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Soviet-era Media Control and Speech Norm 2023 : In the Shadow of Territorial Conflict: Artsakh and Other Legacies of Soviet-era Media Control and Speech Norms


When Feb 4, 2023 - Feb 4, 2023
Where Los Angeles, California
Abstract Registration Due Nov 30, 2022
Submission Deadline Jan 20, 2023
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Call For Papers

Call for Papers
Journal of International Media & Entertainment Law

In the Shadow of Territorial Conflict: Artsakh and Other Legacies of Soviet-era Media Control and Speech Norms

February 4, 2023 — Los Angeles, California
Abstracts DUE: November 30, 2022, | Manuscripts DUE: January 20, 2023

Airfare and hotel provided*

Concept Statement:
Armed conflicts between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2020 and 2022 over Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) are tragic examples of a long-running ethnic and geo-political dispute that became a flashpoint for war after the Soviet Union collapsed. The conflict is frequently contextualized from a historical perspective among other protracted territorial conflicts that have re-escalated into armed conflict in former Soviet Republics, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia, including in Georgia, Chechnya, the annexation of Crimea by Russia, and the 2022 invasion of Ukraine by Russia and its attempt to set up a separatist-backed state in the Donbas region.

This Conference seeks papers examining the role of media institutions, government censorship, and social media speech norms in areas scarred by post-Soviet-era disputes over land and ethnicity. The principal focus will be on the Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) conflict, though papers are also welcome on other post-Soviet conflicts, including in Georgia, Chechnya, and the 2014 and 2022 Ukrainian invasions. Is there a shared legacy of Soviet-era media control and speech censorship that informs speech norms and media practices in the region today?
In assessing media in territorial disputes, this Conference will look at the role of the press and social media before, during, and after conflict.

Some of the subtopics could include the following:
- Role of courts in protecting free speech/democracy
- State speech and hate crimes
- Mass media and genocide
- Fact-finding in international territorial disputes
- The implication of ethnic or religious practice on speech norms
- Online disinformation, including state-sponsored or state-supported social media campaigns
- Media literacy initiatives to help citizens navigate and evaluate social media information.
- Documentation of war crimes and atrocities

This Conference seeks to address the above questions broadly as they relate to Artsakh, Armenia, and other flashpoints in regions previously controlled by the Soviet Union. The faculty editors of Southwestern’s Journal of International Media & Entertainment Law (JIMEL) will consider scholarly papers on a broad spectrum of media, telecom, and technology law topics, including those related to financing and distribution, government content creation, government censorship, cultural content taboo, diversity and ethnic identity, municipal and administrative law issues, and crisis communications, as well as related topics.

Manuscripts accepted for publication will appear in the Journal of International Media & Entertainment Law, a peer-reviewed, faculty-edited publication of the Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute at Southwestern Law School, produced in cooperation with the American Bar Association’s Forum of Communications Law and the ABA’s Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries. The Armenian Bar Association provides funding for this Conference.

Submit your Abstract (2500 word maximum) with a current CV to

*For authors accepting JIMEL’s written offer of publication, the Conference will defray the costs of approved roundtrip flights originating in North America or from international points of origin and two nights’ lodging at the designated “Conference Hotel” in Los Angeles. Click to access the full reimbursement policy and JIMEL’s submission requirements. Scholars not accepting JIMEL’s publication offer may travel to Los Angeles to present their accepted abstract topic at their own expense. Some participants may have the option to participate in the Conference remotely. Southwestern Law School reserves the right to move the Conference date or to transition it to online only, per the school’s COVID-19 policies.

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