2017 NAMLE Conference – Call for Proposals

National Association for Media Literacy Education Conference 2017
June 27-28, 2017
Roosevelt University
Chicago, IL

Roosevelt University

Accepting applications: September 1, 2017


Tuesday, January 17, 2017, 11:59pm CST

Theme: “Engaging Citizens, Building Community”

The rapid development of new media technologies and cultures in today’s society is reshaping what it means to be an engaged citizen.  From printed political pamphlets to television broadcasts of presidential debates, media have always played a part in politics.  In today’s networked society, the public’s participation in political processes and their use of media are increasingly interconnected.  Yet, public perceptions of both politics and the press are at an all time low and in this most recent election cycle, discerning fact from fiction from outright lies is a 24/7 challenge[1].  More than ever before, media literacy is a ‘core competency for engaged citizenship in participatory democracy.’

Our mission for the 2017 NAMLE Conference is to explore the relationship between media literacy education, civic participation and community building within our contemporary culture. We invite presentation and session proposals that address the conference theme of “Engaging Citizens, Building Community.”

The 2017 NAMLE Conference will be held at Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL.  Founded on the principles of inclusion and social justice, Roosevelt is a private, student-centered university with 5,400 students located in the heart of the Windy City. During the conference, attendees will come together to discuss issues of media literacy education and civic engagement, as well as strengthen the community of scholars, practitioners, and educators interested in media literacy.

In an effort to provide a variety of opportunities for interaction, discussion and collaboration among our membership, the 2017 conference will include a range of events including plenary speakers, presentations from NAMLE members, special curated sessions, workshops and other exciting events, all related to the theme of “Engaging Citizens, Building Community.” Topics addressed will include (but are not limited to):

  • Media, activism and social change – Presentations will address the role of media in social movements and the relationship between media literacy education and social justice.
  • Youth media – Presentations will address youth media’s potential for encouraging the rising generation of citizens to express themselves and engage with their communities.
  • Civic engagement – Presentations will examine the role of media in contemporary citizenship, including the development of new forms of civic discourse, political practice, advocacy, etc.
  • News Literacy – Presentations will address the importance of critically engaging with journalistic sources, especially in relation to contemporary politics.
  • Community & the ‘Big Tent’ – Presentations will explore the varied theoretical foundations, pedagogical practices, and areas of inquiry in the field of media literacy education, and seek to identify connections that might strengthen the media literacy community.


Potential proposal submissions will include individual presentations, group discussions, interactive workshops and other innovative formats. We encourage scholars, educators, media professionals, students, and activists interested in furthering media literacy education to prepare a submission. Proposals will be given special consideration if they (1) articulate concrete connections to the conference theme, and (2) demonstrate the potential for dynamic discussion and shared discovery.

Presenters can select from the following submission formats:

  • Individual Presentations (15 min) – This format allows individuals to share research and practice related to the conference theme of “Engaging Citizens, Building Communities.” Individual presentations may be organized into a session with presentations that address a related theme or into a “Dialogues” session (see below).
  • Group Discussions (60 minutes)—This format allows for 3-4 participants to present related research or projects. These group discussions can be organized as panel presentations or interactive workshops.
  • Flash Talks (5 minutes)—This format showcases innovative ideas, projects, and research in the areas of media literacy education. The format, modeled after Ignite (ignitetalks.io), challenges presenters to clearly and succinctly explain their work or ideas in just 5 minutes, potentially leading to new collaborative partnerships among conference attendees and presenters.


In addition to traditional sessions, the conference organizers will curate some new activities and session formats to engage conference attendees:

  • Dialogues—These sessions place two presenters with complementary themes in dialogue with each other. Individual proposals will be selected and paired with each other by conference organizers. Dialogues may partner a theoretician with a practitioner, an educator with an activist, a media creator with a community organizer, etc. The objective of these sessions is to facilitate critical conversations about key issues within the media literacy community.

Proposals accepted to participate in a ‘Dialogues’ session will be required to submit a written draft of their presentation at a later date. These drafts will be made available to conference attendees via the NAMLE website previous to the conference. Each session will have a moderator who will guide the dialogue between presenters and attendees.

  • Compelling Models—These sessions will allow organizations including research centers, youth media organizations, tech-focused and community-based organizations, etc. to share innovative ways in which they are advancing media literacy principles through a variety of fields. Organizations are encouraged to submit proposals for innovative and interactive ‘Group Discussions’ that showcase their particular work.
  • Community-Building—These sessions will organize conference attendees by their particular area of interest (including PK-12, undergraduate education, research & scholarship, youth media, etc.). Discussion leaders will design sessions that encourage the creation of community within these areas, encouraging individuals to connect, share their work, and have critical conversations about specific issues related to their areas of interest.


Download a proposal template from http://tinyurl.com/namle17proposal. Use the online template to describe your proposed session. Make sure your proposal is formatted as a PDF document to be sent as an email attachment. Indicate the authors’ names, affiliations, email addresses, contact information and presentation format in the EMAIL ONLY. Do not include identifying information in the proposal itself. Presentations will undergo a blind review, and then be organized by the conference committee into general and curated sessions.

PROPOSAL SUBMISSION EXTENSION Submit your proposal to: submissions@namle.net no later than Tuesday, January 17, 2017, 11:59pm CST

Because NAMLE is a not-for-profit organization, the financial viability of the conference depends on the support of everyone who attends. Invited participants are required to register for the conference when they accept their invitation. Invitations will be sent in March following the conference committee’s peer-review and selection process. Registration information will be available on the NAMLE and conference website at that time.

All accepted proposals will be required to submit an engaging image/video and  

Selected research presentations from the conference will be invited for publication in the Journal of Media Literacy Education.

[1] See “Campaign Exposes Fissures Over Issues, Values and How Life Has Changed in the U.S.” Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C. (Mar 31, 2016) http://www.people-press.org/2016/03/31/1-views-of-the-primaries-press-coverage-of-candidates-attitudes-about-government-and-the-country/