Fifty years after the University of Leicester founded the Centre for Mass Communication Research – the first Centre of its kind studying mass communication – the University has announced it will be hosting the 2016 conference of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR).

More than 1,000 delegates from across the world are expected to attend the event in Leicester next summer. The conference theme will be: ‘Memory, Commemoration and Communication: Looking Back, Looking Forward’.

Established in 1957, IAMCR is the preeminent worldwide professional organisation in the field of media and communication research. The University of Leicester’s former Head of the Centre for Mass Communication Research, James Halloran, was also the President of IAMCR from 1972-1990.

The conference will be hosted by the University’s Department of Media and Communication from 27-31 July 2016, and will act as the centrepiece of the celebrations for 50 years of media and communication research at Leicester.

Professor Peter Lunt, Head of Department of Media and Communication and Chair of the local IAMCR organising committee said: “We are pleased to welcome members of IAMCR to Leicester for their 2016 annual conference and are proud to be celebrating the 50 year anniversary of the Centre for Mass Communication Research.

“Jim Halloran, the founder of the Centre played a significant role in the development of IAMCR during his time as President and strong links between the Association and the Department of Media and Communication at Leicester continue today. The conference will be an opportunity to reflect on the role of media and communication in memory and commemoration as well as the history and future of media research.”

The Centre for Mass Communication Research at Leicester was established in 1966 by James Halloran and attracted a diverse group of academics from various disciplines, leading to a multidisciplinary research approach. This ethos still exists in the Department today and has been described as the ‘original hotbed’ of mass communication research by leading media theorist James Curran.

Professor Janet Wasko, Professor of Media Studies at the University of Oregon and IAMCR President added: “After 40 years, the International Association for Media and Communication Research is pleased to be returning to Leicester for our 2016 conference. The organisation met at the University in 1976, when more than 300 people from 40 different countries gathered.

“The 2016 conference will be considerably larger, representing the growth of media and communication research around the world as well as IAMCR’s growth. Many of our key members have been associated with the University, especially at the Centre for Mass Communication Research, and we look forward to celebrating these historical connections."

The bid to host IAMCR’s conference was prepared in partnership with the University and the Leicester and Leicestershire Conference Bureau, managed by Leicester Shire Promotions.

Martin Peters, Chief Executive of Leicester Shire Promotions added: “We’re delighted to help the University of Leicester to secure this prominent international conference in the city. As well as working jointly on the bid itself, we will also support the logistics and delivery of the conference with an accommodation microsite, visitor information, social itineraries and discounts and offers. This will ensure that the delegates enjoy both a successful event and a great experience in our city.”

Professor Lunt will give a handover presentation about the University’s plans for the conference at the 2015 IAMCR conference, which takes place in Montreal this summer.

Last updated September 2015