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Preconference Calls for Papers

Posted By Administration, Monday, November 5, 2018





Crossing Boundaries in Visual Communication Research

ICA Young Scholars Preconference

24 May 2019

Visuals are an integral part of everyday interactions, political communication and news coverage. They can evoke strong emotions, frame information or even become powerful icons. Visual communication practices, visual representations and visual rhetorics are thus central components for understanding how boundaries in politics, culture and society are defined, transgressed or shifted.

In recent years, for example the role of visuals for (re)defining boundaries of solidarity (Mortensen & Trenz, 2016) or of in- and outgroups in political protests or far-right transnational publics has been explored (Doerr, Mattoni, & Teune, 2013; Doerr, 2017). Visuals also create new challenges and opportunities to transgress boundaries of what can and what should be expressed. They can be used to articulate critique and to fool and bypass censorship (Mina, 2014). But the vagueness and polysemy of visuals can also be used as a defense strategy political actors employ against reproaches of having transgressed boundaries of acceptable political campaign communication (Brantner & Lobinger, 2014). Allan and Peters (2015) addressed boundaries from a different point of view; they discussed questions of visual truth in citizen reportage and interstices of professional-amateur boundaries.

Given the ubiquity of visuals and visual practices in contemporary societies it is timely to bring together these approaches and to further discuss how interpersonal and social, cultural, national, linguistic, or moral boundaries are established, eliminated, crossed or transgressed with visual communication. This involves various questions such as:

  • boundary crossings with/through visual practices: What do different actors do with visuals (be it photographs, GIFs, memes or video)? What kind of symbolical and material uses of visual media are employed for/in boundary crossings?

  • visual representations: Which visual representations of social, cultural, political boundary crossings do we encounter in different media environments? How can we characterize these visuals? How are they produced and how are they perceived by which audiences?

  • historical perspectives: What can we learn from historical perspectives and the role of visual communication in boundary crossings in the past?

  • the role of visuals in re-defining the boundaries between fact and misinformation, in politics of knowledge: What can visual communication research contribute to the current debates about “alternative facts”, misinformation and disinformation?

Visual communication studies is a field of research interest that by tradition has always crossed the boundaries of research fields and disciplines. Hence, thinking about aspects of boundaries and boundary crossings in the field also relates to questions of

  • crossing methodological, theoretical and conceptual boundaries:  How can visual communication research inform, provide specific expertise and be informed, both theoretically and methodologically, by other disciplines and fields? Where are potentials, where are possible pitfalls for visual communication research?

  • ethical boundaries: Which ethical challenges do occur with new techniques of data collection, analysis, storage and publication? How do we have to (re)define boundaries of good ethical research practice?

Possible topics of submissions can include but are of course not limited to the listed research topics and desiderata.

The preconference brings together young researchers (current Ph.D. students and early career postdoctoral researchers) and senior scholars. It is open to participants from all different sub-fields in media and communication studies, ICA divisions and interest groups who focus on mediated images and visual practices in their completed or ongoing research projects. It aims to be an opportunity especially for young scholars to discuss their work and the role of visuals for defining/crossing boundaries in society and to receive substantial feedback by peers and senior experts. Moreover, it is meant to be a forum to jointly discuss current challenges and future directions regarding methodological, theoretical, and ethical boundary crossings in the interdisciplinary field of visual communication research. In this regard, the preconference also seeks to stimulate exchange on ways of overcoming divisional and disciplinary boundaries and to further provide “visual expertise” to other disciplines, fields and also actors beyond academia.


The preconference will consist of several formats: an opening keynote, a presentation session, workshop groups and a closing plenary.

First, in the opening keynote, Luc Pauwels will address aspects and challenges of crossing boundaries in visual communication research. Second, in a presentation session that combines brief oral and poster presentations, young scholars will present their research projects. Individually assigned senior experts and peer respondents will then give in-depth feedback on the presentations and projects. Moreover, participants will have the possibility to network and to discuss challenges and best-practice options. Third, young scholars and senior experts split into smaller workshop groups. In these parallel sessions, young scholars and senior scholars with thematically and/or methodologically related research projects will be grouped together. The small groups will then further discuss research projects as well as current challenges and future directions for visual communication research. Finally, in a closing plenary with all participants, key insights and findings of the workshops will be summarized. Moreover, we will discuss ideas and plans for future networking, collaboration and research events.


We invite young scholars (current Ph.D. students and early career postdoctoral researchers) from all ICA divisions and interest groups to submit extended abstracts on both completed or ongoing projects which focus on mediated images and visual practices. We welcome submissions on all aspects of the visual communication process and research methods.

Extended abstracts should be limited to a maximum of 1,000 words (double-spaced; illustrations, tables and references excluded). Please submit your abstract as pdf-file and remove all identifying information from the document. A separate title page indicating the name(s) of the author(s), the affiliation(s) of the author(s), the title of the project, and the status of the project (e.g. completed project, work in progress) must be included.

Send your submissions no later than 1 February 2019 via e-mail to rebecca.venema@usi.ch. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out in the 3rd week of February 2019.

Participants will be selected based on the quality of their extended abstracts. In the review process, we will also ensure that a manageable range of topics is included, in order to enable the creation of working groups of participants with thematically and/or methodologically related research projects.
In the run-up of the conference participants will be matched as peer respondents; participants will thus be asked to read a colleague´s extended abstract and prepare feedback.

We are looking forward to your submission!

Organizers & Contact

Please do not hesitate to contact us in case you have any questions regarding the preconference.

primary contact:

Rebecca Venema, Università della Svizzera italiana, Lugano, Switzerland, rebecca.venema@usi.ch

Contact for the division:

Catherine Preston, U of Kansas, cpreston@ku.edu

Jelle Mast, Free University of Brussels, jelle.mast@vub.be

Organization & Fee

The preconference will be held on 24 May 2019 from 9 am to 5 pm, with a coffee break and a lunch snack.
There will be a fee for preconference participants to cover room and equipment rental, and catering costs.

Please visit the accompanying website https://www.visualcommunicationstudies.net for any updates and further information on the preconference. Information regarding the conference venue will be published on the website and send out via e-mail.




CFPs – ICA Preconference 2019

North Korea and Communication – ICA Washington DC Preconference CFPs


North Korea and Communication

ICA Pre-Conference at Hilton Washington DC

May 24, 2019

North Korea has been an under-explored area in communication research. Limitations on movement and communication, as well as physical isolation of the country in the global arena, has made it difficult for scholars to produce meaningful research about North Korea. In recent years, however, there have been major developments in the communication infrastructure, with the introduction of cellular phones to the general public, resulting in over 70% of Pyongyang citizens having access. Foreign correspondents from the US, Europe and South Korea have been allowed to set up permanent foreign bureaus. In 2018, the North Korean leader has engaged in fast-paced diplomacy with the US, South Korea and China. Taken together, these changes are leading to a new era in communication about, within and around North Korea.

Considering the historical and geopolitical significance of such developments, it is therefore crucial for scholars to pursue theoretically and methodologically sound research on North Korea. This one-day ICA preconference, supported by the Political Communication and Journalism Studies divisions, aims to bring together leading and emerging scholars around the world to register this shift and examine causes, components and civic consequences of a uniquely isolated – but rapidly changing – country.

The pre-conference also aims to bring scholars together with practitioners including diplomats, journalists, policy makers and those from international organizations, NGOs, and business sectors for constructive dialogue. We encourage submissions from scholars from other disciplines such as political science, international relations, sociology and East Asian studies. Discussions are currently underway to publish presented works in a journal or edited volume.

While we are open-ended about potential topics, we would welcome research in the following areas:

• Works conceptualizing and theorizing changes in the media in and about North Korea in both historical and contemporary contexts

• Works exploring the roles of communication and rhetoric, looking factors related to media (new or traditional), messages (symbolism, keywords), context, or speakers or audiences in a changing North Korea

• Works analyzing emerging norms, practices and routines with regards to the production and consumption of new and traditional media, as well as formal/underground media

• Works looking into Hallyu and popular culture in North Korea

• Works related to intercultural communication and migration

• Works seeking to understand changes in journalism impacting diverse communities — regional, class, gender — within North Korea and its neighbors

Submission Process

We invite scholars to submit abstracts (maximum 500 words) of theoretical and empirical research papers.

The submission should be emailed to the pre-conference organizers at nkpreconference@gmail.com no later than January 30, 2018.

Authors will be informed of acceptance/rejection decisions no later than February 15, 2019.

Accepted abstracts will be posted to the pre-conference website in advance of the event.


All speakers and attendees must register and pay the pre-conference fee. Participation fee (including coffee break and lunch buffet) is $50 for presenters and non-presenters.

To register for this pre-conference, participants need to go to www.icahdq.org and register online as part of their main ICA conference registration, or as a stand-alone registration.


Seungahn Nah (University of Oregon), Soomin Seo (Temple University), Yong-Chan Kim (Yonsei University), Dal Yong Jin (Simon Fraser University). The pre-conference is co-sponsored by the Political Communication and Journalism divisions of the International Communication Association.




ICA Preconference: New Conceptualizations and Research to Inform Message Testing: Perceived Message Effectiveness and Its Alternatives

WHEN:           9 AM to 5 PM; May 24, 2019

WHERE:         Washington Hilton, Washington, D.C.


DESCRIPTION:   Invited and submitted  papers on the topic of  message testing aimed at improving  its conceptualization and empirical underpinnings  while moving forward to next generation measures and procedures.


OBJECTIVE:  Message testing is central to message evaluation and use whether for theory testing or campaign design. Perceived message effectiveness is one type of message  testing measure concerned with target audience perceptions of the impact of messages. Its use has grown rapidly in the field, and yet the existing literature fails to provide clear guidance on best practices for conceptualization and measurement. A recent article in the Journal of Communication (2018, Volume 68(1)) by Dan O’Keefe on the weaknesses of perceived message effectiveness spurred considerable dialogue in the message testing and persuasion sub-disciplines.  A panel at the University of Kentucky health communication conference (April 2018) produced strong audience turnout and involvement eventuating in a series of commentaries in JOC (2018, Volume 68(5), https://doi.org/10.1093/joc/jqy048.)  This pre-conference will allow increased input from interested audiences to describe and evaluate the  conceptual and empirical strengths and weaknesses of perceived message effectiveness, related measures and approaches, and alternatives. The preconference is a one day meeting (with lunch on your own). Participation is open to everyone with an interest in the topic. No single point of view, procedure, scaling method, or methodology will be privileged.


INVITED  PRESENTATIONS: The morning session will consist primarily of invited  papers -- conceptual and empirical -- from researchers who have been deeply involved in message testing. The  pre-conference organizers -- Joseph Cappella (University of Pennsylvania) and Seth Noar (University of North Carolina) – have secured  invited presentations from Daniel O’Keefe (Northwestern), Marco Yzer (University of Minnesota), Lyudmila (Lucy) Popova (Georgia State  University), James Dillard (Penn State University), Xiaoquan Zhao (George Mason), and Melanie Wakefield (Cancer Council of Victoria).


SUBMITTED  PRESENTATIONS:    The organizers are soliciting additional  presentations for the afternoon session. These will consist of papers selected for presentation from contributors as long as the paper focuses on message testing.  Empirical and conceptual approaches are welcome. Innovation, practicality, and rigor will guide the selection of papers submitted for consideration.


HOW TO SUBMIT:  Send an extended abstract of your proposed presentation. The body of the abstract is limited to 600 words (reference list, tables, and figures do NOT count against this total). Tables and figures are strongly encouraged (maximum of one each) especially for empirical work. Send your abstract no later than December 14, 2018 to joseph.cappella@asc.upenn.edu  and noar@unc.edu. Those accepted will be notified on or about January 16, 2019 which is the same date as ICA acceptances.


ATTEND WITHOUT SUBMITTING:  The pre-conference is open to everyone with an interest in the topic. There is a $50 registration fee for the pre-conference but a limited number of “scholarships” for students (that is, waivers of  the fee) are available. Register to attend through the ICA website. Graduate students may apply for a registration waiver through joseph.cappella@asc.upenn.edu and noar@unc.edu.

The pre-conference will employ a lecture-discussion style that is open, frank, stimulating, and civil.




Post-Conference at the 2019 ICA, Washington DC

Co-sponsored by the ICA Political Communication Division & Department of Communication Science of the University of Vienna & Department of Political Science of the University of Amsterdam & Research Group on Political Communication of the University of Vienna & the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research through Daphne van der Pas’ Veni-grant

Politics, Gender and Communication: Theoretical Insights and Empirical Evidence

Loes Aaldering (University of Vienna)

Daphne van der Pas (University of Amsterdam)

Women are almost universally underrepresented in politics. Although the norm of gender equality has been widely supported in Western societies for decades, this has not translated into gender-equal politics: while there has been a wide range of female governors, legislators, (prime) ministers and party leaders, a large majority of the higher offices and governing positions are still filled by men. This post-conference focusses on two possible explanations of the underrepresentation of women in political life:

1) The campaign strategies of candidates. As politicians have to deal with different stereotypes that exist in the electorate, male and female politicians are likely to highlight different issues, character traits, aspects of their background and ambitions for the future in their communication to the public. This post-conference invites papers that study gender differences in political campaign strategies and the controlled communication of the candidate (for instance on social media), and/or the differences in the impact of these political messages for male and female politicians on voters.

2) Coverage of politicians by the media. Not only the behavior of politicians is relevant in current-day political reality: Politicians operate in a strongly mediatized political environment where the media are citizens’ primary source of political information. Thus, a systematic gender bias in the media coverage of politicians is likely to contribute to the underrepresentation of women in politics. This post-conference welcomes papers that study the differences in the portrayal of males and females in political life in the media or online, whether it be the quantity of the media attention or the content of the coverage.

The goal of this post-conference is to discuss relevant and interesting research on the intersection of gender, politics and communication, that helps us understand gender differences in media coverage and candidate communication in the political world. We welcome both theoretical and empirical papers and we aspire to bring together qualitative and quantitative researchers, who use experimental designs, interviews, content analysis, survey studies or other relevant methods. Papers that explicitly aim to strengthen our understanding of the causality involved gender differences or communication effects are encouraged. In addition, we are also particularly interested in papers that employ cutting edge research methods to study political communication in an automated fashion. We believe this post-conference is especially relevant for researchers in the Political Communication Division, and we plan to publish selected contributions in a special issue of a ranked journal.

How to apply:

Please submit an extended abstract of a maximum of five pages (including tables, figures and references) to Loes Aaldering (loes.aaldering@univie.ac.at) by January 23, 2019. The extended abstract should include the research question, the theoretical framework, the methodology and the (preliminary) results in case of empirical work. All applicants will be notified by February 16, 2019 the latest whether their contribution is accepted. The post-conference is a full-day conference (9 am to 6 pm), held at the ICA conference hotel in Washington DC on Wednesday May 29, 2019. The cost will be $35 and lunch is included.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Loes Aaldering (loes.aaldering@univie.ac.at) or Daphne van der Pas (d.j.vanderpas@uva.nl).






May 24, 2019


Taming and Nurturing the Wild Child:

Government and Corporate Policies for Social Media


Call for Papers



The impact social media have had on social networking, political information, advertising and corporate communications make it hard to imagine that platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp are less than a decade and a half old. In this short time frame, they have proven their potential time and again both for good and bad: while catalyzing pro-democracy movements worldwide, and promoting activism against sexual harassment, they have also become pre-eminent forums for the dissemination of misinformation and “fake news,” and for racist, xenophobic and misogynistic propaganda. While connecting people through building (and buttressing) social, business and political networks, they have also raised concerns regarding privacy and misuse of personal information.


Due to this explosive growth and the ensuing concerns, societies are struggling to fashion policy responses that will preserve social media’s vibrancy as spaces for unencumbered speech, while minimizing the potential harms from privacy violations, hate speech and the diffusion of misinformation into political discourse. Indeed, in some countries governments and civil society organizations have called for steps to address these abuses, yet in others, social media policy has become a pretext for governments to curb freedom of expression and muzzle critical voices.


We invite papers that examine policy responses to these developments. How can policy be developed, while protecting societal values such as freedom of speech and information? Policy is defined broadly, including government policies, regulations and laws and the policies of corporations including algorithmic screening of content and emergent norms (in the spirit of North/Williamson, who define governance as formal and non-formal rules of the game). We are also interested in analyses that address how the business model of social media (e.g., for profit, not-for-profit) interacts with alternative policy approaches. We particularly encourage international comparisons, including contrasting approaches to social media policy adopted by national governments. For example, what impact do the EU’s GDPR and the Chinese 2016 Cybersecurity Law, both which came into effect in 2018, have on social media? 


Potential papers may address the impact of these policies on issues including but not limited to freedom of speech, democratic discourse, political activism, network security, national security and surveillance, commercial speech, privacy protections and transborder data flows.

This preconference workshop is jointly organized by the Institute for Information Policy (IIP) at Penn State University and the James H. and Mary B. Quello Center at Michigan State University. Papers presented in the workshop will be considered for publication in the IIP’s Journal of Information Policy. The Journal is an open access, peer-reviewed, scholarly journal, published by Penn State University Press and archived on JSTOR.

Abstracts of up to 500 words and a short bio of the author(s) should be submitted to pennstateiip@psu.edu by 15 December, 2018. Please write IIP_SOCIALMEDIAPOLICY: YOUR NAME in the subject line. Presenters will be notified by 12 January, 2019 regarding acceptance. Accepted papers will need to be submitted by 1 May, 2019.



CFP: #ICA19 postconference - Essential Scholarship on Technology and

Marginalization: A Discussion

Scholars are invited to submit a position abstract for an #ica19 postconference discussion on technology and marginalization, to be

held 28 May in the morning. Please register by the 1 Feb deadline. Through discussion of theorizing around marginality and technology/social media, the goal of this postconference is to build a

reading list and create networking opportunities for scholars working on similar topics.

Details here:


We thank SAGE Publishers for their sponsorship.



Building Bridges Between Scholarship and Advocacy for Digital Media Policy

Call for policy interventions

Digital communication has produced extraordinary changes around the globe. Whether for our personal communication, the operation of media industries, or countless daily tasks, internet access and the rules by which companies providing internet service and those that that rely on the internet to provide services, structure daily activities for billions of people. This situation has also led to a number of new policy issues and exacerbated old ones. New issues like network neutrality and global internet governance compete for regulatory and popular attention with enduring issues such as ownership concentration and universal service. Lastly, this scenario has introduced new policy actors and stakeholders into the regulatory process and allowed scholars, policymakers, and activists to contemplate multistakeholder governance in ways not possible in an era of analog regulation.

These developments, and many others, have often times stymied national regulators and hampered global policy conversations. Multistakeholderism has been difficult to actualize in communication policy. Regulators have struggled with how to apply regulations made for broadcasting to over the top services like Netflix. Countries around the world have failed to achieve universal broadband; and many of these same countries are grappling with how to apply existing competition policies to the digital behemoths of Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple.  

Taking note of the many outstanding policy issues - both new and old - that come to the fore in the digital age, and the importance of multistakeholderism in digital communication policy making, this preconference focuses on some of the major policy issues surrounding internet communication and brings together experts on these topics from the ranks of both scholars and policy activists.

Rather than the traditional working paper, this open call invites applicants to submit brief policy proposals oriented around particular themes. Accepted proposals will be circulated to attendees in advance of the postconference so that the day can focus on engaged discussion and provide ample opportunity for attendees who are not presenting briefs to also participate in the day’s events.

We invite 3-5 page policy proposals related to one of these three topics

  1. Broadband access/universal service

  2. Antitrust/competition policy for media industries

  3. Audiovisual/broadcast policy in an age of internet-distributed video

Policy proposals should be no more than 5 double spaced pages (approximately 1000-1500 words) and may be directed towards any local, national, regional or transnational jurisdiction. They should explain the policy issue at stake, offer a concrete intervention, and justify this intervention vis-à-vis relevant legislation, regulation, and markets. Please also indicate to which of the three topics above, your proposal is best suited.

Panels will be comprised of selected proposals, an invited established scholar in the field, and an invited member of the advocacy community for a day of discussion and planning. Those selected will be asked to present their policy intervention in a 5 minute talk and expect responses from the invited scholars, advocacy member, and the audience.

Deadline for proposal submissions: 17:00 EST, 18 January 2019.

Submissions should be sent via email to cfa2z@virginia.edu

Please submit your proposal as a PDF-format labeled “Last Name Digital Policy Postcon 2019”

Notifications of acceptance will be sent in early February 2019.

The event will be held at American University on Wednesday, May 29 from 9am to 4:45pm.

A registration fee to cover coffee, lunch, and room fees will be required of presenters and non-presenters.

Confirmed Participants (more to be added)

Eleonora Mazzoli, London School of Economics, formerly European Broadcasting Union

Sally Broughton-Micova, University of East Anglia

Sharon Strover, University of Texas at Austin

Representative from Free Press

ICA Division Endorsers:

Communication Law and Policy

Media Industry Studies

Activism, Communication and Social Justice

Communication and Technology

For questions please contact one of the post-conference organizers:

Christopher Ali, University of Virginia, cfa2z@virginia.edu

Amanda Lotz, Queensland University of Technology, amanda.lotz@qut.edu.au

Philip Napoli, Duke University, philip.napoli@duke.edu




#CommunicationSoWhite: Discipline, Scholarship, and the Media


Friday, May 24, 2019

Washington D.C., USA



As part of an ongoing movement to decenter white masculinity as the normative core of scholarly inquiry, the recent article, “#CommunicationSoWhite” by Chakravartty et al. (2018) in the Journal of Communication examined racial disparities within citational practices to make a broader intervention on ways current Communication scholarship reproduces institutional racism and sexism. The underrepresentation of scholars of color within the field in regards to citations, editorial positions, and publications and ongoing exclusion of nonwhite, feminist, queer, post-colonial, and Indigenous voices is a persistent and systemic problem in the production of disciplinary knowledge. ICA President Paula Gardner echoed similar sentiments in her 2018 presidential address, calling for steps for inclusion and diversity within the International Communication Association as well as the larger field.

This pre-conference aims to highlight, consider, and intervene in these issues. We seek submissions that address areas such as:

  • The marginalization of communication scholarship in which race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and other axes of exclusion are central;

  • Communication scholarship in the context of the global rise of white supremacy and right-wing ethno-nationalism movements;

  • Communication scholarship from postcolonial and decolonial perspectives;

  • Who tends to be hired and who serves as leaders/gatekeepers in the field;

  • The politics of citation and publication;

  • How #CommunicationSoWhite can function as an intervention within communication studies organizations, departments, and scholarship. 

We anticipate many submissions will center on the U.S. and other Western contexts; we also hope the pre-conference will provide a discussion that spans both global North and South, and we encourage participation by submitters from outside North America and the U.K.

Please submit either an EXTENDED ABSTRACT or a PANEL PROPOSAL.  

Extended abstracts should be 1,500-3,000 words, including notes and references.  We encourage different types of submissions including position papers, case studies, and more conventional research papers that tackle any issue relating to the preconference themes.

Panel proposals should include a minimum of four participants.  We will accept panels following a traditional format where presenters each speak for 10-15 minutes before a Q-and-A period.  We also encourage panel proposals that do not follow such a format; e.g. consider high-density panels, which have six or more participants who each speak for 6 minutes or less, or panels where panelists circulate their papers to each other ahead of time to generate a more engaged discussion during the presentation session.  Provide a 400-word rationale describing the panel overall, a 200-word abstract for each participant’s contribution, and a list of participants’ names, affiliations, and contact information.  

Travel grants: Depending on funding availability, we may have the ability to offer one or two modest travel grants (maximum $400).  If you are a graduate student and/or a scholar resident in a non-Tier A country (see https://www.icahdq.org/page/tiers for a list), please note this status in your submission and indicate that you would like to be considered for a travel grant.

Exclusions: Submissions should not consist primarily of previously published or in-press scholarship.  

Deadline: Please submit by Thursday, February 7, 2019, 16:00 UTC, by emailing BOTH Eve Ng at nge@ohio.edu and Khadijah Costley White at klw147@comminfo.rutgers.edu

If you have questions, please contact both of the following pre-conference organizers:

Eve Ng: nge@ohio.edu

Khadijah Costley White: klw147@comminfo.rutgers.edu




The pre-conference will take place on Friday, May 24, 2019, in Washington D.C., USA, at a venue close to the ICA conference hotel.  Exact location will be announced when it is finalized. The pre-conference will end in time for participants to attend the opening plenary in the evening at the Washington Hilton.



Eve Ng, Ohio University, USA

Khadijah Costley White, Rutgers University, USA

Alfred L. Martin, Jr., University of Iowa, USA

Anamik Saha, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK


Organizing Groups

Ethnicity and Race in Communication division

LGBTQ Studies interest group



Activism, Communication and Social Justice interest group

Feminist Scholarship division

Global Communication and Social Change division

Mass Communication division

Popular Communication division




Boundary conditions in mobile communication:
16th annual ICA Mobile Pre-conference 2019
Deadline for workshop proposals: Friday, December 31, 2018 
Date & Time of the pre-conference: May 23, 2019 from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Tentative venue: The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum.
The theme of borders (national, political, social, personal) and transiting them, has become a central issue in society. Borders as the theme of his year’s ICA conference is a timely issue. The personal nature of mobile communication means that this form of mediation is increasingly central to these transitions. Migrants use mobile phones to orient themselves in transit and after they settle in new countries. Political movements use mobile communication to, in some cases break down and in other cases to develop borders. Mobile communication allows us to reach across social boundaries. Thus, there is an obvious connection between borders and our use of mobile communication to deal with them.  
At the 16th annual ICA Mobile pre-conference, we invite younger scholars (PhDs, postdocs and junior faculty), scholars from the Global South, along with their more established colleagues to consider these issues at the 16th annual Mobile Communication Pre-Conference. 
The pre-conference will be organized around several interactive Blue-Sky workshop sessions where we invite scholars to present ideas that are at various levels of gestation. Research ideas that are just being formed, ideas for mobile pedagogy, and notions of mobile applications used by practitioners in the field are welcome. This forum is designed to cultivate a supportive and integrated community of thinkers.  
Workshop themes can focus on any of the dimensions of mobile communication ranging from mobiles and social cohesion, mobile theory/methods, mobile communication and the news, mobile learning, entertainment, gaming and/or photography. They can look into mobile communication in organizations, mobile communication and development, mobile communication for social good and mobile communication as a means for threats to privacy, cyberbullying and/or robotification. Workshops could look into mobile romance, parenting mobiles, locative gaming, mHealth, and the relationships of mobile technologies to the elderly or children. They could focus on mobile communication in the Global South, mobile communication and migration, mobile journalism, etc. In short, we are open to a wide variety of themes associated with the use of mobile communication and mobile media in society. 
Workshop proposals are particularly welcomed from mobile-oriented scholars in the early stages of their careers. We also welcome established scholars to partner with younger colleagues in the development of proposals. Each workshop will be allocated a time slot of approximately 90 minutes. We are particularly interested to see proposals that include “hands-on” or interactive types of interaction. 
The workshop sessions should focus on the discussion of new ideas, theory and empirical results, but can also be more practical or industry oriented. A workshop will typically be organized around a consortium of four or five main participants who present and discuss their work but will also engage the audience. Pre-conference attendees can attend multiple workshops.
Submissions should include a workshop summary of 500-800 words (excluding title and references). This summary should describe:
1. the topic and its relation to the pre-conference theme,
2. the goal of the workshop
3. the scheduled activity, detailing how participants and audience members will be involved, and
4. the participants and their relationship/contribution to the workshop.
Proposals can be submitted via email tomobilepreconf@gmail.com. The workshop summaries will be published online and in the printed program. Submissions will be reviewed by a committee of scholars. Proposals will be selected based on criteria of relevance, originality, composition of the group, theoretical/practical contribution, the degree of interactivity with the audience, clarity of presentation, as well as fit with the conference theme. The review will be non-blind due to the interactive workshop nature. Notifications of acceptance will be emailed to contributors in January 2019. 





Beyond Germany: German Media Theory in a Global Context

Goethe-Institut, Washington, DC 23 May 2019, 10am – 6pm Submission deadline: January 31, 2019


ICA division of Intercultural Communication ICA division of Philosophy, Theory and Critique


Wolfgang Suetzl, School of Media Arts & Studies, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio Andreas Ströhl, Goethe-Institut, Washington, D.C. Bernhard Debatin, E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio

Thematic background

 ‘German media theory’ has come to signify a specific way of understanding and theorizing the media that draws on a rich heritage of continental literary studies and philosophy. With its roots extending back to writers such as Bertolt Brecht and Walter Benjamin, it has also been defined as the ‘other’ of the classical mass communication approach common in Anglophone scholarship.

The recent rapid growth of Medienwissenschaft in German-speaking Europe has been accompanied by recurring enquiries regarding its specific methodological and philosophical identity, including the question, “what’s German about German media theory?” asked by philosopher Claus Pias in a 2015 essay. Is there a “German Sonderweg,” others asked, a way of studying the media that is particular to German-speaking theorists?

Some of these debates took place in a dialogue with North American scholars of mediated communication, continuing an exchange that may have originated in Horkheimer and Adorno’s criticism of the empirical methods applied to mass communication research. German media theory still stands for a way of pursuing an approach to media studies that continues to engage with literary studies and philosophy, and considers itself distinct from mass communication studies.

But the boundaries around any ‘German-ness’ of such media theories are no longer a simple matter of language or nationality. Many works of theorists writing in German and/or working in Germany are translated into many languages, including Chinese, Portuguese, Korean, English, Japanese, French, Russian, etc. These writings have become easily accessible to scholars beyond the established transatlantic trading route of ideas. Other German-language theorists, for instance Vilém Flusser in the 1980s and currently Byung-Chul Han, have given translational and hybrid meanings to the adjective ‘German.’

Against this background, this conference invites international communication scholars to offer perspectives on the ways in which German-language media theories have communicated beyond the boundaries of the German-speaking part of the world.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to

• Readings, adoptions, translations of German media theory outside of the German- speaking Europe

• ‘German-ness’ of German media theory in translational context

• German media theory in the context of cultural studies and mass communication theory

• Philosophical, cross-cultural and postcolonial readings of German media theory

• Positions of German media theory with regard to current issues in social media, artificial intelligence, etc., and to ethics, policy-making, and the public sphere

• German media theory in diaspora studies and non-German influences on German media theory

• Media ecology, media archeology, and new materialism in German media theory

• German Media theory with regard to media analytics, big data, and privacy

We invite all scholars with an interest in these and related questions to submit their contributions for this one-day pre-conference hosted by the Goethe-Institut, Washington, DC.

Submission process

Please send your submissions and enquiries to suetzl@ohio.edu no later than January 31, 2019. Notifications of acceptance will be emailed by February 15, 2019.

Submission formats

• extended paper abstracts (1000 words)

• panel proposals (including panelists and rationale, 500 words)

• round table proposals (including participants and rationale, 500 words)

• fishbowl proposals (including starting participants and rationale, 500 words)

Full papers are also welcome, but are not required for extended abstract submissions.

Registration Participation is free, and open to everyone with in interest in the conference theme. Please register via the ICA preconferences website.

Venue Goethe-Institut, 990 K St NW (entrance 20th street), Washington, DC 20006


ICA 2019 Preconference

Journalism Studies Graduate Student Colloquium

Washington, DC

24 May 2019, 9am – 4pm

Call for Papers

The Journalism Studies Graduate Student Colloquium brings together PhD candidates working in journalism studies with experienced scholars in the field. The Colloquium is part of the Journalism Studies Division’s commitment to academic mentorship and will be held as a preconference in conjunction with the ICA 2019 Annual Conference in Washington D.C., USA. Its goal is to contribute actively to the professional development of young scholars by giving them an opportunity to present and discuss their research in a constructive and international atmosphere. Participating graduate students will receive project-specific feedback from recognized experts in the field, as well as general career development advice. The Colloquium will thus provide the opportunity to meet experts as well as fellow PhD candidates from different backgrounds working on related topics.

The Colloquium will be based on thesis-related work submitted by the participant PhD candidates. Each participating graduate student will have an experienced scholar responding to her or his paper. In addition, the Colloquium will feature a discussion with senior scholars about one of the topics related to publishing in international journals and career strategies, grant applications and career development.

The Colloquium is open to PhD candidates working on topics concerned with theory, research, and professional education in journalism. The organizers encourage the submission of scholarly work that advances our understanding of how journalism works within individual regions or comparatively across regions. Subject areas include, but are not limited to, the functions of journalism in society, the structural and cultural influences on journalism, the attitudes and characteristics of journalists, features of news content and their effects on consumers. Of interest are the relationships between journalism and power, democratic standards, economic pressures, technological change, and (academic) critique. Conceptual, empirical and theoretical papers are welcome.

Submission guidelines

PhD students should submit an abstract of 500 words (excluding references) that outlines the topic, rationale, theoretical approach and, if applicable, empirical application. Every abstract should include the name, affiliation, and expected graduation date of the PhD candidate.

Deadline for abstract submission: no later than 16:00 UTC, 21 January 2019.

Submissions should be sent via email to Alla Rybina alla.rybina@jmg.gu.se

Format: submit an abstract in PDF-format labelled “Last Name_JS Colloquium 2019

Notifications of acceptance will be sent by the end of February 2019.

If accepted, student participants will need to submit a full paper of up to 8000 words by 16:00 UTC, May 6, 2019. The colloquium will be held on 24 May 2019 from 9 am to 4 pm, with a coffee break and a light snack.

More information about the previous JS Graduate Student Colloquiums and its participants can be found here http://www.ica-phd-colloquium.news/call/







69th Annual ICA Conference

PRECONFRENCE: The Long History of Modern Surveillance

Washington, DC, USA

24 May 2019

Sponsor: ICA Communication History Division

Organizers: Josh Lauer, Nicole Maurantonio

Surveillance is a key feature of modernity and a well-established topic of communication research. Since the 1980s communication scholars have studied a broad range of surveillance-related technologies, from databases and CCTV to biometrics and big data, highlighting their implications for the future of privacy and civil society. This research, however, has focused almost exclusively on “new” media. Such presentism is understandable given the speed and stakes of recent developments, but it has also limited our understanding of larger historical forces and global historical perspectives. In short, the study of surveillance needs a history to understand where we are, how we got here, and where we might be headed.  

This ICA preconference is dedicated to bringing together communication scholars from diverse research traditions and from around the world to illuminate the long history of modern surveillance. Submissions are invited to consider the full breadth of past surveillance techniques and regimes, in any geographic or national context, prior to the current moment. The scope includes empirical research and comparative studies, historically-informed theory, intellectual histories of the field, and methodological reflections. We especially welcome submissions that address histories of surveillance from transnational and/or de-Westernized perspectives.

The full CFP is available at https://communicationhistory.org/preconference/.

Abstracts of 300 words (maximum) should be submitted no later than 30 November 2018. Proposals for full panels are also welcome: these should include a 250-word abstract for each individual presentation, and a 200-word rationale for the panel. Send abstracts to: Josh Lauer at josh.lauer@unh.edu.

Please direct any questions to Josh Lauer (josh.lauer@unh.edu) or Nicole Maurantonio (nmaurant@richmond.edu).


Call for Papers

ICA 2019 Preconference: “Digital Journalism in Latin America”

Organizers: Pablo J. Boczkowski (Northwestern University, USA) & Eugenia Mitchelstein (Universidad de San Andrés, Argentina)

Preconference Date and Time: May 23th, 2019, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Location: School of Media & Public Affairs, George Washington University

Submission Deadline: December 15, 2018

Research on digital journalism has by now a solid tradition that spans more than two decades (Barnhurst, 2012; Boczkowski, 2002; Reich, 2018; Steensen, 2011). For the most part, this scholarship has focused on industrialized nations in North America and Europe (Mitchelstein and Boczkowski, 2009) and has paid comparatively less attention to other regions such as Latin America (for some notable exceptions, see Bachmann & Harlow, 2011; Boczkowski, 2010; González de Bustamante and Relly, 2014; Harlow and Salaverría, 2016; Vimiero, 2017). This relative scarcity contrasts with the prominent role of digital journalism in the news diets of Latin Americans: around 9 out of 10 in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico access news online (Newman, et al, 2017). The growth in online audiences has been paralleled by the expansion of digital news operations, either as the internet operations of print media (Bachmann & Harlow, 2011) or as new online enterprises (Harlow and Salaverria, 2016; Requejo Alemán and Lugo Ocando, 2014).

As both digital news production and consumption have featured increasingly more prominently in the information landscape of Latin America, it is worth inquiring into whether the specificity of Latin America and its culture and institutions might entail differences with digital journalism as it is practiced and appropriated in other parts of the world. For instance, Latin American journalism has been described as less professionalized and less independent than in more stable democracies (de Albuquerque, 2005; Hallin and Papathanassopoulos, 2002; Hughes, 2006). How have these two long-standing features affected the practices of online news production and the self-perception of reporters? Has the development of online journalism allowed for the emergence digital start-ups and fact-checking organizations that compete with traditional news organizations with long-standing links with politicians and corporations? Have online news operations conducted mostly partisan journalism, due to their dependence on government advertising? Moreover, Latin American audiences tend to show high levels of skepticism towards news (Newman, et al, 2017). Has this lower level of credibility been tied to differences in willingness to pay for digital news, information acquisition online, and uptake of alternative media sources, among other activities?

The ICA pre-conference on Digital Journalism in Latin America invites scholars to examine the production, distribution, and consumption of digital journalism in Latin America. Both empirical and theoretical conference presentations; quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches; single-country and comparative research (with a major focus on Latin America); and historical and contemporary inquiries are welcome.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Historical developments.

  • Innovation and technological change in newsrooms.

  • Business models.

  • Modifications in work practices.

  • Relationships with governmental, business, and nonprofit actors in the production and distribution of news.

  • Differences and similarities in the emergence and development of digital journalism across and within Latin American countries.

  • Occupational matters, including appearance of new roles such as engagement coordinator.

  • The role of users in the creation of journalistic content.

  • The influence of content intermediaries such as social media platforms, and the engagement with and by users on those platforms.

  • The dynamics of digital news consumption on websites and apps.

  • The role of gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status in the uptake, reception, and re-circulation of digital news.

  • The relationship between digital journalism and civil society, including indigenous populations, social movements, and human rights organizations.

  • Issues of news credibility, including interpretations and practices related to fake news and misinformation, including partisan news organization and fact-checking operations.

Information about submission:

Authors should submit an extended abstract of no more than 750 words (excluding references). Abstracts should be submitted no later than 16:00 UTC, December 15th, 2018. Please email your submission to the preconference organizers (pjb9@northwestern.edu and emitchelstein@udesa.edu.ar).  Authors will be notified about whether their abstract has been selected on January 15th, 2019. Presenters will be encouraged to submit a full manuscript for the pre-conference. Full manuscripts should be sent to both of the pre-conference organizers via email by May 15th, 2019, for presentation and discussion during the pre-conference. Papers should be between 6,500 and 7,000 words in length. Attendance to the preconference has a USD 25.00 fee. Please contact the organizers (pjb9@northwestern.edu and emitchelstein@udesa.edu.ar) if you have any questions and/or need any additional information.


This pre-conference is possible in part due to the generous support of the Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University, and the Center for the Study of Media and Society in Argentina (MESO).



ICA 2019 Post-Conference


DATE:  Wednesday, May 29

TIME: 9am-6pm


Stuart Cunningham, Queensland University of Technology

Patricia Aufderheide, American University

Tarleton Gillespie, Microsoft Research

Colin Maclay, USC Annenberg Innovation Lab

David Craig, USC Annenberg


Members of ICA Divisions and Interest Groups (with particular reference to Media Industries interest group and Communication Law and Policy and Popular Communication divisions) are invited to submit 400 word statements outlining the contribution they could make to this workshop. Acceptance will be based on relevance to the themes of the workshop. If your contribution is accepted, you will be placed in a panel or roundtable and may be expected to make a very short presentation of your contribution, respond in an Q&A style format, and contribute generally across the day. You may also be expected to prepare a longer version of your contribution for subsequent publication.

Submit statements in WORD clearly labelled “Last Name-ICA 2019-Creator Conference”

Email to davidcra@usc.edu

Deadline to submit: 15 Dec 2019

Responses will be send: 15 Jan  2019

Confirm participation: 15 Feb 2019 (to secure placement in conference program)


Variously termed influencers, Youtubers, vloggers, or livestreamers, online creators operate centrally within social media entertainment (SME), a term coined by Cunningham & Craig (2019) to describe an emerging industry that communicates at scale beyond boundaries.  SME creators are native social media entrepreneurs hacking the commercial and network affordances of platforms to aggregate participatory and engaged fan communities for cultural and commercial value. As alternative forms of creative labor, creators disrupt the industrial norms of legacy media.  With varying levels of agency, creators represent diverse forms of expression that offer an alternative to 20th century mass media hegemony while often seeming to hyper-inscribe consumption-based capitalism. Creator culture can comprise nodes within a precarious gig economy fostering new artisanal business often outside of “media capitals” (Curtin 2007) and agglomerative media capitalism.

In the wake of the “Techlash” (The Economist 2018), the clarion call for improved platform governance has raised vital concerns around hate speech and fake news, platform surveillance, data breaches and privacy violations.  In response, platform self-regulation has left creator careers in its wake, with demonetization due to the “Adpocalypse” affecting marginalized and civic-minded creators. Scholars have recently identified creators as stakeholders in these concerns, including Gillespie (2018), who calls for platforms to treat content moderation as a “defining service” rather than a “necessary evil”.  Children’s social media policies and activists collapse distinctions between creators, advertisers, and naïve users. FTC rules on disclosure have placed more onerous burdens on creators than their counterparts in legacy media or advertising. There is an Atlantic faultline between European and US media and platform policies that exposes deep differences over principle and practice. The EU’s Amendment 13 would not only have challenged US provisions of Fair Use and the DMCA, but also threatened creator viability.

This ICA post-conference workshop will explore the range of policy, governance, and regulatory concerns that most directly impact creators operating with social media entertainment.  The workshop will convene scholars, creators, activists, bureaucrats, and platform executives. Organizations and individuals to be invited include the FCC and FTC, prominent creators like Hank Green, the Internet Creators Guild, and Freedom of Music Coalition.   The program will feature panels, working lunches, and roundtable debates; curated content will appear in a white paper along with other publication opportunities. The event is hosted by Communication Studies, School of Communication, American University with sponsoring support from USC’s Annenberg Innovation Lab and QUT’s Digital Media Research Centre.

This is an invitation-only event.

FEE:    Scholars are to pay US$25 fee to contribute to catering and venue costs.

VENUE: American University/ School of Communication

4400 Massachusetts Ave NW

Washington, DC 20016


Call for Papers

Digital Asia: Social Change, Engagement, and Communication Beyond Boundaries

2019 International Communication Association (ICA) Preconference

May 24, 2019 / Washington D.C., USA


Priority deadline: January 5, 2019


Regular deadline: February 1 , 2019

The role of new communication technologies—such as the internet, social media, and mobile phones—in political and civic engagement has generated significant interest not only from scholars, but also organizations, politicians, and ordinary citizens. While recent events in parts of the world, such as the Umbrella movement in Hong Kong and prominent roles of social media in elections, help recognize the potential of new communication media as an agent contributing to macro-level political changes, these new communication tools are also actively utilized in more traditional political processes, such as electoral campaigns. Also important is everyday use of new communication technologies, which provides individuals with an opportunity to encounter public affairs news and discourse, enhance understanding of issues, and get involved in civic and political opportunities. One of critical elements that we should pay attention to when appreciating the role of new media—perhaps underlying all of these processes and practices—would be values, traditions, and history that define each Asian country and the region.

This preconference aims to showcase innovative scholarly work examining various subjects concerning the role of social media, mobile phones, and other new communication technologies in the formation of democratic citizenship writ large—in Asia. The preference seeks studies that address relevant topics in a particular Asian county, and comparative research on Asian countries or Asian and non-Asian countries is also welcome. In particular, the preconference encourages a theory-driven analysis of the role of new media in real-world, offline civic and political action, including recent elections and civic mobilization for sustainable development in environmental, economic, and social well-being. In addition, scholars whose research concerns the overall ICA conference theme, Communication Beyond Boundaries, in an Asian-context are encouraged to submit a paper.  

Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted via the online submission form (https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=digitalasiaica2019) by either the priority or the regular deadline. For each author, please include name, institutional affiliation, and department, title/position, and contact information. For problems with submission or questions, please email DigitalAsiaICA2019@umich.edu.

Modest travel grants will be available by competitive application to participants, particularly graduate students who are from developing/transitional countries that appear in Tiers B and C on the ICA country tier chart (country of residence, not of origin).

Preconference Chairs

Nojin Kwak, Professor, Department of Communication Studies, University of Michigan, U.S.A.

Marko Skoric, Associate Professor, Department of Media and Communication, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Terry Flew, Professor, Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Natalie Pang, Senior Research Fellow, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, Singapore


Baohua Zhou, Professor, Journalism School at Fudan University, China


Tetsuro Kobayashi, Associate Professor, Department of Media and Communication, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Muneo Kaigo, Professor, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan

Scott Campbell, Professor, Department of Communication Studies, University of Michigan, U.S.A.

Junho Choi, Professor, Graduate School of Information, Yonsei University, Korea




Are We Moving Towards Convergence? Revisiting communication disciplines, theories, models and concepts.



  • Helle K. Aggerholm, Birte Asmuß, Finn Frandsen, Winni Johansen, Anne E. Nielsen & Christa Thomsen, Aarhus University, Denmark  (contact: wj@mgmt.au.dk; aen@mgmt.au.dk)

  • Cynthia Stohl, University of California Santa Barbara, USA

  • Maureen Taylor, University of Tennesee Knoxville, USA


Within the past two decades, communication scholars have been preoccupied with debating the intellectual boundaries between disciplines, theories, models and concepts, as well as the institutional legitimacy of the field as such. Some researchers have talked about ‘convergence’ (Zorn, 2002). Other researchers have talked about ‘bridging’ (Cornelissen & Christensen, 2011). Others again take an alternative approach promoting a new ‘interdisciplinary paradigm’; see (Nothaft, Werder, Vercic, & Zerfass, 2018). The new thing about this debate is that it seems to take place both inside each discipline and across disciplines.

The purpose of this pre-conference is not only to study this debate, but also to contribute to it. We therefore invite junior and senior scholars representing one or more of the following disciplines - organizational communication, public relations, business communication, corporate communication, and strategic communication – to submit an abstract.

By convergence and bridging, we understand the process whereby we consciously or unconsciously move disciplines, theories, models and concepts towards each other. In his article “Converging within divergence: Overcoming the disciplinary fragmentation in business communication, organizational communication, and public relations” (2002), Ted Zorn warned us against the fragmentation of disciplines. It will turn us into ignorants when it comes to the world outside our own specialties. In their article “Bridging corporate and organizational communication: Review, development, and a look to the future” (2011), Lars T. Christensen and Joep Cornelissen suggest in detail how bridging can take place between two disciplines. It is important to understand that the criteria of success for convergence and bridging is not necessarily integration. It is more the academic quality of the process: the debate as such.

Questions addressed are among others:

  • What boundaries do we see in communication disciplines today?

  • Would it be fruitful to overcome the disciplinary fragmentation?

  • Is it true that “communication research has sacrificed intellectual vitality on the altar of institutional autonomy” (Durham Peters, 1986/2008).

  • How do we understand ‘communication’ within the various perspectives and traditions?

  • Do we overstate the differences between disciplines, theories, models and concepts in our research?

  • Which boundaries or cross-overs do we see in communication disciplines today?

  • What are the advantages or disadvantages of ‘bridging’ for example corporate and organizational communication, or public relations and corporate communication?

  • What can more ‘local’ debates, such as the debate about communication vs action, reputation vs relationship, and publics vs stakeholders, tell us about the development of our field?

  • How does convergence in communication disciplines contribute to shape how contemporary organizations come to see, manage, and evaluate their communication activities?

  • Can convergence help to solve one of the major concerns of modern organizations, i.e. that “without coherence, integration, and consistency, messages can be misunderstood, and their audiences get conflicting or inconsistent meanings which, in the end, may cause confusion and distrust in what the organization offers or stands for” (Christensen & Cornelissen, 2011)?

Topics can be but are not restricted to:

  • Processes and practices of the convergence of communication disciplines

  • Practice approaches across communication disciplines

  • The risk of black-boxing

  • Constitutive approaches across and within communication disciplines

  • Methodological convergence or divergence across and between communication disciplines

  • The impact of social media on the boundaries and cross-overs between communication disciplines

  • The convergence of disciplines and stakeholder relationship management

  • Organizing communication activities in contemporary organizations

  • Convergence of communication disciplines in different contextual settings: cultural, organizational, global

  • Limits and future perspectives of convergence on communication research

Conceptual, empirical and theoretical papers are welcome.

Submission guidelines

Abstract submissions to the pre-conference (500-1000 words, not including tables and references) are invited from across divisions of the communication field, and will be evaluated competitively by anonymous referees. All submissions must be completed online no later than 16:00 UTC, 15 January 2019


Zorn, Ted (2002). Converging within divergence: overcoming disciplinary fragmentation in business communication. Business Communication Quarterly, 65(2), 44-53

Christensen, L.T. & Cornelissen, J. (2011). Bridging orporate and organizational communication: Review, development and a look to the future. Management Communication Quarterly, 25(3), 383-414.

Nothaft, H., Werder, K., Vercic, D. & Zerfass, A. (Eds.) (2018). Future Directions of Strategic Communication. Special Issue, International Journal of Strategic Communication, 12(4).


Call for Extended Abstracts

Engaged Journalism: Bridging Research and Practice

ICA 2019 Pre-conference, May 24, Washington, D.C.

As journalists across the globe continue to face distrustful audiences and uncertain economics, many have begun experimenting with novel forms of news production and community engagement with the hope of solving the news industry’s ails. Although a growing number of scholars research these innovations, few have found ways to make that research impactful outside of the academic community. This half-day pre-conference bridges this divide, by bringing together journalism innovators, funders, and researchers to share new findings and discuss best practices for research collaborations.

During this pre-conference, scholars will have the opportunity to hear from practitioners about organizations practicing or supporting engaged journalism in the U.S. and internationally, such as City Bureau, Free Press, Hearken, Outlier Media, and the News Integrity Initiative. The pre-conference will be structured to include opportunities for small group interaction between researchers and journalists, presentations of new papers, and a plenary panel discussion connecting leading journalism innovators with journalism and communication scholars.

In addition to creating a setting for researchers to hear from practitioners, we also want to expose practitioners to scholarly work. We therefore encourage scholars interested in presenting to submit extended abstracts that focus on engaged approaches to news production. These topics can include, but are not limited to:

  • The changing relationship between journalists and communities/audiences (e.g., audience engagement, trust building initiatives, membership and crowd-sourced revenue models, etc.)

  • Participatory journalism, public-powered journalism, citizen journalism

  • Service journalism and movement journalism

  • Innovations in measuring the impacts of engagement on communities and on news organizations

  • Efforts to increase representation of diverse race, gender, class, and ideological perspectives in news production

We invite those interested in participating to submit extended abstracts with a maximum length of 1500 words, including references. Please delete any identifying information before submitting your proposal as it will be subject to a blinded peer review. In keeping with the theme of the pre-conference, submissions will be blind reviewed by two scholars as well as one news industry stakeholder.

Send your submission in an editable format (e.g., Microsoft Word) to engagedjournalism@gmail.com by January 21, 2019. We will send notifications of acceptance by February 11. All authors of accepted submissions will be expected to submit a full paper with a maximum length of 8,000 words by May 6, 2018.


Call for Proposals for the ICA 2019 Preconference

Crafting Theory. Methods of theory building in communication

Friday, 24 May, 2019, 9 a.m. – 17 p.m. approx.

Washington Hilton, Washington, D.C.

The state of theory building in communication has been the object of lamentation, disappointment, caricature, even ridicule, but also appeals and aspiration throughout the history of our field. Rather than restating deficiencies in our field’s theory building in comparison with our neighboring disciplines or reiterating the reasons for or consequences of these deficits time and again, this preconference aims at collecting and advancing our field’s methodological tools and practices for theory building.

“Theory building” or “theory development” can be characterized as a creative problem solving process of generating novel or modifying existing conceptual structures (statements about concepts and their relations) with the aim of describing and explaining phenomena better than before (Hagen, Frey, & Koch, 2015; Weick 1989). This preconference is interested in a methodological discussion of cognitive operations, individual and social practices, and empirical approaches researchers use in this process of theory building.

In stark contrast to the great importance theory building is attributed by the scientific community in general and in our field, the collection, development and dissemination of methodological knowledge about how to develop both original and well-crafted theory only forms small part of our methodological research and teaching. For example, there is a scarcity of textbooks that cover more than the formal requirements and logical principles of “theory construction” (Blalock, 1969; Dubin, 1969; Freese, 1980) and accommodate the specifics of our field (but see, as one prime exception, Shoemaker, Tankard & Lasorsa, 2004). Also, inspiring and instructive collections of individual experiences with and approaches to theory building have been published, e.g., in psychology (Kruglanski & Higgins, 2004), human resource development (Turnbull, 2002) and management (van de Ven, 1989), but not in communication.

This preconference aims at stimulating the scholarly reflection and discourse about methods and methodology of theory building across all subfields of communication and ICA divisions by inviting participants to share their thoughts, experiences, and insights in an open, interactive and interdisciplinary exchange. We invite proposals for theoretical, empirical or historical contributions including but not limited to:

  • case studies about the practice of theory building in your own work or in the work of other scholars

  • empirical or literature-based overviews of methods used for theory building in communication

  • collections and discussions of heuristics, tools, practices and approaches in every phase of theory development

  • examinations of methodological challenges and potentials specific to theory building the field of communication

  • analyses of social, situational, and individual factors conducive (or detrimental) to creative and well-crafted theory building

  • experiences in teaching theory building.

We are interested in submissions covering one or several of the above aspects or related questions. We encourage submissions with a broad variety of approaches and from diverse perspectives. Scholars at all stages of their careers are welcome to apply.

Submission and selection process

Extended Abstracts (800 to 1,200 words plus references) should be sent as a PDF file to Benjamin Krämer (kraemer@ifkw.lmu.de). Please remove any kind of information that would identify the authors. The deadline for submission is 25 January 2019. Submissions will be peer-reviewed (please volunteer to review!) and decisions will be sent out by mid-February 2019.

Dates, conference fee, registration

This preconference is approved by the ICA 2019 organizing committee and is part of the official ICA 2019 conference program. The preconference will take place on 24 May 2018 (9 a.m. to 17 p.m. approx.) onsite in the conference hotel in Washington, D.C. The registration fee will be $60 for presenters and non-presenters, covering the expenses for facilities, coffee breaks (lunch not included) and administrative overhead. Registration will be open to anyone wishing to attend.


If you have any questions and/or would like to volunteer as a reviewer, please feel free to approach the organizers Felix Frey (ffrey@uni-leipzig.de) and Benjamin Krämer (kraemer@ifkw.lmu.de).

Tags:  December 2018  November 2018 

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