The Communication Education and Curriculum Development Interest Group Convenor is Prof Bruce Mutsvairo, University of Technology Sydney.
If you would like to learn more about this interest group or get involved in its activities you can contact him at

The Papers presented during #sacomm18 in this stream: Communication Education


#sacomm18 – Closing Message

Dear Colleagues,

As we wrap up and take stock of SACOMM 2018 at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and prepare to pass on the baton to the University of Cape Town (UCT) for SACOMM 2019, we want to take the opportunity to thank you all for your engagements and collegiality during what was a spectacular conference.

And for this we owe Prof. Pier Paolo Frassinelli and Mr Collen Chambwera a huge thank you! They carried this out through tremendous hard work and with the support of our SACOMM administrator Ms Annelize Vermeulen, the UJ School of Communication planning committee. Thanks also go to Prof. Nyasha Mboti and Prof. Colin Chasi for developing this year’s conference theme ‘Communication at a Crossroads’.

We had close to 200 delegates, 31 sessions, two plenaries and five book launches and a special screening of filmmaker Rehad Desai’s movie ‘Everything Must Fall’. And this year our delegates, apart from representatives from a wide range of South African universities, also came from Zimbabwe, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, Swaziland, Namibia, Malawi, Australia, Sweden, England, the United States and apart from the academic community we also had independent scholars, activists and civil society representatives from among others the Tembelihle Crisis Committee, Right2Know campaign, and the South African Department of Communication, as well as media houses and journalists.

The presentations were all of great quality and depth and the appreciation and collegiality in discussions around the challenging as well as exhilarating communication environment we find ourselves as both a discipline and practice, unparalleled.

Speaking of which, even though we have always emphasised an openness to topics and discussions, many of you did take the bait on the ‘crossroads challenge’, and we had presentations on everything from crossroads in journalism, corporate communication, ethics, teaching practices, social movements to technology in the service of democracy. And of course, many more interesting presentations talking to changes in the broader communication landscape. All of which was topped off brilliantly by Prof. Francis Nyamnjoh in his keynote address on the ‘Rational consumer: Bad for business and politics. Democracy at the crossroads of nature and culture’. And dare I say to a full house on the last day of the conference!

We also had a near full house for this year’s AGM and I think scheduling this mid-conference drew the membership. We had report backs from the interest groups chairs; Dr Mvuzo Ponono (Media Studies and Journalism); Mr Francois Smit (Screen Studies); Prof. Lida Holtzhausen (Corporate Communication); Mrs Martine van der Walt Ehlers (Communication Studies); Prof. Pier Paolo Frassinelli (Communications Advocacy and Activism); Prof. Bruce Mutsvairo (Communication Education and Curriculum Development); And last but by all means not least, Ms Linah Nkuna and Dr Theo Ngcongo (Emerging Scholars). And as always we had thorough discussions and deliberations on the running of SACOMM business. This year one main resolution was taken, and that to set up a task team headed by Prof. Keyan Tomaselli to look at the Constitution of SACOMM as well as the implications and desirability of an organisational name change, from South African Communication Association to Southern African Communication Association.

And speaking of Prof. Keyan Tomaselli, Prof. Ruth Teer-Tomaselli, Prof. Arrie de Beer and Prof. Pieter Fourie, our honorary SACOMM members deserve thank you’s for their continuous support and engagement with SACOMM matters big and small. Prof. Fourie and Prof. Tomaselli also both launched their books at this year’s SACOMM, ‘Media Studies volume 4 Social Media and Mediated Communication Today’ and ‘Making Sense of Research’. And they were accompanied by Prof. Herman Wasserman who launched his book ‘Media, Geopolitics and power: A view from the global South’, Prof. Nicole Stremlau and her book ‘Media, Conflict and the State in Africa’ and Prof. Bruce Mutsvairo and Prof. Beschara Karam with their book ‘Perspectives on Political Communication in Africa’.

As we handover to UCT for SACOMM 2019, I also want to say thank you to our colleagues from the East African Communication Association, who are taking the lead on a discussion at this year’s International Communication Association’s (ICA) regional conference in Ghana, to forge closer relations between our professional and interest organisations on the Continent. And this is important as we want to strengthen our own professional organisation as well as our cooperation with our sister organisations. The value of SACOMM and other organisation on the Continent is central to the establishment and the strengthening of the discipline and the many cogent disciplines and sub-fields it encompasses. This also goes for assisting emerging scholars in establishing themselves within a discipline, through networking, training and opportunities more generally. Putting such an affiliation on your CV does count and rightfully so. Thus we have a responsibility here to continuously strive to add to the professional life of our academics, emerging as well as more established. In later years the focus on advocacy has also become more prominent and highlighted, not at least in our own context through renewed decolonisation and transformation debates in our discipline as well as the higher education landscape more broadly. SACOMM has recognised this, not at least through it’s ‘Advocacy and Activism’ interest group that has become progressively more active since its first inception in 2015.

We have so much to build on, so we truly look forward to seeing you all in Cape Town in 2019!


Ylva and Elnerine
On behalf of the SACOMM Executive

CONFERENCE: Programme for #sacomm18 Published

The conference hosts at the University of Johannesburg have published the programme for #sacomm18.

SACOMM 2018 will be held at The University of Johannesburg – UJ –
Maps, addresses and GPS location of UJ you can find here.

The SACOMM Emerging Scholars’ Pre-conference 2018 will already kick off on Tuesday, 11 September 2018 (09:00-16:00)

The Full Programme can be downloaded here: SACOMM 2018 Programme.

We look forward to welcoming you at #sacomm18.

The hashtag for the conference: #sacomm18
Facebook Page of SACOMM:
Facebook Event:

SACOMM Emerging Scholars’ Pre-conference 2018

Date: 11 September 2018 (09:00-16:00)

This year the SACOMM emerging scholars’ pre-conference is being hosted at the University of Johannesburg a day before the main conference themed ‘Communication at the crossroads’. The pre-conference will include the usual AGM to vote on important issues that impact on emerging scholars in the communication discipline. This year, however, sees the introduction of concurrent workshops that aim to address two imminent needs: publication and career planning in academia. Distinguished senior scholars will be sharing their experiences on these two important issues in two interactive parallel sessions.

From postgraduate project to publication

Undertaking a postgraduate research project is a multi-faceted journey, in which emerging scholars obtain and produce expert knowledge on a very specific subject. A research article and book chapter is the most common conduits for making this knowledge accessible to a broader academic audience. The proposed workshop centres on the process of turning an honours essay, MA dissertation and Doctoral thesis into a manuscript that captures the attention and the interest of the academic community in a specific field of study. It brings emerging scholars in concert with an experienced and well-published academic to discuss challenges of editing a postgraduate project, including questions on structure and style.

Advancing in Academia as a career

The aim of this workshop is to equip emerging and early-career scholars with effective advice from senior scholars in the communication discipline on the ins and outs of the academic job market as well as to successfully plan the first years of their academic career. It also aims to help emerging scholars navigate the complexity and variety of academic career paths in an ever-changing environment. The workshop will consist of two parts, short presentations from the panellist (experience, tips and advice) followed by an open group discussion among all participants. In addition, the workshop is meant to offer an opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas on key issues for young scholars and their integration in academia.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Mundu: A journal of Emerging African Communication

Open Call for Papers – Marginality


The women, and ultimately movement, that exposed top Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein, was named 2017 Time Magazine person of the year. This recognition is by no means a barometer of the progress that has been made in terms of gender equality. It is only an indication of “the evolution of human rights from a patriarchal, male centred world, in which women’s rights were not a consideration to now when women’s rights are integral to the world we live in” (Madeley, 2017).

In such instances of continued struggles for equality, the fight against marginality or conditions where individuals and cultures occupy a peripheral status to a “center”, has brought to the fore the problematic nature of social relations (Nabizadeh, 2016).

Media observers have noted that although most politicians and prominent figures often face the glare of news media, matters are slightly different for women. Feminist scholars write that the media scrutiny trained on women seeking higher positions, be it political or any other sphere, can be “contemptuous” (Ntuli, 2017). This is despite women constituting a powerful force in politics and all levels of government and society. A fact that has not changed much over the years, as evidenced by the United States 2016, and the 2017 ANC presidential campaigns; both criticized for bias against women candidates (Beaudoux, 2017; Ntuli, 2017).

Similarly, the 2015 and 2016 student strikes demanding to extrication of colonial legacies and fee free education in public institutions of higher learning, illustrated the continued marginalisation of previously disadvantaged groups.  The call for a decolonised academy and the plea to overhaul current social practice that perpetuate exclusionary colonial systems gained widespread support (Catherine Addora Hoppers 2012). Observers pointed out that the turbulence and disruption caused by the demand for redress, indicated the broader social need to democratize previously exclusive centers of power.

In light of the big strides that have been made by social groups fighting for equality, and the many other issues that are still to be addressed.

The Emerging Scholars and Media Studies Interest Group would like to invite interested parties to submit a paper for publication in the inaugural issue of Mundu: A journal of Emerging African Communication. The papers selected for publication will also be presented in a panel discussion at the 2018 SACOMM Conference in Johannesburg.

Selected themes:

  • Marginality, decolonisation, redress and media studies
  • Teaching, learning, research and engagement in decolonial contexts
  • What does a decolonised media studies pedagogy look like?
  • The role of alternative and critical media system
  • The relationship between marginality and the political economy of media
  • Social construct of marginal roles
  • Tensions between the media, marginality and privilege
  • Representation of marginality in the media (television, radio, print, online)


Submission Guidelines

Please send a one-page abstract to by March 30, 2018.

Notification of abstract selection will be sent by April 9. Selected authors will be required to convert the abstract into a journal article for publication by June 1.

Please note that submitted papers will go through a peer review process, and if successful, will be published in the inaugural issue of the Emerging Scholar journal, which is to be launched at the 2018 SACOMM Conference.

CONFERENCE: Call for Papers

Submission Deadline of Abstracts: 30 April 2018

A crossroads is a site where roads intersect. It is a point of crisis, a turning point, and a point of alternative configurations, convergence plus divergence, meeting and departure, unity and disunity. Metaphorically, it is a point of flux and change, a critical juncture at which a life-changing decision must be made. The crossroads is a superposition of varied, multiple, different – sometimes conflicting – tendencies, impulses and trajectories, and there is little certainty about the future. At a crossroads movement is channelled, controlled, regulated, or freed: we can stand still or go forward, get lost or find endless possibilities, be trapped by inaction, insincerity and passivity or find freedom. At a crossroads, we can be transfixed to the past and its aftermaths, or we sincerely take the future on. We may be misled, be manipulated into going in particular directions, or we may use the crossroads to affirm our independence and agency, forge alliances, and build new, transformative, ethical, just futures.

To submit, or read the full Call for Papers, please visit the dedicated site for SACOMM 2018.