The idea of the Digital Asia preconference series was borne in 2012 of collaborative thinking between two academic units: the Nam Center for Korean Studies, University of Michigan, U.S.A., and the WKW School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. One of this preconference’s main goals is to extend the ICA’s already wide international reach by bringing together COMM scholars whose research concerns Asia—whether it deals with a particular country or some comparative questions.
In 2014, Fudan University, China, and National Institute of Informatics, Japan, joined the University of Michigan and Nanyang Technological University as institutional sponsors of the ICA preconference series. Sponsoring institutions have committed to providing necessary funding for the preconference series, which helps establish the preconference as an important venue for scholarly exchange on media and public life in Asia. The preconference series will center on the general theme of Digital Asia, but each year there will be specific foci. In 2018, we are planning to focus on the interplay among new communication technologies, recent elections in Asia, public health, and citizen mobilization and other areas of civic engagement in Asia. In particular, we will welcome papers that fit the theme of the ICA main conference.
The inaugural Digital Asia ICA pre-conference (from 2012 to 2016, the pre-conference was titled “New Media and Citizenship in Asia) was held in Phoenix at the 62nd Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA). At the 2012 pre-conference, 34 scholars gathered to hear 14 paper presentations (30% acceptance rate) and to participate in a methodology workshop. The second in the ICA pre-conference series was held in London, UK, as part of the 63nd Annual Conference of the ICA. At the second annual preconference, 33 scholars attended to hear 18 paper presentations (47% acceptance rate). The 2014 pre-conference was held in Seattle at the 64th ICA Annual Conference, which featured 20 presentations with 41 scholars in attendance (43% acceptance rate). The 2015 pre-conference was held in San Juan at the 65th ICA Annual Conference, featuring 20 presentations with 30 scholars in attendance (50% acceptance rate). The 2016 preconference took place in Fukuoka, Japan, with 16 papers presented. The acceptance rate was 50%, and 26 people attended. Speakers at this conference series have represented countries including Canada, China, Denmark, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, the United States, and Vietnam. In 2017, the preconference was held in San Diego, USA, with 15 papers presented (acceptance rate: 31.3%; 31 people attended). Speakers at this conference series have represented countries including Canada, China, Denmark, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, the United States, and Vietnam.