s role in our society. Today, it is not enough for the media to not be racist: it must actively be anti-racist. It would not be an overestimation to say that the participation of media in discourses other than those centered on racism is also paramount: it played a decisive role in many recent social and political events, including the pandemic crisis. Therefore, this conference is proposing to examine how media around the world are dealing with the aftermath of these developments. This conference also aims to discuss how the late proliferation of online social events and the increased fragmentation of the discourse via microblogging, subtitling, hashtags, and the enhanced sharing of images through screenshots, short-form videos, selfies, and video calls have affected interactive narratives.

The pandemic brought the world together to fight against one common enemy while transferring all social, political, educational, juridical, and professional relations into the virtual media environments. We realized that we were less virtualized than we had thought: the Internet system was swamped and unprepared. For a while, even though the country borders were closed and people’s transit and migration completely ceased, the world’s political divisions made less sense. How would it affect our geopolitical perception? How have the global media divide and exclusion been increased by the pandemic?

We are inviting interdisciplinary proposals reflecting on the recent changes to the mediascape and the closely related medium of interactive narrative, in its many forms and iterations. Submissions that consider the advantages and drawbacks of the current trends in film, media, and interactive narratives, will be of special value, as well as those that develop new approaches to the process of algorithmization and hybridization between the information ecosystems dominated by tech enterprises and the mediasphere’s micro-level, where the instant-message apps transform our everyday lives by exposing polarized and contradictory messages, disseminating the misinformation.

The organizers will consider unpublished works that present research results and/or theoretical reflections within the scope of Interactive Film and Media Studies, with a special focus on ‘new narratives, racialization, global crises, and social engagement’.


The following key topics/areas will be emphasized during the conference:

1.      New Narratives

a.    Informational Media Literacy

b.    New Media Epistemology

c.    Interactive Films

d.   Virtual Museums and Multimedia Installations

e.   Digital Animation and Games: Narrative and Interactivity

f.    Intermediality, Transmedia, and Remediation

g.   Expanded Cinema and Digital Screen Aesthetics

h.   Transnational Cinema

i.    Digital Culture, Digital Art and Literature (eBooks, eReaders)

j.    Big data 

2.      Racialization

a.    Representation Racial and Ethnic Politics: Black Politics

b.    Group Identity and Consciousness

c.    Genomic Research in Ethnic Minority Communities

d.   Racial Representation Judicial Politics: Decision-Making and Behavior

e. Police Brutality (Bodycams)

3.      Global Crises

a.    Politics and Governance

b.    Healthy Challenges New Normal

c.    Cybersecurity

d.    Digital Economy

e.    ICT-driven Economic Practices

f. Pandemic's Media Representation

4.      Social Engagement

a.   Virtual Communities

b.   Smart Cities

c.   Urban Governance

d.  Hacktivism and Political Engagement

e.  Chatbots and Startups

f.   Snack Media, Mobile Screens, Micro Movie, and Microblogging

g.  AI Media Accessibility

h.  Social Responsibility and Environmental Sustainability

i.   Legitimacy, Public Opinion, Freedom of Expression


  • The abstract (300 to 500 words) must be written in English, with a clear outline of the arguments, theoretical framework, and methodology. Please, note that all the proposals will undergo a peer-review process.

  • This conference aims to bring together researchers, practitioners, and theorists for a three-day online debate. The conference will be held online through teleconference platforms (e.g., Zoom, Google Meet, etc.) for the panel discussions, and video platforms (e.g., Vimeo, YouTube, etc.) for papers’ presentations.

  • Participants must create and make their video-presentations available online (e.g., Vimeo, YouTube, etc.) to be shared with the conference participants and attendants.

  • Video presentations should be no longer than 20 minutes.

  • Paper submissions will be grouped in sessions of 3-4 papers. 

  • During the panel sessions, presenters will discuss and receive feedback from conference moderators and participants.

  • The language of the conference is English; no translation services will be provided.

  • Because of the urgency and importance of the themes discussed, the Proceedings will be published soon after the conference. Authors should be prepared to submit their papers (presented papers revised based on their panel session discussions) within a month past the conference.


  • No registration fee will be charged for participation/presentation at this conference.


●  Extended deadline: Monday  April 26th, 2021

Deadline for Submissions: Monday, April 12, 2021

●  Notifications Sent Out: Friday, May 20, 2021

● Video-Presentations and Conference Paper Deadline: Monday, July 19, 2021

●  Revised Post-Conference Paper Deadline: Monday, August 30, 2021


Submit an abstract (around 500 words in length including the research objectives, theoretical framework, methodology, and conclusions) and a brief Bio-CV (100 words maximum). Please fill out the Abstract Submission form available at 


Hudson Moura, Chair (Ryerson University, Canada)

Heidi Rae Cooley (The University of Texas at Dallas, USA)

Sonia Regina Cunha (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil)

Greg Elmer (Ryerson University, Canada)

David Sweeney (The Glasgow School of Art, Scotland)


Irina Lyubchenko (George Brown College, Canada)




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