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Preconference Calls for Paper

Posted By Jennifer Le, ICA Manager of Conference Services ​, Thursday, February 2, 2017

Read about all the pre and postconferences offered at ICA San Diego 2017. And see below for the preconferences who are still accepting call for papers.


May 25, 2017, San Diego Hilton Bayfront, San Diego, California (USA)

Co-sponsored by the Pacific ICTD Collaborative, the School of Communications (U of Hawaii at Manoa), and the Institute for Information Policy (Penn State U)



A growing number of ordinary objects are being redesigned to include digital sensors, computing power, and communication capabilities – and new objects, and processes, are becoming part of the Internet. This emerging Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem – networks of physical objects embedded with the ability to sense, and sometimes act upon, their environment, as well as related communication, applications, and data analysis, enables data to be collected from billions of everyday objects. The emerging datasphere made possible by these developments offers immense potential to serve the public good by fostering government transparency, energy conservation, participatory governance, and substantial advances in medical research and care. On the other hand, a growing body of research addresses emerging privacy and civil liberties concerns related to big data, including unjust discrimination and unequal access to data and the tools needed to make use of it.


For example, big data analytics may reveal patterns that were previously not detectable. Data about a variety of daily tasks that seem trivial is increasingly being federated and used to reveal associations or behaviors, and these analyses and the decisions made based on them pose potential harms to individuals or groups. Many transactions that seemed innocuous can now be used to discriminate – one’s movement throughout the day, items purchased at the store, television programs watched, “friends” added or looked at on social networks, or individuals communicated with or who were in close proximity to the subject at various times, can all be used to make judgements that affect an individual and his or her life chances. With the advent of artificial intelligence and machine learning, we are increasingly moving to a world where many decisions around us are shaped by these calculations rather than traditional human judgement. For example, sensitive personal information or behaviors (e.g., political or health‐related) may be used to discriminate when individuals seek housing, immigration eligibility, medical care, education, bank loans or other financial services, insurance, or employment. At the same time, individuals, groups, or regions may also be disadvantaged due to a lack of access to data (or related skills and tools) to make use of big data in ways that benefit their lives and communities.

This preconference session seeks to advance understanding of digital inequalities and discrimination related to big data and big data analytics. Papers between 5,000‐8,000 words and position papers between 1,000‐2,000 words are welcomed.


We welcome scholarly and applied research on, but not limited to, the following:

·         Social, economic, and ethical implications of big data analytics in a variety of contexts (e.g., access to housing, immigration, medical care, education, bank loans or other financial services, insurance, or employment).

·         Perspectives on big data from scholars from emerging economies or traditionally marginalized groups.

·         Predictive analytics, algorithmic discrimination, and artificial‐intelligence‐based decision making.

·         Digital inequalities, such as unequal access to big data sets, skills, or tools.

·         Emerging data literacies.

·         Use of big data to counter social and economic inequality (e.g., promoting civil rights and social justice).

·         Disclosure of algorithms, algorithmic transparency, and the public good.

·            Big data, security and encryption (potential for hacking, theft, third‐party abuse). Government and corporate surveillance.

·            Big data brokers and sale of personal data (is privacy a commodity or a right?)

·            International norms and standards for big data.

·            Policy/legal analysis related to big data and the preconference theme (e.g., standards of liability for injury and defective work products (algorithms/burden of proof), the challenge of Notice and Consent, liability for bad or false or slanted or insufficient data collection, government regimes for supervision of big data policies).

·            Consumer bill of rights for big data.

·            Big data and anonymity, re‐identification of anonymous data.

·            Big data vs. privacy as an essential condition for safeguarding free speech, intellectual property (i.e., how IP laws impact big data), or Constitutional rights of freedom of assembly and association.

Papers may include empirical research as well as policy analyses, new methodological approaches, or position papers addressing the preconference theme. Submissions by graduate students working in this area are welcomed.


The costs of the workshop are heavily subsidized by the participating Institutes, to keep fees for participants at a nominal level.



Abstracts due: 10 February 2017

Notifications to submitters: 27 February 2017

Full papers due: 12 May 2017


Abstracts of up to 500 words and a short bio of the author(s) should be emailed to by 10 February 2017. Please include “Digital Inequalities ICA 2017” in the subject line.


Full papers accepted for presentation at the preconference will, with the consent of the authors, be submitted to the Journal of Information Policy ( for consideration for a Special Issue curated by guest editors from the field. The papers will be blind peer‐ reviewed, to assure their academic value to both authors (for academic credit) and readers.


Media Justice: Race, Borders, Disability and Data
sponsored by the Philosophy, Theory and Critique and Communication and Technology

25 May 2017 at Sherman Heights Community Centre, San Diego

Deadline for proposals: 15 February, 2017 (200 words abstract)

Organizers: Prof Gerard Goggin (U of Sydney), Dr Sasha Costanza-Chock (MIT), Dr Tanja Dreher (U of Wollongong), Prof Ricardo Dominguez (UCSD), Maegan Ortiz (Institute of Popular Education of Southern California)

In the United States, there is an active media justice movement, yet the concept is rarely used in international academic, activist or advocacy work. Media justice organizing is based in the realization that social, racial, gender, disability, cultural, economic, and other forms of justice require changes in the distribution and control over media and communications technology (Gregg 2011; Cyril 2005). The Center for Media Justice explains: “we organize under-represented constituencies for media rights, access and representation to win social and economic justice” ( Media justice campaigns have focused on media representation, network neutrality, phone and broadband access, the communication rights of incarcerated people, policing and surveillance technology, community media, and public interest cable franchising agreements, among other areas. Media justice advocates emphasise the struggle against thebroader matrix of domination (Hill Collins, 1990) and links with social justice movements outside the media field. Given the location of ICA 2017 in San Diego, and the role of the media in the stunning victory for the Trump campaign’s open appeal to racism, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia, xenophobia, islamophobia, ableism, and anti-Blackness, this is the ideal time and place for a preconference on Media Justice.

Hackett describes media activism as ‘the movement of movements,’ and argues that all social justice movements have an interest in the transformation of media representations, production processes, platforms, and policies. Media are addressed as a site of intervention, rather than merely providing publicity for social justice movements. In contrast to liberal media reformers, media justice advocates call for significant structural and institutional changes beyond the tightly focused field of media policy (Hackett 2011). Media justice advocates further stress the importance of power redistribution in order to address past injustices:

Media justice is more than an oppositional framework or simple effort at political contrast. It is a multi-layered, emerging analysis that draws on civil and human rights, globalization struggles, corporate accountability and cultural studies. It starts with a structural analysis but it doesn’t stop there because media doesn’t stop there. Who owns it, what’s on it and how it makes us feel are all spheres we must address simultaneously. Where we go from here has to take into account where we’ve been and who has been advantages and who has been hurt. And it is this analysis that separates media justice from the fight for media democracy, because without a vision that seeks to repair the impact of the past and the privilege, we’ll have the same old oppression with better, high-speed resolution. (Makani Themba-Nixon, n.d., cited in Cyril, 2005: 97).

While some notion of media justice has always been implicit within media and cultural studies (e.g. the tradition of work on alternative, citizens,’ and community media), and grassroots organizers have been developing a praxis of media justice for more than a decade, relatively little has been published on media justice in either academic or popular venues.

This pre-conference considers the ways in which recent attention to race, borders, disability, and data might offer productive resources for research and practice aimed at media justice. The program brings together researchers, scholars, activists, and advocates in media justice organizing in order to advance shared development of theory and practice. We will discuss questions of justice in regards to media and communications practices, infrastructures, and representation, as well as the many ways in which media are vital to wider processes of social justice and transformation.

We welcome contributions on the following topics (for example):

* Media justice in the time of Trump, Brexit, and resurgent authoritarian power

* What have we learned from media justice organizing around race and borders?

* How does thinking from disability challenge and transform ideas of media justice, communication rights, voice, and listening?

* What are the key challenges for media justice in the age of ‘Big Data?’

* What are the implications of current developments in the communications infrastructure (especially the internet, including 'privatised' networks, the ever expanding surveillance apparatus, the likely end of net neutrality, etc) - for the above issues?

* How can we further develop a research and advocacy agenda around media justice?

In order to encourage productive dialogues between communication rights researchers and practitioners, the program will include invited speakers from a range of advocacy and activist organisations, and researchers working on media justice. The program will be facilitated to identify points of connection, possibilities for ongoing collaborations, and further development of engaged research and practice.

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 15 February 2017

To submit a proposal, please prepare a title, list of presenters, and 200 word abstract; submit your proposal via this form:

Please direct any questions to: Prof. Gerard Goggin (University of Sydney), Dr. Tanja Dreher (University of Wollongong), or Dr. Sasha Costanza-Chock (MIT)

The Sherman Heights Community Centre is approximately 1.5 miles from the San Diego Hilton. Participants will have the option of taking a local bus, a short taxi ride, or walking (approx. 30 mins); we will also organize transportation at attendee request.


The Challenges and Promises of Participatory Policy-Making

The challenges and promises of participatory policy-making: Communication practices, design considerations and socio-technical processes.


Hosted by: CalIT2, UC San Diego


Supported by

CITRIS and the Banatao Institute, UC Berkeley

Department of Communication, University of Illinois at Chicago


Co-sponsored by

ICA Communication and Technology Division

ICA Communication Law and Policy Division

Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet)


May 25, 2017 | San Diego, CA

Room 5302, Atkinson Hall, UC San Diego

Extended abstracts due: February 10, 2017

Final manuscripts due: May 1, 2017

Submit at:


Tied to the ICA ’17 conference theme of interventions, this pre-conference asks to unpack how the socio-technical design of online civic engagement in policy-making may “alter and disrupt” democratic processes, practices, and occurrences. As such it explicitly deals with “communication practices that engage with a political event, social phenomena, industrial or socio-cultural practice.”


The growth of online tools for civic engagement has ignited the imagination of researchers and practitioners of democratic participation. The internet harbored great promise for cheaper, broader and more inclusive public engagement in politics through self-organization, dissemination of information, and transparency. It has also harbored a promise to disrupt the ways government interacts with its citizens through open data, provision of services or engagement of citizens in policy deliberation and crowdsourcing. Interactive, informed, and meaningful civic engagement in government decision-making processes has been viewed as the pinnacle of participatory government efforts. In the US, on his second day in the office, President Obama addressed senior staff and cabinet secretaries, urging them to “find new ways of tapping the knowledge and experience of ordinary Americans.” In Iceland, the government used crowdsourcing in drafting a new constitution. Locally, municipalities experiment with combining both online and offline methods to engage members of the public in participatory budgeting exercises. In the area of internet governance, remote participation has been an important component in efforts to develop effective arrangements for multistakeholder deliberations and decision-making.


There is a variety of activities that fit under the broad umbrella of civic engagement or e-participation in policy-making. Those range from purely consultative engagements such as virtual town halls, through policy ideation and crowdsourcing, to binding decision making such as participatory budgeting, rulemaking or the development of internet standards. While significant focus has been placed (in both research and practice) on technological solutions involved in effective online civic engagement in participatory and direct democracy activities, less attention has been paid to the systemic understanding of how these technological solutions interact with the social, political, institutional, and educational arrangements of such engagements and their potential to disrupt and alter traditional democratic practices. This pre-conference focuses on unpacking the black box of online civic engagement for planning and policy-making activities from a systemic perspective.


We invite competitive submissions of empirical analysis, case studies, and conceptual work that review the continuum of offline and online participation arrangements through a socio-technical systems lens—an interaction between human participants, institutional arrangements, and affordances of online participatory tools. We envision this workshop as a boundary searching—or boundary expanding—exercise that will tackle three major aspects of research of online civic engagement: (a) conceptual and theoretical work for describing and analyzing the socio-technical nature of online participatory policy-making tools, (b) methodological approaches to studying those phenomena with an emphasis on interdisciplinarity and system design, and (c) cases and datasets that invite and enable systemic analysis of both tools and social, political, institutional, and educational arrangements as they traverse both online and offline environments. Our goal is to engage with scholarship on digital divide, online cooperation, informed participation, psychology, internet governance, and computer mediated communication, in order to inform research on civic engagement that goes beyond the analysis of solely technical aspects of platform design and data mining.


Theoretical areas and empirical contexts may include but are not limited to:

§  Conceptual and empirical work on participatory and crowdsourced policy-making.

§  Empirical case studies of the use of online ideation and participatory tools in rulemaking, participatory budgeting or internet governance deliberation.

§  Studies of controversies, successes, and failures in technology-driven participatory civic engagement.

§  Conceptual and empirical explorations of socio-technical considerations in the design of participatory platforms.

§  Analysis of interactions between offline and online processes and practices of policy-making.

§  Unpacking of tensions between expert and citizen knowledge and authority in policy deliberation.

§  Discussions of contextual factors that influence online civic engagement in policy-making (e.g., digital divide, literacy, motivation, political efficacy).


Submission details
At this time we invite authors to submit extended abstracts (800-1000 words) that describe the main thesis, research goals, and to the extent possible, the methodological background and findings of their paper. All extended abstracts must be uploaded through EasyChair at by 10 February 2017, with all identifying information removed. All contributions will be blindly peer-reviewed, and acceptance notifications will be sent out before the end of February 2015.

Authors of the accepted abstracts will be asked to submit a full original manuscript of approximately 4000 to 8000 words, which has not been published elsewhere, by 1 May 2016.

Pre-conference logistics
The preconference will take place on Thursday, 25 May 2017 in Room 5302, Atkinson Hall, UC San Diego. Presenters are expected to register for the pre-conference, but registration is open to both presenters and non-presenters. At the moment, the registration fees stand at 25 USD.


§  Extended abstracts due by February 10 (via EasyChair)

§  Notifications sent by Mar. 10

§  Full paper drafts due by May 1


Organizing Committee

§  Brandie Nonnecke, PhD, CITRIS and the Banatao Institute, UC Berkeley

§  Dmitry Epstein, PhD, U of Illinois at Chicago

§  Tanja Aitamurto, PhD, Stanford U


Tags:  January-February 2017 

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