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

Dr  M Epstein's picture
Call for Papers
December 15, 2022
California, United States
Subject Fields: 
Journalism and Media Studies, Law and Legal History, Modern European History / Studies, Russian or Soviet History / Studies


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: December 15, 2022 | Papers DUE: January 20, 2023

Completed Manuscripts DUE:  April 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. Funding for this Conference is provided by the Armenian Bar Association.


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

*For authors with a completed manuscript who accept 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.  The full reimbursement policy can be found at   JIMEL’s submission requirements can be found at  Scholars not completing a manuscript or not accepting JIMEL’s publication offer may travel to Los Angeles to present their accepted paper 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, in accord with the school’s COVID-19 policies.

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