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Student Column: The "Balancing" Question

Posted By Tamar Lazer, Student Board Member, U of Haifa & Charlotte Loeb, Student Board Member, U of Mannheim, Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Reading Prof. Patricia Maurice's advice column titled "The Baby-Before-Tenure Question: Balancing an Academic Career With the Realities of a Biological Clock" started an interesting conversation between us. As we are both mothers who are pursuing an academic career, the "balancing" question is always present in our lives. Here are some of the thoughts we shared in discussing this neverending dilemma. Each of us payed attention to a different citation from the article from her individual background and perspective, but as you will see our conclusions are not so different from each other..

Charlotte Loeb

"Always remember that if you live the life you choose, whether or not it includes having children and/or fulfilling your adviser's wildest dreams, you will be happy."

Usually, when people realize that I am a mother of an already 2-year-old little girl they are quite surprised. I am still a PhD student and with that at the foot of the academic career ladder. I know only very few colleagues who also started a family during this intense and exciting time at which you start building a career in academia. Did I think about all the possible consequences for my life, my career, and my social environment before my partner and I decided to start a family? No. Would it be better if I had? I don't think so.

For me, the most important thing to face this challenge of being a mother and pursuing an academic career at the same time is the support of my network: I have an incredibly supporting partner (who is, lucky for me, not pursuing an academic career) and who bravely took over parental duties at a very early stage, allowing me to resume my work and my PhD without being out of the game for too long. On the other hand, having a very understanding boss and colleagues allowed me to be quite flexible in my working hours and to arrange my work schedule around the opening hours of child care facilities, doctoral appointments, etc. Of course it is not always as easy as it sounds now. There are and will be times when I ask myself: Why exactly did I want everything at once? But these moments pass, and having a child at this early stage of my career helped me a lot to put things into perspective and made me realize what I really need to be happy. As Prof. Patricia Maurice says in her article: "In the great ratings scheme of life, you are the only reviewer who matters."

Luckily I have never been asked by my family or friends whether I am going to quit working altogether and becoming a full-time mum. To be honest, I half expected such comments, especially because my grandparents and grandparents-in-law grew up under quite different circumstances and opportunities (or lack of such) for mothers on the job market. But me quitting and giving up my job has never seemed to be an option for them. On the contrary; my mother told me: "Now that you have born a girl it is even more important that you continue what you started. The world needs independent and self-determined women and the best way to teach them how to do that is to do it yourself and be a good example. If she has questions in the future you will be able to answer them from your own experience." Therefore, my advice to my fellow female and male graduate students and early careers is: Think about what you really want in your life, discuss it with your partner and just do it, you cannot plan everything in advance and even if you try to: It will never work out as planned! Tackle the problems when they occur, maybe the ones you thought of will not occur at all. Let me close with a statement from Prof. Patricia Maurice: "Always remember that if you live the life you choose, whether or not it includes having children and/or fulfilling your adviser's wildest dreams, you will be happy."

Tamar Lazar

"Never forget that you are incredibly lucky to have been born in a place and time that allows you to pursue an education and contemplate becoming a professor with or without becoming a mother."

As a teenager, growing up in Jerusalem during the 1970's, when I went with my friends to the city center, passing by the local pharmacy I would occasionally surprise them by saying: "Let's go inside and say hello to my grandmother." There she was, standing behind the counter in her white robe, an educated pharmacist in an age when not only our grandmothers but even many of our mothers stayed home and didn't have a professional identity. My mother, with her PhD in Urban Economics and her long research and teaching career (both in academia and in government service positions), worked twice as hard to prove this idea that everything is possible. I was very fortunate be inspired by such women and I see myself obligated to also set this example to my two daughters and son, encouraging them to follow both their family and career expectations. "You will be a fourth generation of career women" I proudly tell my daughters, knowing they have already started contemplating the challenges embedded in this promise.

Personally, I had my babies first and pursued a professional management and consulting career before I was ready to return to the academia for my MA degree and now my PhD project. This of course is not the recommended path for others, but only one option that worked well for me. All I can offer from my own experience is that instead of asking yourself the grand question of "what I most want out of life?" it helps to take a more goal-oriented approach and ask- "what is the best way for me to succeed in doing what I want?" In other words, think about your motherhood and career hopes as whole rather than as one or the other. Proceed in life trying to best invest all your available resources such as time, budget, family support, and workplace flexibility, to best achieve all your different commitments. It is a dynamic process in which your resources as well as your commitments change all the time, and so do your priorities.

My advice is not to try and find a definite answer out front. Soon enough you will discover that you are not searching for the ultimate "balance" but for different balances (in plural!) that correspond to your changing situations along the way. The journey may sometimes seem too overwhelming but it sure can be exciting. For example, 10 years ago I didn't even consider including goals related to an academic career as part of my "balancing"-equation. Let me lean on Prof. Patricia Maurice's words in saying "Never forget that you are incredibly lucky to have been born in a place and time that allows you.." ? to keep your options open.

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Member News and Updates

Posted By Administrator, Tuesday, December 13, 2016

This article includes new postings with the latest ICA member news, as well as updates on outside conferences and publications. All ICA members are encouraged to submit their latest professional news for inclusion in the Newsletter by e-mailing Jennifer Le at jle@icahdq.org.

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Division and Interest Group News

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Greetings CAM Members -

Your officers are busy at work planning another fantastic ICA-CAM, and look forward to seeing many of you in San Diego. In the meanwhile, here are just a few updates we would like to share:

  1. Congratulations! Warm congratulations to Nancy Jennings! Nancy has been elected as the next Vice-Chair of the CAM division of ICA. She will begin her new role at the close of the meeting of ICA in San Diego. Nancy brings with her a wealth of experience studying the impact of media on the lives of children and their families as well as public policies and practices involved with children's media. We are all very excited to welcome Nancy aboard and look forward to working with her in the coming years.
  2. Preconference! Yes - CAM has been selected to offer a preconference this year (Thursday, May 25th). Titled Invention & Intervention: Blending Research with Practice to Develop Effective Media for Youth, this preconference will bring together media producers, industry researchers, and children's media scholars from around the world in order to: (1) provide guidance and information to academic researchers on the sorts of research currently conducted within the children's media industry, (2) identify how academic researchers might be influential in conducting research that will drive more impactful media productions, and (3) brainstorm ways to facilitate improved communication between researchers and (media) practitioners. More details about this exciting preconference are forthcoming. In the meanwhile, if you know of speakers that you believe are particularly relevant for this event, please email their names to Jessica Piotrowski at j.piotrowski@uva.nl. This preconference is organized jointly by the Center for research on Children, Adolescents, and the Media at the University of Amsterdam, the Center on Media & Human Development at Northwestern University, and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center.
  3. Website! As a reminder to our members, please do check the ICA-CAM website regularly. We try to limit our email to our members to division-specific business only. However, there are often relevant CfPs and other relevant initiatives that might be of interest to you. When we are notified of these opportunities, we update our website as well as our (un)official Facebook page. In this way, we are able to keep the emails to a minimum and ensure all members have access to this information. http://cam.icahdq.org/ohana/website/?p=7326676
  4. Thank you! Finally, a sincere thank you to all of our members that assisted with the review process. Your support is critical to making each conference a success.

Should you have any questions about the information included here or in general, please feel free to reach out to any of your CAM officers.


The ICA Communication and Technology Division (CAT) is seeking nominations for the Frederick Williams Prize for Contribution to the Study of Communication and Technology and the Herbert S. Dordick Dissertation Award. The submission deadline for both awards is 11:59pm GMT, 1 March 2017. Self-nominations are welcome.

For more information, please visit http://cat.icahdq.org

Frederick Williams Prize for Contributions to the Study of Communication and Technology
Dr. Frederick Williams (1933-2010), former ICA President and founding Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, was a visionary who made significant and lasting impacts on new communication technology research. To honor his memory and outstanding contribution to our field, the Williams Prize is awarded on a year-by-year basis by the Communication and Technology (CAT) Division of the International Communication Association. It recognizes the major contributions and cumulative achievements of senior scholars who have advanced the study and the field of communication and technology.


Nominations are solicited from CAT members; however, nominees are not required to be CAT or ICA members.

Nomination Process:

Nominations should be electronically submitted to Mike Yao (U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Chair of the ICA CAT Awards Committee, atmzyao@illinois.edu no later than 11:59pm GMT, 1 March 2017, with "Williams Prize Nomination" in the subject line.

Nomination letters should include:

  • The nominee's full contact information, including name, surface mail address, email address, and phone number;
  • A 1-2 page discussion of the nominee's major contributions to the study of communication and technology, and suitability for recognition as a recipient of the Prize; and
  • A list of the nominee's selected works, publications, distinctions, accomplishments or other evidence that demonstrate the significance of the nominee's work and its influence on the field of communication and technology.
  • Herbert S. Dordick Dissertation Award

    This Award honors the memory of Prof. Herbert S. Dordick (1925-1998), a distinguished telecommunications engineer, public/urban policy researcher and intellectual, teacher and mentor. The Dordick Dissertation Award recognizes the most outstanding doctoral dissertation in the area of communication and technology completed and defended in the preceding year, and is presented annually at the business meeting of the Communication and Technology (CAT) Division of the International Communication Association.


  • Dissertation Eligibility: Any doctoral dissertation in the area of communication and technology, completed and defended between 1 January and 31 December of the year prior to the Award is eligible for consideration.
  • ICA Membership: Dissertation authors need not be members of ICA or the CAT Division for their work to be considered, but Award recipients must be ICA members at the time the Award is given (i.e., the ICA annual conference in the year after completing the dissertation).
  • Nomination Eligibility: Dissertations may be nominated by their authors, by dissertation advisors, or by other academic/professional colleagues familiar with the dissertation project.
  • Nomination Process:

    Completed nominations, including all required materials, must be received via email no later than 11:59pm GMT, 1 March 2017. Nominations should be electronically submitted to Mike Yao (U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Chair of the ICA CAT Awards Committee, atmzyao@illinois.edu with "Dordick Award Nomination" in the subject field. Nomination materials should include:

  • Full contact information for the dissertation author, including name, surface mail address, email address, and phone number;
  • A cover letter or statement (1-2 pages) by the nominator describing the significance of the work and its merit/suitability for the Award;
  • A one-page abstract of the dissertation;
  • A representative chapter or selected sections of the dissertation, OR a paper summarizing the dissertation study, problem/hypothesis and rationale, methods, and findings, of up to 30 pages in length (double-spaced, excluding references and figures; approximately 7,500 words).


    Check out their announcements weekly here:


    FSD Ally Award: Call for nominees

    The FSD Ally Award is given annually to an ICA member, who is not a member of the Feminist Scholarship Division yet. The award recognizes a person who directly or indirectly supports the mission of FSD through scholarship, advocacy, mentoring, or other related activities.

    The ideal recipient would meet one or more of the following criteria:

      (a) has promoted feminist causes within ICA and other academic organizations;
      (b) has conducted feminist research;
      (c) has actively supported women academics in their paths toward promotion, tenure, and leadership; and/or
      (d) has spoken in support of FSD's mission at ICA leadership events or other Division events (i.e., board meetings or business meetings).

    FSD will accept nominations and self-nominations by February 1. The nomination will include a (1) a brief narrative, up to 400 words, explaining how the nominee meets one or more of the above criteria, (2) current CV of the nominee, and (3) Division affiliations within ICA at the moment of nomination. The nominations should be emailed to the current Division Chair Natalia Rybas (natrybas@gmail.com).

    The winner will be recognized at the business meeting and receive a certificate.

    FSD Teresa Award: Call for Nominations and Committee Members

    The Teresa Award recognizes work from established feminist scholars who have made significant contributions to the development, reach and influence of feminist scholarship in communication and/or media studies. The Feminist Scholarship Division seeks: (1) nominees for the Teresa Award for the Advancement of Feminist Scholarship; and (2) volunteers willing to serve on the Teresa Awards Committee to help choose among the nominees. Those wishing to serve on the committee should hold a doctoral degree and have a depth of familiarity with feminist communication scholarship. Those interested in nominating a feminist scholar for the award should inform co-chairs of the Teresa Award Committee, Marian Meyers ( mmeyers@gsu.edu) and Carolyn Byerly ( cbyerly@earthlink.net).The nominating materials should be submitted to the co-chairs no later than 15 February 2017More information about the award and the nomination process can be found here..


    Reviewers are still needed. Please sign-up to review for San Diego 2017! It's not too late to sign-up, with only one week left to submit your reviews --- that's enough for one paper! :

    Sign-up to review here: http://www.icahdq.org/cfp/. And, don't forget to complete your already assigned reviews.


    LGBTQ Studies Interest Group welcomes newly elected Co-Chair, ?ukasz Szulc. Szulc is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Antwerp (Belgium) and incoming Marie-Curie fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).


    Thank you again to those who volunteered to review for the 2017 Conference. We had an excellent number of submissions--nearly 50% more than last year, so the group continues to grow quickly.

    We are co-sponsoring the Distribution Matters preconference. Though the call is now closed, follow news about the program athttps://distributionmatters.wordpress.com

    As we await the new ICA web client, we are maintaining news on our Linked In Group site--please join if you haven't already:https://www.linkedin.com/groups/10310863

    We would like to do a better job promoting the work and new publications of our members since we tend to publish in a lot of different outlets--please forward such announcements to Amanda (lotz@umich.edu) or Sora (sora.park@canberra.edu.au) so that we can add them to our site or newsletter.

    Recent publications:

    Erin Hill, Never Done: A History of Women's Work in Media Production (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2016)


    The ICA Public Diplomacy Interest Group will hold its first conference sessions at ICA 2017 in San Diego and host a full-day post conference, "Bridging practice and disciplinary perspectives on the formation and effects of country image, reputation, brand, and identity," on 30 May 2017. Deadline for abstracts for the post conference is 30 Jan 2017. The post conference will bring together scholars and practitioners to discuss current challenges in public diplomacy and country image, with a focus on how to advance theory and research and how to contribute to the current practice of public diplomacy. You can find details of the call here - http://community.icahdq.org/ohana/groups/details.cfm?id=19

    Chair of the Public Diplomacy Interest Group, Diana Ingenhoff (Fribourg U), and vice-chair Alina Dolea (Bucharest U), along with James Pamment (Lund U) will edit a special issue of the Journal of Communication Management on "Organizational responses and communication strategies to the European refugee crisis." Deadline for submission of manuscripts is 28 Feb. 2017. For more information, please contact the editors. Information about the special issue can be found here - http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/call_for_papers.htm?id=6969


    Early Career Research Award

    This award is given annually to a scholar who has not yet earned tenure at his/her institution but has exhibited exemplary scholarship related to sport and communication. The award is open to all epistemological viewpoints and all communicative sub-disciplines relating to sport scholarship. The recipient should be a regular member and attendee of the conference of the International Communication Association. Self-nominations are welcome. Nomination materials should be submitted to Mike Devlin (mdevlin@txstate.edu), Chair of the Awards Committee, no later than 15 January 2016. Materials should include: (a) nominee's curriculum vitae (CV), (b) up to three samples of scholarly writing applying to sports communication research, and (c) three letters of recommendation. Candidates will be notified of the winner no later than March 1 and the winner should be present at the annual group meeting to receive the award.

    Tags:  December 2016 

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    Call for Papers

    Posted By Administrator, Tuesday, December 13, 2016


    U of Oregon in Portland o 6-8 April 2017

    The seventh annual "What is...? " conference-experience will engage communication, media, and nature by examining everyday life- our lifeworks and lifestyles - emphasizing the lifeworlds (environments) we live in. It will investigate how communication/media constitute and permeate all avenues and forms of life - from scale, pace, and pattern to the public, private, and organic. By building bridges through multidisciplinary networks, the event emphasizes how communication is instrumental in and for living systems. What is life and how is life mediated?

    What is Life? (2017) builds on last year's conference, What is Media? (2016), expanding a transdisciplinary notion of medium/media with special attention to its material, historical, and ecological ramifications. It marks the second collaboration with scholars from the natural sciences, life sciences, and the arts.

    Featured plenaries will include:

  • Douglas Rushkoff, Communication and Economics (Generation Like, FRONTLINE)
  • Jussi Parikka, Media Archaeology and Aesthetics (A Geology of Media)
  • Amnon Buchbinder, Journalism and Science (Biology of Story)
  • Salma Monani, Environmental Studies (Ecomedia)
  • Brendan Bohannan, Biology and Ecology
  • Toby Miller, Creative Industries and Environmental Studies (Greening The Media)
  • Gabriela Martinez, Cinema/Media Studies and Latin American Studies
  • Mark Johnson, Cognitive Science and Philosophy (Metaphors We Live By)
  • Brook Muller, Architecture and Design (Ecology and the Architectural Imagination)
  • Keynote address by Fritjof Capra, Complexity and System Sciences (Systems View of Life)

    Papers/presentations already accepted address: the value of human life, algorithms and e-waste, biodiversity, science journalism/communication, sustainable design and apps, Chinese rural experience, microbial ecology, women and work, STS and automation, responsibility and integrity.What is Life? invites scholars, government and community officials, industry professionals, alumni and students, as well as scientists, artists, filmmakers, grassroots community organizations, and the public to collaborate. We welcome submissions for paper presentations and panels, roundtables, and art installations. A wide range of topics and themes can be found under the Call for Proposals at the conference website (whatis.uoregon.edu).

    Send 100-150 word abstracts/proposals by 13 December 2016 to: Janet Wasko o jwasko@uoregon.edu

    Conference Organizers: Janet Wasko and Jeremy Swartz (U of Oregon)
    University of Oregon o Eugene, Oregon 97405-1275


    Catalan Journal of Communication & Cultural Studies

    Special Issue: 'Youth, Social Media and Gender: opportunity for resistance or reproduction of stereotypes?'

    Edited by Nuria Arauna (Rovira i Virgili U), Tonny Krijnen (Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication), Sofie Van Bauwel (UGhent),

    Our aim is to examine the contexts and cultural understandings that interact with young people's uses of social media from a gender perspective. We would like to cover different related manifestations and experiences related to youth's engagement with social media globally from a critical perspective.

    -Gendered and intersectional self-presentations on Social Networking Sites (SNS) 
    -Youth's agency in constructing gender identities and interactions on SNS
    -Double standards, victim blaming and assessment of peers' activities online 
    -Care vs control behaviour in love and sexual relationships on SNS 
    -Alternative masculinities, transgender and intergender identities on SNS 
    -Adolescent and young people's participation and engagement in alternative online communities 
    -Critical evaluation of revictimization through SNS of teenagers suffering sexual or gender violence 
    -Public controversies (media panics, institutional campaigns, press coverage...) regarding sexual aggression on SNS 
    -Emerging mobile social network services and transgressive gender subcultures

    The journal plans to include articles of 6,500-7,000 words (including references), as well as brief research notes or reports of around 2000-3000 words for the Viewpoint section. Full manuscripts for both sections should be sent in accordance with the Notes for Contributors to the email address catalan.journal@urv.cat by 1 February 2017. All contributions will be subjected to double blind peer review.

    Full text of the call attached and on the CJCS website:


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