Call for Proposals (closed)

CMLCA 2021

Due to the continuing changes in the pandemic and the new variants of the Covid-19 virus, we have decided to hold the conference online only without an in-person option. All sessions will be presented live online and scheduled for Friday October 15th, Saturday, October 16th and Sunday, October 17th, 2021

Key Dates

We will begin accepting submissions via Easy Chair on May 1, 2021.

The deadline for submitting proposals is July 6, 2021.

CMLCA’s decision date is August 2, 2021.

The conference will be held October 15-17, 2021.

Critical Media Literacy Conference of the Americas: Celebrating Paulo Freire’s Centennial

The second annual Critical Media Literacy Conference of the Americas celebrates the life of the father of critical pedagogy, Paulo Freire, who was born a hundred years ago on September 19, 1921. Whether you are new to Freire’s work and ideas, or a seasoned Freirean scholar-activist, we invite you to gather with us to think about Critical Media Literacy in our current moment. You can download a free PDF of Freire’s class book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed here in English and here in Spanish. Freire developed his emancipatory pedagogical theories before smartphones, digital connectivity, or social networks. Yet, his ideas are still powerful today as they help us think critically about the processes of learning, teaching, and living together through recognizing ourselves as critical citizens capable of changing reality. He urged us to “read the word and the world” and this invitation is more important now than ever (Freire & Macedo, 1987).

Reading the world today places us at a time when the gap of inequalities has widened in relation to the distribution of wealth and the centralization of power. In addition, the prevailing climate crisis is accelerating, putting our very existence in jeopardy. 

While the challenges are increasing, so are the opportunities to use these new technologies for social good as has been demonstrated repeatedly by empowered young people across the globe. Freire’s legacy is one of dialectical engagement, critical empowerment, and participatory action for social justice. This is also our conception of critical media literacy.

Defining Critical Media Literacy

The goal of critical media literacy is to engage with media through critically examining representations, systems, structures, ideologies, and power dynamics that shape and reproduce culture and society. It is an inquiry-based process for analyzing and creating media by interrogating the relationships between power and knowledge. Critical media literacy is a dialogical process for social and environmental justice that incorporates Paulo Freire’s (1970) notion of praxis, “reflection and action upon the world in order to transform it” (p. 36). This pedagogical project questions representations of class, gender, race, sexuality and other forms of identity and challenges media messages that reproduce oppression and discrimination. It celebrates positive representations and beneficial aspects of media while challenging problems and negative consequences, recognizing media are never neutral. Critical media literacy is a transformative pedagogy for developing and empowering critical, caring, nurturing, and conscientious people.

The second annual Critical Media Literacy Conference of the Americas considers how we carry on the spirit of Freire’s work today, in current situations and contexts. We welcome proposals that address some of the following topics:

  • Ecoliteracy and environmental justice
  • Indigenous cultures / peoples / perspectives
  • Decolonization & Postcolonialism
  • Critiques of power, dominant ideologies, and social injustice
  • Critical and humanizing education
  • Challenging racism, sexism, classism, heteronormativity, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, etc.
  • Abolitionist teaching
  • Democracy and human rights
  • Attacks on science and denial of facts
  • Critical news and information literacies
  • Challenging neoliberalism and privatization
  • Issues of surveillance and privacy
  • Activism and empowerment with media and the arts

We welcome proposals exploring how we enact critical media literacies that might interrupt problematic and reductive understandings of education to support an inclusive and diverse notion of education as empowerment for human rights, solidarity, social responsibility, and global citizenship. We are especially interested in encouraging K-12, community college, university, and community practitioners of Critical Media Literacy to apply. We encourage interactive presentations where presenters can lead audience members through their CML praxis.

For submissions click here.

For all other inquires, please email

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