IAMLMR 2024 - Call for papers

International Association for Minority Language Media Research (IAMLMR)

Biennial Conference

July 8-11, 2024 (Hybrid)


Theme: Minority Language Media in Uncertain Times

The organising committee of the International Association for Minority Language Media Research (IAMLMR) annual conference under the theme “Minority Language Media in Uncertain Times” invites submissions for the biennial international conference to be hosted by the Indigenous Language Media in Africa (ILMA) research entity at the North-West University, Mafikeng, South Africa on 8 – 11, July 2024.



Uncertain times are part of human social realities that have shaped local, national and international outlooks on many issues including language use. The documented effects of global pandemics ranging from HIV/AIDS to coronavirus underscore this fact. The COVID-19 pandemic is a harbinger of uncertain times which have altered different facets of human lives worldwide such that it has created what is referred to as the ‘new normal.’ Now that the pandemic’s menace is receding amidst various other maladies that trouble the world, there is a need to evaluate its impact.

Moreso, attention has been paid to its effects on mankind in the post-covid era (Shen, 2020). There is no doubt that the infodemic during pandemics has shed light on how people use languages and its effects in their communities. This infodemic is a byproduct of uncertain times that has even further highlighted the influence of pandemics on minority language media, considering the inadequacy of the mainstreamed languages in mitigating the pandemics’ effects.

Scholars already have demonstrated that minority language media usage and practice have declined even before the advent of COVID-19, which reveals the pre-COVID-19 minority language media situation and the urgency required to tackle issues surrounding the field of study to attempt to preserve minority languages for posterity despite uncertain periods of human existence. Generally, questions have emerged about the pandemic effects on minority language media.

For example, have pandemics helped minority language media use in any way? Indeed, across Europe, Asia and Africa, scholars are increasingly considering how minority language media were affected by pandemics in uncertain times (Bober and Willis, 2021; Piller, Zhang and Li, 2020; Wang, Bahry and An, 2022). It is easy to assume that pandemics have negatively affected minority language media the way colonialism, globalization and digitalization have. Have pandemics like COVID-19 helped the progress and preservation of minority language media worldwide? To what extent have they contributed to the growth or extinction of minority language media in different societies in the world?

It is crucial to consider these questions in the aftermath of the pandemic that borders on the survival of humanity to find solutions to the excruciating impact of the pandemic. Minority language media are a constant in the mediation of human existence. Language generates coherent and semiotic codes and symbols to communicate with one another. Despite the numerous human languages worldwide, studies have shown that many minority languages have been marginalised by natural and non-natural causes.

Moreover, minority language media have often fought to find space for expression amidst these causes that engender uncertain times in human history (Mpofu & Salawu, 2018). Indeed, pandemics such as COVID-19 have challenged scholars to evaluate how minority language media have performed in the race for survival against powerful forces of colonial, global languages and other pandemics in uncertain times. As Tshabangu and Salawu (2021) posit, scholars need to focus minority language media research on new vistas beyond digitalization, democracy, development, health communication and gender.

Language media generate and mediate people’s identities worldwide, and it is important to determine how pandemics like COVID-19 have influenced them, posing many questions about minority language media in uncertain times of human history. The phrase “uncertain times” is wide-ranging and is deliberately used to accommodate other submissions that do not necessarily focus on the COVID-19 aftermath.

Thus, this Call for Papers invites submissions that fit into the sub-themes below and any other aspects of minority languages:


  • Theorisation of Minority Language Media Research in Uncertain Times
  • Minority Language Media and Information Technology in Uncertain Times
  • Minority Language Media and Audience Access in Uncertain Times
  • Economies of Scale for Minority Language Media in Uncertain Times
  • Minority Language Media and Spatial Representation in Uncertain Times
  • Minority Language Media and Home, Identity, Memory and Belonging in Uncertain Times
  • Minority Language Media, Borders and Politics in Uncertain Times
  • Minority Language Media and Music in Uncertain Times
  • Minority Language Media, Cinematics and Videography in Uncertain Times
  • Minority Language Media and Government Policies in Uncertain Times
  • Minority Language Media, Teaching and Learning in Uncertain Times
  • Minority Language Media and Online Teaching in Uncertain Times
  • Research Methodologies and Minority Language Media in Uncertain Times

This is not an exhaustive set of themes for the joint conference and presenters are free to submit on aspects of minority languages worldwide. Abstracts of 300 words in MSWord Times New Roman 12 pt. should be submitted to the emails specified below. These shall be reviewed, and presenters shall be subsequently advised on the outcomes.


Submission of Abstracts

Interested participants are invited to submit abstracts of not less than 300 words on any of the specific themes stated above, and 150-word short biography. Abstracts should be sent to: iamlmr2024@nwu.ac.za

1st Call for Papers: September 29, 2023
Submission Deadline Date: January 31st , 2024
Notification of Acceptance: February 14, 2024
Conference Registration (Early Birds): March 15-May 16, 2024
Conference Registration (Late Birds): May 16-June 16, 2024
08- Arrival
09- conference start, opening followed by keynotes.
10- keynotes, Gala dinner
11- Departure/Excursion (optional)

Conference Fees
Student - R 1,500
Academics/Staff - R 3,500


Online Participants
Student - R 1,000
Academics/Staff - R 2,000


Submission Procedure

When submitting abstracts, participants must indicate which of the above themes their submission aligns with.



Abstract preparation should take the following format: title, name of presenter, contact details, type of presentation and the text of the abstract (250-300 words).

Short bios of presenters should also be included.



  • Oral presentations
  • Virtual presentations
  • Posters
  • Panel discussions


Bober, S. and Willis, C. (2021). The Covid-19 pandemic and minority language media in Europe: the effects of spring 2020 lockdowns. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, https://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2021.2005074.

Mpofu, P. and Salawu, A. (2018). Linguistic disenfranchisement, minority resistance and language revitalisation: The contributions of ethnolinguistic online communities in Zimbabwe. Cogent Arts & Humanities (2018), 5: 1551764, https://doi.org/10.1080/23311983.2018.1551764.

Piller, I., Zhang, J. and Li, J. (2020). Linguistic diversity in a time of crisis: Language challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Multilingual - Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication 39(5), DOI: 10.1515/multi-2020-0136

Shen, Q. (2020). Commentary: Directions in language planning from the COVID-19 pandemic. /Multilingua/ 2020; 39(5): 625–629.

Tshabangu, T. and Salawu, A. (2021). Indigenous-language Media Research in Africa: Gains, Losses, Towards a New Research Agenda. African Journalism Studies, Vol. 43(1), pp. 1-16.

Wang, G., Bahry, S.A. and An, W. (2022). Minority Language Revitalization and Social Media through the Lens of Covid-19 in Yunnan and Gansu, western China. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, https://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2022.2042541.