Special Section “Digital Memory & Populism” in the International
Journal of Communication (IJoC).
The publication will be open access and authors will not have to pay any
Guest editors: Dr. Manuel Menke (University of Copenhagen) & Dr. Berber
Hagedoorn (University of Groningen).
For a special section on Digital Memory and Populism in the
International Journal of Communication (IJoC), we invite contributions
addressing the use of digital memory by populists, their supporters, and
their opponents online. Not only did populists evoke and exploit the
past to fuel the Trump presidency and Brexit campaign, but it has also
become a common populist tool to employ collective memory from local to
global politics across the world. With the possibility to bypass
traditional media and reach networked audiences, populist actors are
increasingly active in digital publics to negotiate the role of the
past and their versions of it with their supporters and defend it
against their opponents. In this process, personal and collective
memories become a contested field in discourses on identity, belonging,
and political ideology used to mobilize for or against populist agendas
We welcome submissions shedding light on how digital memory is shared,
represented, constructed, and instrumentalized online to promote or
tackle populist agendas all over the world. We aim at compiling
international research that investigates, for example, how
memory-related populist communication strategies and their appeal online
have become particularly relevant today, how digital memory is
integrated in political imaginaries of the future, and how populists’
messages thrive on collective memory discourses salient in contemporary
digital culture. We also invite research studying the potential of
digital memory to challenge populist narratives, and that examines the
creative uses of the past to mobilize and organize bottom-up political
engagement by the means of digital media, networked communication, and
This special section broadens the theoretical and empirical
understanding of the relationships between populism, memory, and the
digital by asking:
● How do populists, their supporters, and/or their opponents use
digital memory to gain support for their political convictions,
positions, and agendas?
● How do populists, their supporters, and/or their opponents
employ digital memory as an affective feature in their communication?
● How are digital media adopted by populists, their supporters,
and/or their opponents to add, resist, share, and play with personal and
collective memories in online discourses?
● Which creative, strategic, or mundane digital mnemonic
practices evolve in accordance with or opposition to populist agendas,
and in which digital formats do personal and collective memories enter
● How can analytical concepts of populism and models of populist
communication be complemented by digital memory studies perspectives and
● Which innovative theoretical approaches and empirical methods
can be developed and applied to study the relationships between
populism, memory, and the digital?
Abstracts of 500 words (excluding tables, figures, and references)
should outline the research topic as well as the theoretical and
methodological approach. All abstracts will be subject to peer review.
Please submit an anonymized abstract and a separate cover page including
the names, affiliations, and contact details (email) of the author(s) in
an editable format (e.g., .docx) by 7 May 2021 to
Notifications for full paper invites will be
sent by the end of May 2021. If invited, the manuscript of max. 8000
words will be due on 31 October 2021. All manuscripts will undergo the
usual double-blind peer review process of IJoC. Publication of the open
access special section is planned for summer 2022.