The 70th Annual ICA Conference, though held virtually, nonetheless provided the Association and its members with an opportunity to celebrate excellence in the field by granting various awards. Congratulations to all the winners and our sincere gratitude to all the members of the various ICA awards committees, who do tremendous work each year to select each of these recipients. A special thank you to our Research Awards Committee Chair, Thomas Hanitzsch (LMU Munich), for his hard work pulling all of these awards together during a challenging time.
Fellows Book Award
Awarded to: Byron Reeves and Clifford Nass (posthumous) (Stanford U, USA)
Reeves, Byron & Nass, Clifford (1996). The Media Equation: How People Treat Computers, Television, and New Media Like Real People and Places. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
"The Media Equation: How People Treat Computers, Television, and New Media Like Real People and Places," by Byron Reeves and Clifford Nass is a groundbreaking book that is still extremely relevant today, 24 years after its publication. If this volume had an immediate impact on thinking about human computer interaction, this impact has grown over the years as younger scholars have been influenced by the arguments and engaged with them for purposes of modification and critique. It has been cited recently by researchers working on subjects as diverse as the ethical issues surrounding social robots, digital games for health, virtual assistants such as Alexa and Siri, smartphone health interventions, gender and social computing, children and smartphones, autonomous driving, augmented reality, technology-assisted collaborations, susceptibility to fake news and social impact of artificial intelligence. What the book is doing, most essentially, is to challenge the idea that humans respond to the mediations produced by computers differently from the way they respond to physical human presence. The authors’ emphasis on emotion and the centrality of social roles to human interaction is particularly interesting. A quarter of a century later, it is time to recognize this very influential book, which keeps having a tremendous influence on our field.
(Committee: Chair: Francois Cooren, Members: Jan Radway, Sharon Dunwoody, Maria "Betsi" Grabe,Gianpietro Mazzoleni)
Outstanding Book Award
Awarded to: Lilly Irani (U of California San Diego, USA)
Irani, Lilly (2019). Chasing Innovation: Making Entrepreneurial Citizens in Modern India. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
This book is a richly detailed, multi-year ethnography of the ways in which social entrepreneurship, design, and innovation work underscore national and global chains of value and power. The book marshals history and political economy around stories of everyday people who invested in impossible dreams that if they are more creative, they will achieve upward social mobility. Instead, innovation and human-centered design projects most benefited those already with social and economic capital. Precarious Indian citizens remained so despite their passionate aspirations. Deconstructing these rationalities and identities of entrepreneurialism in the context of development and governance in India, the book charts a new theoretical frame for understanding the entrepreneur as a figure of exploitation and a tool of nation-building. Dr. Irani asks critically “Who modernizes whom, and towards what horizon?” As such, the book de-Westernizes the figure of entrepreneur as a hero of teleological progress
(Committee: Chair:Vicki Mayer, Members:Lilie Chouliaraki, Hendrik Bodker, Akira Miyahara, Ralina Joseph)
Applied/Public Policy Research Award:
Awarded to: Moya Bailey (Northeastern U), Brooke Foucault Welles (Northeastern U) and Sarah Jackson (U of Pennsylvania)
These highly engaged scholars have produced outstanding and impactful research on the ways in which marginalized groups have reappropriated social media as a tool for shaping mainstream media and public discourse about issues of race and gender. Their work has been published in leading journals and presented in several ICA divisions and interest groups. Their recent book #Hashtag Activism, published by MIT Press, is an exemplary manifestation of rigorous mix-method scholarship that incorporates the lived experiences of practitioners in an innovative and fascinating way. Bailey, Welles, and Jackson exemplify a new generation of scholars who are redefining what public impact scholarship looks like and how communication researchers can engage diverse audiences. Their research has demonstrated measurable impact outside academia in reports to leading organizations, such as the Knight Foundation; through wide coverage in leading media, including the New York Times, BBC, NPR, the Boston Globe; and in many public lectures in community and professional venues, including keynote talks given in prominent international conferences. To quote from their recommendation letters: “They epitomize the values that the ICA Applied Research Award seeks to recognize and amplify, “their timely and fascinating line of work promises to continue to generate impact in the near future.”
(Committee: Chair: Idit Manosevitch, Members: Jung-Hyun Kim, Trisha Lin, Aaron Shaw, Michelle Violanti)
Aubrey Fisher Mentorship Award
Awarded to: Steven R. Wilson (U of South Florida, USA)
Dr. Wilson’s current and former students overflow with praise for and appreciation of his careful feedback, his integrity, and his guidance. They describe him as encouraging, humble, attentive, and inspiring. His students understand and appreciate that he has rigorous standards for quality scholarship, but that he accompanies these standards by being patient, helpful, and “genuinely kind.” One former student described Dr. Wilson’s response when she tried to express her gratitude for his mentorship: “Just pay it forward,” he said. This advice, in turn, resonates with his own students’ mentorship of the many young scholars in our discipline. “Steve has spent his entire career supporting the success of students, and he never asks for anything in return. Empowering students with the abilities, experiences, and skills to reach their goals is the reward. I know that I will spend the rest of my career trying to ‘pay it forward’ by mentoring and advising students.”
(Committee: Chair: Mary Beth Oliver, Members: Maram Khazen, Oliver Quiring, Dietram Scheufele, Jessica Taylor Piotrowski)
Early Career Scholar Award
Awarded to: Laura Vandenbosch (U Leuven, Belgium)
The contributions of Dr. Laura Vandenbosch to our discipline are of such scale and depth it is hard to believe she is still early in her career—having grown into an outstanding researcher, an influential author, a caring mentor and a true leader in just a few short years. A prolific scholar, yet one concerned with real challenges in our technologically-driven world, Laura Vandenbosch has published an impressive oeuvre in the major outlets of our field—driven by a passion to understand thoroughly the role of mediated narratives in the lives of the young. As one of her recommendation letters noted, “Her work on media and youth is sharp, revealing, and theoretically ambitious. She is a careful and insightful scholar, testing models with longitudinal survey designs and pressing for theoretical advancement with discerning vision.” The large number of awards and grants she has earned are further evidence of the quality of her work. As another letter writer concluded, “Since her first publications nearly a decade ago, Laura Vandenbosch has established herself as one of the leading experts in research on adolescents and the media. Without her contributions, we would know considerably less about what the ever-changing media landscape means to those [adolescents] who use it most frequently and enthusiastically.”
(Committee: Chair: Craig Scott, Members: Kathleen Beullens, Isabel Molina-Guzman, Amy Nathanson, Chaim Noy)