Thanks to the several dozen proposals submitted by colleagues from around the gIobe, ICA’s annual meeting in Prague next spring will offer an intellectually robust set of pre- and postconferences. We will be filling all available space to capacity and working with our local organizer, Irena Reifova (Charles U of Prague), to find venues for some offsite preconferences. Our menu of events includes half- and full-day meetings onsite, in Prague, and elsewhere in Europe.
Preconferences for all interests. Regardless of their epistemological approach or research interests, ICA members are likely to find a pre/postconference that will appeal to them. The myriad topics include some that are oriented toward research conducted in specific divisions and interest groups – e.g., election reporting, family communication, feminist theory, gaming, media literacy, narrative communication research, and network analysis. Others are designed around the intersection of communication and context, such as the preconferences on media and governance in Latin America and digital media in China.
The Prague preconferences also will include workshops aimed at enhancing one’s teaching and methodological portfolios. For instance, attendees can avail themselves of a full-day meeting on deliberative pedagogies, designed ultimately to help students (and others) better understand how to communicate in a public sphere rife with sometimes irreconcilable differences. Attendees also have the option of enrolling in a half-day workshop on crowdsourcing as a content-analytic tool; this meeting will address the potential, limitations, and applications of crowdsourcing in the study of journalism and mass communication.
Doctoral and young-scholar preconferences. In keeping with a growing tradition of mentoring and supporting graduate students, several divisions and interest groups will be offering preconferences for young scholars. This year’s program will include workshops and colloquia sponsored by Communication and Technology, Environmental Communication, Journalism Studies, Public Diplomacy, Public Relations, and Visual Communication. These full- and half-day events will offer young scholars the opportunity to meet others with similar interests, present their research, and receive feedback on their work from senior scholars.
Locally and regionally oriented preconferences. ICA’s rotation of conference sites around the world allows members to better understand communication phenomena in those regions, and our meeting in Prague affords us special opportunities to do so. Attendees can participate in a half-day preconference that examines how identity has been constructed for the Roma, one of the largest ethnic minority groups in East-Central Europe. In a similar vein, the Media Industry Studies Interest Group will be hosting a preconference at Prague’s National Film Archive. This two-day event will provide participants the opportunity to present interdisciplinary research on East-Central European screen media industries, both contemporary and historical.
In addition, some preconferences will revolve around recent political developments that certainly have implications for East-Central Europe. ICA will be offering a full-day meeting on Wednesday for individuals interested in how communication, ranging from media representations to social-media exchanges to political negotiations, has contributed to the current refugee crisis. Attendees who are planning to spend time elsewhere in Europe before the conference might consider a full-day event on global perspectives on populism and the media, to be held at the Central European University in Budapest.
The full list of pre- and postconferences will be online shortly, and we hope you’ll sign up for one or more!