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Posted By Administration, Monday, May 1, 2017

ICA member Tema Milstein is coeditor of a new book from Routledge addressing ways to help learners effectively navigate and consciously contribute to the communication shaping our ecological present and future.The book, Environmental Communication Pedagogy and Practice (20% discount available at with code FLR40), brings together more than 40 international communication scholar-educators working from a variety of perspectives to engage both theory and application. Contributors address how pedagogy can stimulate ecological wakefulness, support diverse and praxis-based ways of learning, and nurture ecocultural change agents. Additionally, the volume responds to a practical need to increase teaching effectiveness of environmental communication across disciplines by offering a repertoire of useful learning activities and assignments. Altogether, it provides an impetus for reflection upon and enhancement of our own practice as educators, practitioners, and students.

From Routledge: “Environmental Communication Pedagogy and Practice is an essential resource for those working in environmental communication, environmental and sustainability studies, environmental journalism, environmental planning and management, environmental sciences, media studies and cultural studies, as well as communication subfields such as rhetoric, conflict and mediation, and intercultural. The volume is also a valuable resource for environmental communication professionals working with communities and governmental and non-governmental environmental organisations.” If you’re at an educational institution, please consider asking your library to order the book/ebook so it can be of use to others. If you are a journal book review editor or reviewer, please contact Routledge directly for a review copy.


A message from Adrienne Shaw (U of Minnesota)

My co-editor Bonnie Ruberg and I are excited to announce the release of our collection Queer Game Studies, out now from University of Minnesota Press. If you do research and/or teach in the areas of gender, sexuality, and games, we hope you’ll give it a look.

Queer Game Studies is the first volume to explore LGBTQ issues in video games from a diverse range of perspectives. Our hope is that it speaks to game studies, queer studies, and feminist media studies more broadly.


Tags:  May 2017 

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Division & Interest Group News

Posted By Administration, Monday, May 1, 2017


 The Environmental Communication Division congratulates the winners of the top faculty paper awards and the top student paper award!


“Tree is Life:” The Rise of Dualism and the Decline of Mutualism among the Gedeo of Southern Ethiopia

Abiyot Legesse (Dilla U), Tema Oliveira Milstein (U of New Mexico), Ongaye Oda (Dilla U), and Asebe Regassa (Dilla U)

What makes for persuasive portrayals of climate change victims? Exploring the role of group identity and perspective taking

Hang Lu (Cornell U) and Jonathon Schuldt (Cornell U)

Bridging the Climate Divide? Assessing the IPCC’s Agenda Building Function in German News Media, Climate Blogosphere, and Comment Sections

Jonas Kaiser (Harvard U) and Markus Rhomberg (Zeppelin U GgmbH)


Communicating about climate change: Labels unwittingly signal opinion

Adina Abeles (Stanford U)

ECD’s top papers will be presented on Friday, May 26, 15:30 to 16:45, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, 4, Sapphire 410B, followed by the ECD business meeting and reception.

The Environmental Communication Division invites participants to attend our pre-conferences scheduled for May 25.

Title: Communicating Environmental Issues Among Racial/Ethnic Minorities

Time: Thurs, 25 May; 8:00 – 12:00 (half-day)

Title: Strategic Environmental Communication and Exploration of Research in Crisis, Risk and Disaster

Time: Thurs, 25 May; 9:00 - 17:00



ICA Games will be hosting Games Scholar Office Hours in the lobby of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront (i.e., the conference hotel) on Saturday, 27 May, from 2 to 5 pm and Sunday, 28 May, from 3:30 to 5:30 pm (after which we will head over to the division’s reception).

These informal office hours are a great opportunity to network, get feedback or advice about being an academic in games, or just hang out with people who research and/or dig games. At the conference, look for signs or check our social media for more details (Facebook or Twitter: @ICAGames). 

Questions? E-mail or tweet at Jesse Fox (available at or @CommFox).

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Calls for Papers

Posted By Administration, Monday, May 1, 2017

Call for papers for the ECREA regional ICSI section conference:

(Mediated) Social Interaction in Groups, Networks and Organizations

Time and place

October 23–25, 2017 at Aalto University School of Business, Helsinki, Finland

Keynote presentations

- Jennifer L. Gibbs, Professor, Organizational Communication and Technologies, U of California Santa Barbara, USA

- Bart J. Van den Hooff, Professor of Organizational Communication and Information Systems, VU U Amsterdam, The Netherlands


- Two-day conference and parallel sessions (Oct 23–24) for all participants

- One-day (Oct 25) workshop for young scholars and senior respondents

Proposal submission deadline 5 May 2017

ICSI Regional Conference is the 5th bi-annual meeting of the Interpersonal Communication and Social Interaction Division of ECREA, European Communication Research and Education Association. This year’s conference is co-hosted by University of Jyväskylä and Aalto University School of Business, and will be held in Helsinki, Finland.

The title of the conference, (Mediated) Social Interaction in Groups, Networks and Organizations, reflects some of the relevant themes and discussions within our division. Workplaces, as well as groups and networks beyond traditional organizations, are constituted through communication and social interaction. Face-to-face communication, routines and practices shape organizing in traditional organizations whereas virtual communities and teams rely heavily on digitally mediated communication. Furthermore, social media and other technologies bring new affordances to communication and organizing in all kinds of professional relationships and interactions.

ICSI Regional Conference 2017 will provide an opportunity to discuss the role of (mediated) communication in constituting groups, teams, networks, and organizations. We call for paper and panel proposals from any communication or communication-related discipline and methodology that address the conference themes, including, but not limited to, papers that intersect and/or interconnect with the following topics:

- Privacy and publicity in professional (mediated) social interaction

- Virtual teams, networks and communities

- The role of communication and technologies or other artifacts in constituting groups, teams and organizations

- (Mediated) workplace meetings

- Social interaction and social media in the workplace

- The role of (digital) media in different professions

- Digitization of work and professions

- Leadership in the age of new/social media

- Communication competence and new skills in (mediated) professional settings

- Professional boundaries, identities, and social interaction

- Interpersonal relationships and (mediated) support

- Methodological challenges in studying (mediated) social interaction in groups, networks or organizations

Abstract Submission

We welcome both individual and co-authored abstract submissions as well as clearly framed, thematic panel proposals. If you want to submit a panel proposal, please send an abstract of the overall panel theme as well as a short description of each panelist and their presentation (3-5 participants).

Please submit an abstract of maximum 300 words for individual/co-authored papers and maximum of 600 words for panels to submission system. The submission deadline is 5 May 2017. Submission system:

We will get back to you with information on acceptance of papers and panels and with a preliminary program and practical information at the end of June.

Young Scholars Workshop

We kindly invite Ph.D. students and junior faculty to participate in the young scholars workshop held on the third day of the conference, on Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 at Aalto University School of Business. During the workshop, participants and senior faculty members from Finland and abroad will discuss the papers submitted by the participants and talk about methodological and theoretical issues in communication research. The workshop provides also an opportunity to discuss research career issues and career development with senior scholars. The workshop is included in the main conference fee.

You can sign up to the workshop and submit summary of your paper via the submission system. The summaries should not exceed 300 words. Submission system: (deadline is 5 May 2017).

Please note, that all accepted participants are expected to submit a 1 000–1 500-word paper of their work before the event in September and give short presentation of their work during the workshop.

We invite all Ph.D. students and junior faculty with relevant projects to participate and get feedback on their research from senior scholars in the field, as well as to network with international peers.

Contact information 
Conference website: Organizer e-mail:



This notice serves as the call for papers for the South African Communication Association (SACOMM) annual conference for 2017

The SACOMM conference will be hosted by the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University in Grahamstown on 31 August – 1 September 2017.

Abstracts are hereby invited for the SACOMM 2017 conference.

Locating the power of communication in a time of radical change

The post-truth, and decidedly digital, world is rapidly shifting the way we understand ourselves as media producers and consumers. We see billions of people now with communicative power in their hands actively shaping our world, its politics, its societies, its beliefs and ideas. We see people making their own audiences and speaking directly to them without recourse to the institutions of communication. We see the president of the world’s most powerful nation speak his thoughts and feelings directly to his followers via social media with no filter. Communication institutions of all kinds are being forced to prove their worth and usefulness and account for their methods, particularly when these methods are of the fact-based, verification variety. But media institutions of all kinds are compelled to adjust their social role, to work with and alongside new platforms and to think of their audiences as active and capable of speaking back, or even as competitors. At SACOMM 2017 we shall use the ‘post-truth’ moment as a backdrop against which to explore the idea of the power of communication at this moment in South Africa’s history. As global and local political, cultural and economic antagonisms and modes of resistance are ever-more visibly and quickly processed via the media.

The following questions are suggestive of topics to provoke presentations and conversations:

  • What is truth? In what ways is truth under assault? Have we lost the power to appeal to fact-based reasoning as a ground for our public, social and political deliberations
  • Communication in its multiple forms is a significant power in our world. But is communication devoid of power in some circumstances?
  • How do we think about the full spectrum of communication in this moment? Those who talk, those who transmit, those who listen, the many platforms, the high number of channels, the many forms of consumption and production.
  • How do we rethink, in this moment, the ethical dimensions of communicative power?
  • How do we reframe or reimagine the power of the audience to reject, disdain messages, the power to refuse to listen and alter one’s position. How do such questions matter in an era in which freedom of expression is often used as a weapon to force through speech that takes little account of truth and of the values and needs of audiences?
  • The power of communication is not just simply the power of making messages, it is also a power to persuade, to grip the imagination, to provoke, to unsettle, to disrupt, to redirect. How do we come to terms with this invisible and often unacknowledged form of this power?
  • The communication landscape/environment is very complex now. Minefields open up where different communication paths and social roles overlap/intersect.
  • The power to resist change, the reactionary and the resulting messages. What about those who opt out and go into echo chambers? Complicated question: exposure and choice.
  • Anger, emotion and outrage: which outrage is legitimate when everything is presented as a cause demanding a response?
  • The personal is public and political in volatile and sometimes diabolical ways. The collapse between personal and political.
  • In all this manic busy-ness, how do we open up spaces for listening, changing minds, adjusting positions?
  • How do we think about the future of the communications professions? How do we continue to educate practitioners and theorists for the future?

Category 1: Full 20 minute conference paper presentations Category 2: Poster presentations Category 3: Panel discussion sessions and/or roundtable/workshop proposals

Academics and practitioners can submit abstracts for categories 1 – 3. Emerging scholars (Honours, M.A. and Ph.D. students) can submit abstracts for categories 1 and 2.

All abstracts must be submitted on the correct abstract submission form. Submissions which are not submitted on the correct form will not be accepted. Incomplete submissions will not be accepted.

Abstract submission forms can be downloaded in MSWord format at

All abstract submissions should be addressed to:

Prof. Anthea Garman, Conference Convenor of SACOMM 2017

Submission deadline: 15 May 2017.

Deadline for electronic submission of all abstracts for peer review and other proposals: 15 May 2017. The conference organisers will notify authors about the status of their contributions via e-mail by end of June 2017.

A call for registration with further details about the conference will be released in July.

Conference theme: The conference theme gives an indication of the topic of discussions during plenary sessions at the SACOMM annual conference. Individual abstract submissions are not required to adhere to the conference theme.


SACOMM has six different streams. Please indicate which stream your abstract submission should be allocated to on your abstract submission form.

The SACOMM streams are:
Media Studies and Journalism
Corporate Communication
Screen Studies
Communication Studies
Communication education and curriculum development (CECD)
Communications advocacy and activism (CAA)


Digital Imaginaries of the South: Stories of Belonging and Uprooting in Hispanic Cinemas

18-20 October 2017
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid / Casa de América (Madrid) International Film Conference
(IV TECMERIN Academic Meeting)

Over the past twenty years, digital technology has become the standard in the film production, circulation, and consumption processes. Within this context, Hispanic cinemas have undergone deep changes, both within the countries with an established cinematic tradition, as well as in those that, due to several reasons, had not developed a robust cinematography throughout the 20th century. The analogue paradigm became deeply contested and a new digital framework, which was widely discussed by institutions, film critics, and academics, emerged. This moment coincides with the widespread generalization of national and transnational neoliberal policies that, far from backing diversity, have increased the gap between those “connected” and those “disconnected” (to draw upon Néstor García Canclini’s term); a gap also experienced by those that, even if connected, still occupy subaltern positions.

The speeding of these processes has resulted in an increase of mobility, at work both in the geographical displacement of film professionals and in the emergence of new narratives models that deal with questions of belonging and uprooting, springing precisely from these experiences of displacement. The cinemas of the Global South, and, most specifically, Hispanic cinemas, have actively taken part in these processes, ultimately playing a relevant role in terms of narrative and aesthetic models, and the production, circulation and consumption of film.

Following the main research axes of the R+D project “Transnational relations in Hispanic digital cinemas: the axes of Spain, Mexico, and Argentina” (CSO2014-52750- P), the International Conference Digital Imaginaries of the South: Stories of Belonging and Uprooting in Hispanic Cinemas welcomes proposals across the following lines of inquiry:

* The representation of migrations, displacements, exile, and diaspora.

* Transnational flows of cultural, economic, and human capital in the production and circulation of cinema.

* The reconfiguration of the regional, national, and transnational Hispanic interactions within the new century.

* Public discourses and film policies within the region.

* Hybridization and identity in the narratives on colonization, decolonization, and revolutionary processes.

* Activism and digital praxis.

* Genres, authors, stars.

* Film cultures and cinephilia: festivals, publications, and digital platforms.

* Minor cinemas: indigenismo, experimental, and/or militant cinemas.

* Historiographic, theoretical, and methodological problems of so-called Hispanic, Iberian, and Latin American cinemas.

Presentations should be no longer than 20 minutes and may be in Spanish, Portuguese or English. Those interested in participating in the conference should send a title and an abstract proposal of 250 words to, before 28 May 2017. Please send the abstract as an attachment to your e-mail. The file must include the title, name of the presenter (and co-presenters if any), institutional affiliation, and e- mail. Proposals for panels (4 papers or 3 presentations plus respondent) are welcome and must include a title for the panel itself and the different papers, the names of the participants and a brief summary of both the panel and the individual proposals.

For more information you can check our website:

Tags:  May 2017 

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Available Positions & Job Opportunities

Posted By Administration, Monday, May 1, 2017

Post-Doctoral Fellowship, STEM Translational Communication Center
College of Journalism and Communications

The STEM Translational Communication Center (STCC) in the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida has an opening for a full-time postdoctoral associate. The postdoctoral associate will join a vibrant research team comprised of faculty, postdoctoral associates, and graduate students focused on developing and testing patient-centered communication interventions. The fellowship is for one year, with the opportunity to renew for a second year. The successful applicant will work collaboratively with the STCC research team to collect and analyze data, build grant-writing skills, prepare manuscripts for publication, and participate at national and international scientific meetings. As one of the country’s leading research institutions, the University of Florida provides an exceptionally supportive environment for research and collaboration. 


MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS: Ph.D. in Communication, Psychology, or a related discipline.


Ideal candidates will have a strong background in communication technology (e.g., message tailoring, virtual technology), quantitative research methods, advanced statistical techniques, and health disparities research. 

Applicants should submit a cover letter, CV, list of academic references (minimum of 3), a research statement, and a writing sample. 

Please address applications to: 

Dr. Janice Krieger, Director 
STEM Translational Communication Center 
College of Journalism and Communications 
University of Florida 



This is a grant funded position. 

To apply, please visit, 

The University of Florida is an equal opportunity institution dedicated to building a broadly diverse and inclusive faculty and staff. 


School of International Service 
Full-Time, non-tenure, in Intercultural Relations + International Communication 

 American University’s School of International Service invites applications for a full-time, non-tenure track faculty appointment in Intercultural Relations + International Communication for AY 17-18. Rank will depend on experience and stature. Renewal based on budgetary authorization/satisfactory performance. Apply:


School of Communication & Information 
Research Fellow Position at Wee Kim Wee School of 
Communication & Information 

Young and research-intensive, Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) is ranked 13th globally. It is also placed 1st amongst the world’s best young universities. The Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information invites applications for the position of Research Fellow in Computational Social Science with expertise in social network analysis, machine learning, natural language processing, or related areas. Interest in conducting web-based experiments and/or exploring big data is a plus. Successful candidate will work on projects focusing on the emergence and evolution of social systems and the role that human communication plays in them. Possible (but not limited) research topics include cooperation and coordination, contagion and diffusion, trust building, team formation and performance, group information seeking and processing, collective decision making and problem solving, and network dynamics.

 A PhD is required from one of the following, or allied, disciplines: communication, sociology, political science, economics, computer science, mathematics, statistics or statistical linguistics.

Preferred qualifications: 

  • Solid background in mathematics and statistics
  • Ability to design and administer web-based, real-time interactive experiments
    Strong writing and presentation skills
  • Ability to collect, analyse, build and maintain large-scale databases(e.g., SQL)
  • Competence in programming languages: R, Python, C/C++, etc.

Applicants should submit the following materials to

  • Cover letter
  • Latest curriculum vitae
  • Personal Particulars Form (
  • Education certificates
  • Scanned copy of NRIC/Passport
  • Research statement(capped at 2,000 words)
  • At least one writing sample(e.g. recent publications, dissertation excerpt/summary)
  • Contact information for two references(one of which should be chair of your dissertation committee). Recommendation letters will only be solicited from finalists. 

Closing Date: 
The position is available immediately and will be closed once a suitable candidate is found.


Tags:  May 2017 

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The Travel Ban: ICA’s Position, Actions Taken to Help Attendees, and Next Steps

Posted By Laura Sawyer, ICA Executive Director, Monday, April 3, 2017

As you all know, the Trump administration released a travel ban in February 2017 that affects nationals of seven countries and their ability to enter the US. This policy was challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as a violation of the U.S. constitution. The courts—including a higher court which heard the appeal—agreed with the ACLU, and the White House rescinded the ban. President Trump then issued a second, slightly less restrictive order, removing one country from the list and asserting that those with active visas are still welcome.

While a slight “improvement,” this ban has also been challenged in court by the ACLU and numerous individual plaintiffs. The ban has now been blocked in a lower court in a decision citing its overt motive to discriminate against people on the basis of their religion and national origin, again a direct violation of the U.S. constitution.  

This confusing and evolving situation has raised serious concerns for many members of the ICA community, particularly those intending to participate in the upcoming annual conference in San Diego.  

As the ICA Executive Committee asserted in a statement to our membership and larger community in February in response to the first ban, this situation “run[s] counter to ICA’s commitment to ensure full and equal participation of all members of our organization and participants in our global academic community.”  

We continue to assess the policy’s impact on members and attendees. We recognize members’ concerns regarding the uncertain and changing situation, appreciate your feedback and perspectives, and will remain in dialogue with our entire academic community as this situation evolves. 

In the meantime, we want to make everyone aware of the following actions, which aim to preserve your right as scholars to freely present your work and to collaborate with your peers. 

  • What is ICA Doing to Help?  

    ICA has retained legal counsel specializing in visa issues to advise any member seeking to visit the US for the San Diego conference, including assistance in interpreting the new federal policy and applying for entry. This service is offered at no charge to ICA members and other potential attendees. Please e-mail me (Laura Sawyer, Executive Director), to be connected with this resource. 

  • The ICA office remains ready to assist members in procuring visas to attend ICA conferences and events. Standard invitation letters for visa purposes are available, as always, via the submission website (log in and choose “download invitation letter” from the green menu). If you have a special circumstance and need additional help or special wording in your letter, please contact Julie Randolph, ICA Senior Manager of Member Services & Governance, for assistance.  

  • The ICA San Diego 2017 conference will also support reliable teleconferencing and/or prerecorded presentation for those of you who cannot attend the conference in San Diego but would like to preserve your ability to present your work. ICA is sponsoring landline internet connections in rooms where presenters will be teleconferencing, so that the strength and reliability of Wi-Fi service (while excellent in this hotel) will not be a factor in your ability to communicate smoothly with your chair and your audience. If you are on the program and wish to take advantage of this option because you cannot make it to San Diego, please e-mail me (Laura Sawyer, ICA Executive Director) immediately. I will then connect you to your session chair and provide further instructions to you and your session moderator/chair regarding teleconferencing. Please note that at this point we cannot relocate or reschedule times of sessions in order to accommodate time differences, so depending on where you are this may mean some inconvenience in terms of the time of day where you are.   

  • NEW! Many of our attendees have already contacted me about their situations and we have made arrangements. Those who are planning to come to San Diego in person have taken steps to obtain their visas and airline tickets, and I have given them my personal cell phone number in case of any issues once they arrive in the US. I will be on the ground in San Diego as of Tuesday afternoon, 23 May and will be available to come to the airport if needed. That said, most of you will not have San Diego as your first U.S. stop—you will be connecting from another airport. For this reason, we are developing an internal program whereby ICA members in various states containing major international hub airports can volunteer to be an #ICAsupport for someone traveling abroad, in case of issues at the airport. When you volunteer to be an ICA support, you are offering to give your personal contact information to a fellow ICA attendee coming from outside the US, who will be connecting through your home airport as their first point of entry. You will be “on call” with your connection’s travel itinerary, and s/he will check in with you when s/he has landed. In the (hopefully unlikely) instance that there are any issues at the airport, you agree to be available via phone or if necessary, in person, at the airport to vouch for your fellow ICA attendee’s legitimate reason for being in the country. For more information on this program, see JP Gutierrez’s article on page 5.  
In the coming weeks, we will also be disseminating other “pro tips” on travel to the US, what items to bring along, and who to call if you have trouble.  
As you may have noticed from looking at the online program for the San Diego 2017 annual conference, our program chair and president-elect Paula Gardner (MacMaster U) has assembled numerous special panels directly associated with this policy, recognizing that rigorous dialogue is essential at this moment. Your opening plenary features scholars discussing the issue of the “border” in San Diego: across ethnicity, religious and national identity, gender, and beyond. Another includes international members discussing current global populist movements and cultures, and still others address “posttruth politics” and “alternative facts.” These are examined from a multicultural and multinational perspective, acknowledging that the location for this year’s conference is not the only place in the world undergoing these changes. Several preconferences, Blue Sky workshops, numerous sessions, and a special exhibit on propaganda also address the current environment for academics internationally. At these events, we invite all attendees to dialogue regarding concerns including recent policy actions in the US and elsewhere. This is your conference and your voice is important, now more than ever.  

As we said in the Executive Committee’s official statement in February, “We reiterate ICA’s dedication to a global and diverse exchange of knowledge and perspectives and our mission-- to protect the free exchange of diverse ideas among our members and attendees. We reaffirm our belief that scholarship is expanded and enhanced by our differences. Indeed, we cherish the ideals of inclusion and diversity and we celebrate difference; we do not tolerate speech or behavior that threatens the safety of—or discriminates in any way against—any person or group. Our leadership and our staff are committed to preserving these ideals. We reiterate our commitment to working to ensure that ICA as a whole, and our San Diego 2017 annual conference in particular, are physically safe, inclusive, and welcoming environments for the exchange of knowledge and for the enhancement of scholarship and community.” 

To all of our members and attendees, from me personally and from our staff at the ICA headquarters: We cannot wait to see you all in San Diego. Whether you join in this conversation with your physical presence or via a computer screen from across the globe, your voice is important. We will do everything we can to preserve your ability to participate. If there’s anything we can do for you, please let us know. No matter how we see you, we look forward to seeing you in May.

Tags:  April 2017 

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Board of Directors Takes Important Steps at Midyear Meeting

Posted By Laura Sawyer, ICA Executive Director, Monday, April 3, 2017

The ICA Board of Directors held their Midyear Board Meeting in January 2017 in San Diego, taking action on several important issues. Several of the decisions have been or will be covered in depth in their own newsletter articles; however, a synopsis of major decisions is below. 

On the recommendation of the Publications Committee, the Board approved the appointment of Rich Ling (Nanyang Technological U), as the new editor of the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication (JCMC). Congratulations to Rich, and many thanks to Shyam Sundar (Pennsylvania State U), to whom we are grateful for his four years of service as editor of JCMC!  For more information on this transition, please see last month’s newsletter article.  
The Board of Directors created a Task Force on Visual Identity to begin the process of a visual identity refresh in advance of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the association’s identity as “ICA” (coming up in 2019), and a Task Force on Ethical Considerations to review and possibly revise ICA’s mission and ethics statement and to create a white paper on these topics (any proposed changes will be submitted for membership approval to become official). The Task Force on Division/Interest Group Coordination/Mentoring was converted to a standing committee to oversee the five-year review process for divisions and interest groups, serve as a clearinghouse for best practice information regarding group governance, and develop methods for cross-divisional collaboration.  
In addition to approving President-Elect Paula Gardner (McMaster U)’s proposed 2017 Nominating Committee, chaired by Gianpietro Mazzoleni (U Degli Studi de Milano), the Board of Directors also created an Urban Spotlight Standing Committee to handle the organization each year of the Urban Spotlight panel that Gary Gumpert (Urban Communication Foundation) (who will also serve on the committee) created and has long overseen, and resurrected the ICA Tellers’ Committee (comprised each year of the Executive Director, the President, and the Nominating Committee Chair) to officially oversee election procedures and certify the results of ICA elections.  
Due to some technical difficulties posed by the transition to ICA’s new website and new back-end member management system, the Board approved a small change to the way ICA handles division memberships. Put simply, ICA had long offered a discount whereby each member could receive US $3 off his/her “first” division or interest group, as a means of encouraging all members to join at least one. Unfortunately, in the new system, coding for this on the back-end was extremely complex (which division should be discounted if the member picks more than one, for instance, and the fact that many divisions cost more than US $3, were complicating factors). It was no longer possible to implement that particular discount. The simplest solution that benefited the greatest number of members, the Board agreed, was to simply reduce the cost of ICA membership overall, at all member types and across all Tiers, by US $3. That way, every member receives the “discount” automatically, without having to do any extra steps.  
The Board also approved two proposed bylaws changes, which will need to be ratified by the membership in the October election before becoming official. One is a change recommended by the Student and Early Career Advisory Committee (SECAC) to make appointing a SECAC representative an official position for every Division/Interest Group. The other change will institutionalize the role of Treasurer and convert the role of “Finance Chair” to that of “General Secretary.” ICA’s treasurer role has traditionally been filled concurrently by the Executive Director, which is not in line with association best practices. To work towards rectifying this, ICA appointed an interim, de facto treasurer—ICA Past President Peter Monge (U of Southern California)—a little over two years ago, to try out that function and iron out reporting relationships. It has worked so well that the Board of Directors (and the Executive Director!) thought it should become a permanent position. With the creation of the treasurer role as a separate and distinct person from the ED, the Finance Chair (a role played during a Past-Past-President’s last year on the Executive Committee) becomes somewhat redundant, as the Treasurer and the Executive Director work together on finances to report to the larger group. We therefore propose that the role of Finance Chair role will change to “General Secretary.”   
The Board also approved our conference location for Europe in 2022, an exciting choice I will make public as soon as the contract is signed. Stay tuned! In addition, the Board reviewed and approved many standard agenda items, including the minutes of previous meetings and reports from various committees and task forces.   
This was a highly productive meeting covering a wide range of issues of importance to all ICA members. The next Board of Directors meeting will be our Annual meeting, which occurs on the afternoon of Thursday, 25 May 2017, the day before the Annual conference begins. Action items/proposals to be considered by the Board of Directors in May must be submitted to Laura Sawyer, ICA Executive Director ( no later than 14 April 2017. Please note that action items/proposals typically arise from the work of Divisions, Interest Groups, task forces, and committees. If you have something to propose outside of those mechanisms, please contact me far before the deadline so that I may assist you in following the proper format.  

See you in San Diego!
Laura Sawyer
ICA Executive Director

Tags:  April 2017 

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Communicating With Power in a VUCA World

Posted By Peng Hwa Ang, ICA President, Nanyang Technological U, Monday, April 3, 2017
There is one acronym that describes our current situation—VUCA. It stands for volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. 
It is a word that came from the U.S. military, and that came into common usage after the end of the Cold War. Since then it has been used as the backdrop for managing and leading organizations. 
VUCA is an apt description for the turnaround in situations we took for granted. At the end of the Cold War, in 1990, the wall dividing East from West Germany came down in a display that went viral. More than 200 free trade agreements were drawn after 1990, according to the World Trade Organization. Airlines in 1990 carried slightly more than 1 billion passengers; in 2015, they carried 3.5 billion. 
Today, however, not even 30 years out, populist sentiments the world over are reversing these developments. 
As individuals, vagueness and uncertainty are not what we like. We prefer certainty: Witness our desire for tenure. 
But in our work, we can and do address the VUCA world.  
By that, I do not mean that I accept the unfair charge that we in the academy make things unnecessarily complex. To say that is to misunderstand what science and research are about. 
Good research does not make the world more complex and confusing; Good research makes the world more understandable. Take our models and theories. They shine a spotlight on some phenomena and “simplify” them so as to make the world a little less complex. Some of our models and theories have predictive possibilities and thereby reduce ambiguity. 
In law and policy around the Internet, a common prescription is that laws should have wide consultation before being promulgated. Such consultation gives legitimacy to the rules and also pre-empts issues that may have been overlooked by the drafters. The wider consultation is messy and do slow things down. But in the longer run they make for a more certain world. 
We should aim to reduce VUCA in our corner of the world. But we should not succumb to the temptation of aspiring to undue certainty. Just as we suspect something is wrong when our data throw up a correlation of 1.0, we should be suspicious of anyone who guarantees certainty. There are too many examples of those who have come to grief following those with apparent certainty. Like vitamins, just because having a little is good does not make having more better. 
So what does the research say about how to address this VUCA world? Each of the four words contained in that acronym requires a different approach—but the overall response has to be strategic, planning and looking ahead with foresight and insight. What ICA’s Executive Committee and Board are doing in this respect I will elaborate upon in the next column. 
As for what we as individuals can do, I think that our work, communicated powerfully, can make the world a little less volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. I do not think we are entirely powerless. I will expand upon this in the Presidential address at the conference. See you then!  

Tags:  April 2017 

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Free Speech and Propaganda: Past and Present

Posted By Paula Gardner, ICA President Elect, McMaster U, Monday, April 3, 2017

There is a lot of discussion lately regarding the value of free speech, particularly in response to public speakers presenting marginal political views that are met, in some cases, with counterprotests that drown out their speech. Recently at my own university, McMaster (Ontario, CANADA), protestors outshouted Jordan Peterson, a Toronto professor who was invited to discuss his refusal to use gender-neutral pronouns (such as ze and zir,) and who argues that “political correctness” (supporting these pronouns) has overtaken Canadian universities. At Middlebury College in Vermont (USA), protestors recently drowned out and then shut down (by pulling fire alarms) a talk by Charles Murray, one of the authors of the controversial 1996 text, Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, which argued the existence of ethnic differences in measures of intelligence.   
These are so-called “teachable moments” in our classrooms, but they are not necessarily easy moments. These confrontations highlight questions regarding the promise of free speech in liberal democracies and hopes for free speech elsewhere.  As well, they problematize moments when speech becomes intolerable for some groups.  They bring us into discussions of how and when we should engage in speech that some find violates their basic human rights to fair treatment and equal access. These conversations are of course crucial to societies dedicated to free exchange, where we work to distinguish fact from fiction and propaganda.    
One of our special additions to the ICA Conference in San Diego is Pictures Creating Image, an exhibition of print-based propaganda from around the globe, brought to us by Dr. Patrick Roessler (U of Erfurt).  The exhibition will feature elaborate magazine pieces from World War I and World War II that highlight the ideals of varied communist, fascist, and democratic societies, many produced in different languages for global distribution. The selected vintage copies have rarely been displayed elsewhere.  
This content is certain to incite important conversations regarding the lines that divide fact from propaganda, and how propaganda might function similarly in the digital age to these analogue samples. The work might also serve as a catalyst for rigorous debate among supporters of free speech and those who hold that free speech is not in fact free to all, and thus find certain kinds of speech made in public to be intolerable. We hope this exhibition encourages us to take up these difficult challenges in rigorous dialogue. 
The exhibition opens with a lecture in its own gallery space in Sapphire Ballroom C on Friday 26 May at 11am. The gallery will be open all day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for your viewing, and we hope that you will add it to your schedule. A print catalog of the exhibition will also be available onsite. We are so pleased to host this exhibition and we thank Dr. Roessler for his significant donation of time and energy to bring this to ICA.

Tags:  April 2017 

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Volunteer to be an #icasupport

Posted By John Paul Gutierrez, ICA Associate Executive Director, Monday, April 3, 2017
As mentioned in Laura Sawyer’s (page 1) article on the travel ban in the United States, ICA is taking action to help members that may need legal counsel or contacts at the port of entry in San Diego. However, many of our members traveling from outside the US will enter through many ports of entry throughout the country.

Using Twitter, Facebook, and e-mail, we are hoping to connect members traveling to the US with members at established ports of entry, like New York City, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Volunteers must be willing to:

Share personal contact info with the attendee
Be at the airport or on-call for the arriving traveler
Vouch for attendee’s entry into the US as a participant at the Annual Conference in San Diego.
Contact ICA staff on behalf of attendee in case of detainment.
Escort attendee to connecting flight if necessary

International Travelers need to be willing to:

Share personal contact info
Share emergency contact info
Provide travel itinerary

ICA suggests members use Twitter, with the hashtags #ica17 and #icasupport, to volunteer your services—or, post that you are looking for an escort upon arrival in the US on the ICA Facebook page. That page currently includes a post whose comment section members can use to do the same. If you’d prefer to do this privately, e-mail John Paul Gutierrez at that you are willing to volunteer or are looking for an escort; ICA will look for matches.

Tags:  April 2017  Coming to #ICA17 and connecting through San Franci 

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Amsterdam Communication Science Scholars in the News

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 3, 2017
The Dutch national elections, held on 15 March 2017, were closely monitored across the globe in the wake of the Brexit referendum and the U.S. presidential elections. National and international media sought communication scholars at the University of Amsterdam for their expertise. This frequently included graduate students, since in the weeks before the the elections many of them were completing PhD dissertations on Vote Advice Applications, the impact of media coverage of opinion polls, and the role of news coverage for floating voters.

In total, various news media outlets interviewed political communication faculty and PhD candidates at ASCoR 100+ times during the election campaign, on issues such as the impact of social media impact, fake news, political microtargeting, the impact of news on public opinion, media and populism, and the changing political landscape of the Netherlands in relation to the EU. Outlets included CNN; BBC; Al Jazeera; The New York Times; Heute; and virtually all national Dutch newspapers, as well as national news in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, Belgium, and Britain. (Many of the media performances are listed here.)

Claes de Vreese, director of ASCoR’s political communication group, concludes that communication scholars did a tremendous public service for the Dutch electorate and the wider world that was observing them. Their involvement also showed that our discipline has great relevance in understanding the dynamics of pivotal elections.

Tags:  April 2017 

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