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Preconference Calls for Papers

Posted By Administration, Monday, December 9, 2019

Postconference: The 18th Chinese Internet Research Conference: The internationalisation of China’s digital and communication industries

Date: 27 May 2020 - 28 May 2020

Time: 09:00 - 17:00 

Venue: RMIT University 124 La Trobe St, Melbourne, Vic

Deadline: 10 January 2020


Organised by RMIT and QUT universities with sponsorship from Deakin and Curtin Universities, the 18th Chinese Internet Research Conference (CIRC) focuses on the prospects for, and critiques of the internationalisation of China's digital and communication industries.



Preconference: Open Communication: A Trans-disciplinary Approach to Strategic Communication in the 21st Century

Call for Papers


Preconference Journalism Studies Graduate Student Colloquium 

Gold Coast, Australia 21 May 2020, 9am – 4pm 

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 2020 Annual Conference in Gold Coast, Australia. 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, 20 January 2020. Submissions should be sent via email to Joy Kibarabara at joy.kibarabara@ims.su.se Format: submit an abstract in PDF-format labelled “Last Name_JS Colloquium 2020” Notifications of acceptance will be sent by the end of February 2020. 

If accepted, student participants will need to submit a full paper of up to 8000 words by 16:00 UTC, May 4, 2020. The colloquium will be held on 21 May 2020 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/ 


Preconference: Communication for Social Change: Activism, Trust-building, Responsiveness, and Responsibility

Date: 20 May 2020

Time: 9:00 - 15:00

Location: OFF-SITE | Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Gardens Point campus, Brisbane (room number to be advised)

Attendees are responsible for their own transportation to the venue. Easily accessible by train from the Gold Coast. The pre-conference registration fee includes the cost of coach transfer at the end of the session from QUT to the main conference hotel (Star) on the Gold Coast.

Deadline: 17 January 2020

The timing of this session will appeal to attendees – particularly those arriving from overseas – flying in to Brisbane airports. You can choose to arrive a couple of days early to recover from your journey and then participate in this pre-conference in advance of the main event. This schedule will also give you the chance to experience all that Queensland’s capital city has to offer before heading down to the Coast. This pre-conference is ideally timed for attendees who wish to fly in to Brisbane and travel to Sydney after the main conference ends. 

Cost: US$50

Call for Papers 

Organizers: Anne Lane, Kim Johnston, Bree Hurst, Amisha Mehta, Lisa Tam

Contact: a.lane@qut.edu.au  

Division/Interest Group Affiliation(s): Public Relations Division and Organizational Communication Division 

Description: The emergent positioning of corporate organisations as civic institutions means there is now increasing awareness of, and interest in, the potential to use communication for change at a societal level. Adopting this macro level perspective on the outcomes and impacts of communication requires the revision and extension of existing theories and practices, and perhaps the use and integration of multiple disciplinary lenses to an extent that has not yet been fully realised. This approach might lead to a resolution of the dynamic tension at the heart of the move to achieve social change through communication: how can communication – renowned for its ability to foster the development of fractured, individual, and highly specific points of view – be used to create the generalised consensus required to generate social change?

 Communication for Social Change: Activism, Trust-building, Responsiveness, and Responsibility

As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, societies around the world are characterised by the pervasiveness and power of communication networks. Multiple forms and channels of communication allow individuals and organisations to reach and interact with their networks of contacts in a variety of ways for many different purposes. Communication both constructs and enacts these networks, and provides mechanisms for groups and individuals to affect change at a societal level. In summary, this means changing society itself. 

Public relations, organizational communication and strategic communication are disciplines that have long been associated with efforts to encourage change through communication. However, the focus of these efforts has largely been the changing of stakeholder behaviour to suit organisations at an individual or group level. More recently, the emergence of the relational perspective in public relations and its synergies with stakeholder engagement and dialogue, as well as debates about creating shared value and corporate activism in corporate communications have shifted the focus onto the use of communication to create co-change at this meso level. 

The drive to harmonize corporate and societal needs is reflected by theoretical approaches that have emerged in corporate communications and strategic communication. These approaches are based on the understanding that corporate/organizational goals should not be limited to achieving shareholder value but also stakeholder value. This has seen the rise of concepts like “corporate shared value” (CSV) and “stakeholder value” instead of traditional CSR. More recently, the development of ideas like “corporate activism” and “CEO activism” (meaning that corporations can be agents of social change if governments, politicians, NGOs etc. are not able to move forward) reflect this.

The emergent positioning of corporate organisations as civic institutions means there is now increasing awareness of, and interest in, the potential to use communication for change at a societal level. Adopting this macro level perspective on the outcomes and impacts of communication requires the revision and extension of existing theories and practices, and perhaps the use and integration of multiple disciplinary lenses to an extent that has not yet been fully realised. This approach might lead to a resolution of the dynamic tension at the heart of the move to achieve social change through communication: how can communication – renowned for its ability to foster the development of fractured, individual, and highly specific points of view – be used to create the generalised consensus required to generate social change?

The theme of this pre-conference embraces different theoretical perspectives e.g. dialogic, managerial, critical, strategic, corporate/non-profit etc. It encourages not only deep consideration of individual areas of disciplinary expertise but also innovative cross-disciplinary approaches. In this pre-conference we therefore invite submissions from research teams or individuals interested in contributing to a multi-disciplinary consideration of the implementation and implications of communication for social change. 

Guiding questions to be addressed in this preconference may include, but are not limited to the following: 

  • What are the implications for theory and practice of organisations seeking to achieve social change through communication?

  • What roles do diverse kinds of media play in social change?

  • What are the benefits and/or disadvantages to profit-making organisations in aligning themselves with social change movements? 

  • What tensions emerge when profit-making organisations position themselves as agents of social change, or act themselves as corporate activists, sometimes using their leaders to propagate change (CEO activism)? 

  • What challenges face organisations that exist to change society, such as activist groups? How might communication be used to address the challenges?

  • How do questions of power play out in the use of communication for social change? Does the current communication landscape provide a level playing field for all those wishing to achieve social change?

  • What is the role of communication and trust-building in efforts to achieve social change?

  • What are the implications of recent and likely developments in the technical aspects of communication – such as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) – for those seeking to achieve social change? 

  • What are the benefits and dangers of using micro-targeting and AI in social change communication; will dialogue be supported by propaganda techniques in the digital world?

  • Where are the ethical boundaries to communication for social change?

This pre-conference will provide presenters and other attendees with a stimulating and engaging session in which ideas can be presented in a supportive but robustly-enquiring environment.


You are invited to submit a 500-word fully-referenced abstract of your paper to ica2020preconf@qut.edu.au by 17 January 2020. All abstracts will be peer-reviewed, and acceptance letters sent by 31 January 2020. 


The pre-conference will open at 8.30a.m. with light refreshments. Sessions will run from 9am to 3pm. It will be held at Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) Gardens Point campus in the centre of Brisbane. There is plenty of reasonably-priced quality accommodation in the area.

Storage for luggage will be provided on campus so attendees do not need to make separate arrangements.

The cost of coach transport to the Star Casino on the Gold Coast (the main conference hotel) at the conclusion of the pre-conference will be included in the registration fee.

Participants will be provided with morning tea and lunch. These breaks will divide the day into three sessions. Sessions will be structured as follows:

  • Standard format presentations over two sessions with three 15-minute papers in each, totalling 6 presentations over the morning.

  • Speed dating – up to 10 summary presentations of three minutes each (strict maximum) followed by break out discussions around tables, limited to 5 minutes per table.


If you have any questions, please email the organizers at ica2020preconf@qut.edu.au 


ICA 2020 Pre-conference call for papers:

Storytelling, persuasion and mobilization in the digital age



Date: Wednesday 20 May 2020, 9:00am-5:00pm


Location: Sydney Policy Lab, RD Watt Building, University of Sydney


Sponsoring ICA Divisions: Activism, Communication and Social Justice Interest Group; Political Communication Division; Public Relations Division.


Organizers: Dr Filippo Trevisan (American University), Prof Ariadne Vromen and Dr Michael Vaughan (University of Sydney)



Storytelling is central to the persuasion and mobilization strategies of advocacy organizations, activist groups, NGOs, political parties, and campaigns. However, technological, communicative, and political changes have challenged traditional storytelling practices and incentivized significant innovation in this area in recent years. Changes in technology have transformed the scale and pace at which individual stories can be collected, digitally archived, curated, and then distributed through online platforms. Changes in communication and politics have increased the emphasis on personalized advocacy strategies targeted at affective publics (Papacharissi, 2015), as campaigners seek to navigate an increasingly fragmented and polarised information environment. Researchers today face a challenge in representing both the continuity in the narrative dimension of politics while also interrogating emerging and impactful innovations. This raises important questions about power dynamics and representations associated with changing storytelling practices, roles, and relationships between individual storytellers, organizations, and social groups in a constantly evolving media landscape. These questions are relevant to multiple related fields including, among others, the sociology of political communications (Polletta 2006), policy studies (Jones, Shanahan and McBeth 2014) journalism studies (Polletta and Callahan 2017), and public interest communication.


This one-day preconference pays attention to these questions and brings together researchers from multiple disciplinary perspectives to discuss the impact of changing storytelling practices on individuals, groups, organizations, target publics, and public discourse more broadly. We welcome submissions from theoretical and empirical inquiries that examine the following areas:


·       Reconciling conceptualizations of storytelling from intersecting perspectives in political life: in particular interest groups, social movements, NGOs, parties and political campaigns, as well as journalism;

·       The impact of evolving digital communication technologies, including but not limited to social media, mobile devices, and database technology on the practice of persuasive storytelling;

·       How publics and citizens respond to stories;

·       The role of storytelling in response to changing political and media contexts, in particular the evolution of information consumption habits and the rise of “fake news;”

·       The significance and impact of advocacy storytelling on the (in)visibility of groups that are traditionally marginalized and under-represented in public discourse (e.g. gender, LGBTQI+, race, ethnicity, disability, etc.);

·       The outcomes of storytelling in politics, such as successes or failures in public policy;

·       The ethics of storytelling and the power relationship between advocacy organizations and individual storytellers;

·       Storytelling in a comparative and global context, such as the diffusion of storytelling practices between political actors and countries, as well as their relationship with culture and media environments;

·       Innovative methodological approaches to study persuasive storytelling and analyze its impact.


Submitting your abstract: Please submit abstracts for 15 minutes paper presentations through this Google Form (https://forms.gle/f5PBbd3KGd4NhdzR7) no later than January 20, 2020. Abstracts are limited to a maximum of 4,000 characters including spaces (approximately 500 words).


Contributors will be selected by peer-review and will be notified of decisions on or before February 1, 2020. Authors are expected to attend the preconference and present in person.

All participants must register and pay fees. Registration costs will be 50 USD and include coffee breaks and buffet lunch. To register, participants should follow the instructions on: www.icahdq.org.


Key dates:


·       20 January 2020: Deadline for abstract submission

·       1 February 2020: Corresponding authors notified of decisions

·       1 May 2020: Conference registrations close

·       20 May 2020: Pre-conference starts in Sydney


Location: Please note that this event will take place off-site at the Sydney Policy Lab, University of Sydney. The pre-conference will conclude at 5:00pm on May 20, leaving participants ample time to travel to Gold Coast for the opening of the main ICA conference in the evening of the following day (21 May).


Objectives (for ICA website):

Strategic storytelling is a rapidly evolving practice with fundamental implications for public discourse, the representation of social groups and controversial issues, as well as public decision-making. This preconference straddles three ICA divisions/interest groups and will bring together scholars from a range of disciplines to examine the evolving narrative dimension of strategic, political and advocacy communication, discuss research on emerging trends, and encourage shared conceptual frameworks around the features and implications of storytelling.


Preconference:From the rise of alternative media to the (dis)engagement of MSM: - making sense of the new political news environment and its audiences 

Call for Papers


Preconference: Digital Cultures of South Asia: Inequalities, Infrastructures, Informatization

Date & Time: 9:00 to 5.00, Thursday, May 21, 2020
Location: Onsite, 2020 ICA Main Conference Venue, Gold Coast, Australia 

Organizers: Radhika Parameswaran (rparames@indiana.edu, Indiana U), Sangeet Kumar (kumars@denison.edu, Denison U), Kalyani Chadha (kchadha@umd.edu, U of Maryland), Adrian Athique (a.athique@uq.edu.au, U of Queensland) and Pradip Thomas (pradip.thomas@uq.edu.au, U of Queensland). 

Conference Coordinator: Roshni Susana Verghese, roshnisusana@gmail.com 

ICA Division Affiliations: Global Communication and Social Change, Popular Communication, Intercultural Communication, Ethnicity & Race in Communication, and the South Asian Communication Association (SACA). 

Institutional Sponsors: The Media School, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA; The Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland, College Park, USA; Department of Communication, Denison University, Granville, Ohio, USA; School of Communication and Arts and the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Queensland, Australia. 

Preconference Description 

Characterized by a mobile phone led connectivity boom and the cheapest data prices in the world (McCarthy 2019), South Asia has emerged as a region with the greatest potential for the future growth of Internet users. Indeed, as such, the area is not only central to any attempts at imagining the future of digital media globally, but it also constitutes a fertile territorial and cultural space for scholarly inquiry into the various dimensions of expanding digital life in the region. Consequently, this preconference focuses on exploring digital developments and their political, economic, social and cultural implications in the context of postcolonial South Asia and its global diaspora. The preconference draws inspiration from scholars who have sought to de- westernize digital media studies through their granular and interdisciplinary accounts of varied aspects of digital life in non-western countries. It is also grounded in the notion that the historical, political and social specificities of postcolonial South Asia necessitate the production of knowledge on digital culture— both conceptual and empirical— that explores the heterogeneities and complexities of the diverse nations that constitute the region. We envisage this preconference to be a forum for illuminating the varied dialectical forces that are at play in South Asia in shaping digital culture in ways that are similar to but also quite different from other parts of the world. 

In pursuit of these objectives, we invite submissions that cover a broad range of topics set in South Asia, including, but not limited to scholarly areas such as: 

• Issues of digital access, connectivity and inequality (social asymmetries of caste, gender, sexuality, religion, language, and class) 

• Online mobilization by activist communities to protest inequities and advocate for social change 

• Nature and implications for sovereignty of governance and infrastructure regimes emerging across the region, particularly as they relate to data collection and commodification, security and privacy 

• The political economy of digital media and the impact of digital technologies on the mainstream media landscape in entertainment and news media 

• Rise of new genres of informational and artistic representation— including parody, satire, and humor—in online spaces such as YouTube 

• Role of digital and social media in the transformation of contemporary politics, including campaigns and elections 

• Transformations in the business and content of journalism, the rise of fake news, misinformation as well as hate and extreme speech 

• Vernacular community formation in local, national and transnational/diasporic South Asian digital spaces 

• New transnational digital circuits of cultural production and consumption—fueled by affinities of caste, gender, class and sexuality—within and beyond South Asia 

The preconference aims to bring together ICA participants as well as scholars from around the world who are interested in digital culture in the Global South, with a particular focus on South Asia. Presentations and conversations at the preconference will be geared to achieve the following broad goals: build theory sensitive to the nuances of the region, strengthen analytical frameworks, foster interdisciplinarity, encourage critical thinking, and address empirical gaps in research. 

** Keynote speakers to be determined and announced in Spring 2020. ** 

Submission and participation details 

Extended abstract due: Monday, January 20th, 2020 

Final decisions on acceptance: Friday, February 14th, 2020 

At this time we invite authors to submit extended abstracts (700 to 1,000 words) that describe the main thesis and arguments, research goals, theoretical influences/frameworks, and to the extent possible, the methodological background and findings of their papers. The preconference organizers welcome diverse theoretical and methodological approaches and varied modes of analyses. 

Please make sure you include a title for your abstract. We request you to anonymize your document by removing all identifying information from it. Very poorly written abstracts as well as those that do not relate to South Asia will be automatically rejected. Abstract submissions will be reviewed and final decisions communicated by February 14th, 2020. 

Please submit your extended abstracts to conference coordinator Dr. Roshni Susana Verghese at roshnisusana@gmail.com

Based on the volume and the quality of submissions, we intend to explore a potential thematic publication of preconference materials as a special issue in a journal or as an edited volume. 

Registration fees: With financial support from institutional sponsors and ICA Divisions, the registration fees for the preconference will be under $20. The registration fees will cover refreshments for two breaks and lunch. This is a flat fee for anyone who wishes to present at or simply attend the preconference (without a presentation), including all ICA student and faculty members. There are no prerequisites for submitting abstracts, registering for and participating in the preconference. All attendees will need to create an ICA profile to register. 

Finally, we expect all presenters will attend the preconference event for the full day. If you are traveling from overseas, we advise you to arrive on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, and make appropriate accommodation arrangements for that night. 


Preconference: Opening up the meanings of “the professional,” professional work and professionalism in communication studies


Kirstie McAllum, U de Montréal, Canada

Frédérik Matte, U of Ottawa, Canada



Given the importance of knowledge workers in postindustrial organizing, the emergence of new professions, and the number of occupations claiming and resisting professionalization (Anteby, Chen & DiBenigno, 2016; Fleming, 2015), this preconference aims to stimulate dialogue about how communication scholarship can open up research on new forms of professionalism. 


Because claiming professional status increases the prestige of the occupational collectives to which individuals belong (Dutton et al., 2010), with some foresight, Wilensky (1964) predicted the “professionalization of nearly everyone.” Indeed, growing numbers of workers have clamored for recognition as “professionals” (accountants, Suddaby & Greenwood, 2005; aromatherapists, Fournier, 2002; financial planners and IT specialists, Noordegraaf, 2007; management consultants, McKenna, 2006; pilots, Ashcraft, 2007; and sustainability practitioners, Mitra & Buzzannell, 2018, among many others). Their success obscures the fact that similar claims made by other groups such as librarians (Garcia & Barbour, 2018) remain unheeded (Scott, 2008). 


Beyond this search for recognition of a professional status by many practitionners, a discursive shift from professionalism as a noun (“being a professional”) to an adjective (“being professional”) also masks important changes in how different types of workers and work are valued. Professionalism, then, focuses on how individuals carry out types of work with knowledge and skill rather than limiting the “professions” to particular types of work (Caza & Creary, 2016). In a similar vein, others have argued that professionalism entails carrying out one’s activities with a “professional spirit” (Hodgson, 2002, p. 805) or “conducting and constituting oneself in an appropriate manner” (Fournier, 1999, p. 287).


Building on Ashcraft and Cheney’s (2007) landmark text on “the professional,” we foreground and celebrate the multi-faceted nature of professionalism as an “essentially contested concept” (Gallie, 1956), characterized by internal complexity, conceptual diversity, and reciprocal recognition of the concept’s contested character among contending parties. Rather than championing any one definition or perspective, this preconference aims to map out and contextualize the multiple, contested meanings of professionalism, particularly in novel or “non-standard” contexts. 

Topics include but are not restricted to:

  • How is professionalism defined and operationalized in communication studies? How are we, as researchers, contributing to institutionalize particular understandings of professionalism? How might we develop more communicative understandings of professionalism? 

  • How do the meanings of professionalism shift across varied institutional, organizational, and cultural contexts? 

  • Through what analytical and empirical lenses should we study professional workers, professional work, and professionalization? 

  • How can we open up the meanings of professionalism to include emotion work and embodied work experiences? 

  • How is professionalism critically used to push back against organizational and social control? 

  • Is professionalism an aspirational concept? How does professionalism act as a resource and as a constraint? Whose interests does professionalism serve? How might we disrupt contemporary meanings of professionalism? 

  • How might communication scholars contribute to interdisciplinary dialogues and/or practitioner-researcher collaborations about professionalism and professionalization? 

  • How has the post-industrial economy contributed to establishing new forms or definitions of professionalism? (In the sense that others - often unqualified - decide how professional you are? E.g., the Uber world; online reviews of almost everything and everyone including professors, doctors and medical specialists, restaurants, etc.)

All interested participants are invited to attend this pre-conference. Submissions are not required for registration. Conceptual and empirical 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 sent to Kirstie McAllum at kirstie.mcallum@umontreal.ca no later than 16:00 UTC, 31 January 2020




Preconference:DIgital REsearch, Translated (DIREcT)


Tags:  December 2019 

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