Call for Papers

Department of Business Communication, Aarhus University:

Nation Branding and the Creative Industries: What nation? What people? What synergies?

We warmly invite you to submit your abstract to the cross-disciplinary international
colloquium: Nation Branding and the Creative Industries: What nation? What people? What
synergies? at Aarhus University, 22 - 23 September 2016. Participants are asked to send a 500
words abstract and a short bio by 15th April 2016. We welcome contributions from diverse
fields such as media studies, brand management and destination marketing, intercultural and
global communication studies, and tourism and travel studies.

Conference concept :

Nation branding prevails as a contested research domain that challenges both practitioners
and researchers to define, question and illustrate contemporary transformations in the
reputation of a country and its people. Historically, governments have assumed control over
nation branding in strategic partnerships with national companies and agencies.
Acknowledging the significance of managerial approaches to branding - strategic planning,
product development, image positioning and efficient marketing, we argue that these
practices are increasingly transformed by and entangled with for example, demographic
changes, market transformations and the global circulation of creative industrial resources. In
particular, we are witnessing novel constellations of partnerships and collaborations resulting
in creative products that act as symbolic ammunition in nation branding. These novel
constellations co-produce new dynamics and unpredictable modes of interaction across
borders. What are the intended and the unintended consequences of these? Another area of
change lies in the reconfigurations in the idea of the nation, which has historically assumed the
singularity of 'one nation, one people'. This issue is well recognized to be highly problematic in
the context of global flows of capital, ideas and images, and large-scale transnational migration
that disrupt ideal perceptions of the nation as a political and economic unity. It is no longer
crystal clear what people or what symbols are embedded in (or excluded from) nation
branding. So, what does it mean to brand a nation? And what does it take to brand a nation in
a global context increasingly characterized by a crowding of new actors who are willingly or
unwilling entangled in branding endeavours?

Particular areas of interest:

This international colloquium considers these two areas of transformation - new constellations
of partnerships/collaborators and transnational flows - with specific focus on the role of the
creative industries in the processes of nation branding. Creative industries are understood in
their widest sense and cover for example, television and film, music, theatre, fashion, food,
advertising, design and architecture. We welcome abstracts that reflect completed empirical
and conceptual work as well as works and thoughts in progress. These could discuss the
following (but are not limited to):

  • What novel forms of partnerships and collaborations are related to nation branding? What sorts of ideological, economic and organizational logics drive these partnerships?
  • What types of new symbols, products and events characterize contemporary nation branding? How are they produced and negotiated?
  • How has the role of the creative industries in nation branding changed through history?
  • How do locally embedded creative industries negotiate the tension of serving domestic as well as non-domestic stakeholders?
  • What are the similarities and differences between the related concepts of nation branding, state branding, place branding, city branding or destination branding?
  • How successful have recent developments in the idea of 'country-of-origin' been to address contemporary transformations in nation branding?

Practical information:

This colloquium is designed to provide an exploratory space where practitioners and
researchers can gather to map and talk about contemporary challenges and potential benefits
in the practices and thinking of nation branding. The colloquium comprises lectures, coffee
table talks and panel discussions. Publication opportunities are being explored.
There is no participation fee and all meals (dinner on Thursday and coffee/tea/lunch on both
days) for presenters will be covered by the convenors. Participants will have to pay for their
own travel and accommodation.

For further information and to send abstracts please contact:

Please send a 500 word abstract to Ushma Chauhan Jacobsen (ucj@bcom.au.dk) and Szilvia
Gyimóthy (gimothy@cgs.aau.dk) by 15th April 2016. Notification of acceptance will be sent by
the end of May 2016.

Co-convenors:

What makes Danish TV drama travel? 2014 - 2018, Danish Council for Independent Research
Department of Business Communication, Aarhus University
School of Communication and Culture, Aarhus University
Department of Culture and Global Studies, Aalborg University

Download the CfA directly