Home / News / Scientific Events / The International conference on “Pop-culture, pop-politics: the digital turn. Interdisciplinary analyses of the intersectionality between media, cultures and politics”, In Memoriam: prof. Ivaylo Ditchev



International Conference, 4-5 October 2024


Submission of abstracts: March 1, 2024

Abstracts and the required information should be submitted to: ztpopova@uni-sofia.bg

Event date: 4 and 5 October 2024

Event venue: Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”


Dear Colleagues,

You are kindly invited to contribute to the International conference on “Pop-culture, pop-politics: the digital turn. Interdisciplinary analyses of the intersectionality between media, cultures and politics”, In Memoriam: prof. Ivaylo Ditchev


The conference focuses not just on popular culture in politics and the political in popular culture, but on their transformation as a result of the digital turn. The syncretic phenomenon of “pop culture politics” as the intersection of popular culture and populist politics and the mutual amplification/attenuation of their social effects is as much a product of new media as it is a driver of their growing popularity. By privileging the haste of communication, the short horizon and the lack of hierarchies, digital media question the public space in both politics and culture as an encounter (dialogue, confrontation, opposition) of different ideas and values.

All over the world, we are seeing the fluidisation of borders: Politicians use popular culture repertoires to ingratiate themselves with voters, and pop stars become presidents. Popular culture narratives are used by citizens themselves to criticize power (memes are just such a genre), and power in turn organizes popular art “festivals” and carnivals to legitimize itself and be recognized by citizens. Public institutions invest in the production of heritage, but in this endeavour they are rivalled by ‘ordinary’ citizens committed to amateur historical, local and cultural studies. Traditional benchmarks in both the political and cultural fields seem to have lost their potential, and the need for new landmarks in digital landscapes, where the battle and negotiation between power and citizens is unfolding, is becoming increasingly urgent.

Moreover, the digitalisation of communication puts tools of influence in the hands of politicians on the one hand, but on the other hand it unleashes the democratic potential of citizens, who use the forms of popular culture to ridicule, suspect and expose those in power. In the cultural sphere, digital technologies have succeeded in empowering audiences as authors, and we can now speak of a simultaneity of production and consumption of digital content. It is here that digital technologies are perceived as a condition for a radically democratic utopia of sharing and direct democracy. This leads to a fragmentation of the public space into echo chambers, making it increasingly difficult to permanently join forces to achieve one civic goal or another or to prioritize one political project or another.


The issue focuses on several questions:

  • How does the political turn popular culture into a resource for legitimizing, differentiating, and mobilizing citizens?
  • How does popular culture become politicised, i.e., an arena for struggles between different civic groups as well as between citizens and the government?
  • How do media and digital platforms capture, displace, and produce these popular cultural battles, and more generally, how do they become a condition of possibility for pop culture politics? Are the meanings, forms and modalities of the popular changing in the age of new digital media?
  • What debates are there in particular national societies about fake news, amateur science, carnivalesque cyberfolklore, and bootleg nationalism? How does the popular re-subordinate the value order of the spheres of politics and culture, autonomised by the age of modernity, and place them in competition to capture more and more ‘minds and hearts’, merging into a single audience?


Abstract submissions must be in English and comprised of up to 300 words and 5 key words.


The following information should be provided with your abstract:

  1. Title of the report and manuscript
  2. Name of author
  3. Author affiliation and country
  4. A short bio in English and Bulgarian (not included in the abstract word count)
  5. Active e-mail address of the author
  6. File names should follow the format “Author’s initials. Report title”



Decisions for admission: March 15, 2024

Submission of manuscripts: October 15, 2024 (follow the conference website for updates on requirements for authors)

Peer review notes sent to authors: November 1, 2024

Final edits by authors: December 15, 2024

Publishing of Conference collection: December 31, 2024

Please refer to the attached file “Guide for Authors” for instructions on manuscript requirements.

Follow the conference website for up-to-date information and important developments: www.conference.politpop.eu