Leaving the Ivory Tower: The Promises and Perils of Public Engagement
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When: 05/24/2019
1:00 PM
Where: Washington Hilton Hotel
Washington, District of Columbia 
United States
Contact: Rebekah Tromble

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On Site: Washington Hilton


OrganizersRebekah Tromble


DescriptionSeveral years after Gamergate revealed the perils that the digital age poses for academics whose work speaks to and engages with the broader public, we now have an opportunity to look back and reflect on what we have learned. Indeed, the need for reflection and reappraisal is perhaps now more urgent than ever, as we have seen the tactics deployed against academics expand and effectively become institutionalized within the hybrid media system. However, we also want to balance our reflections about these perils with considerations of the promises that public engagement can also offer. This half-day pre-conference workshop therefore aims to bring together a diverse group of communication scholars to discuss both the potential benefits and pitfalls of stepping outside of the ivory tower. The workshop will comprise two parts: one session of paper presentations with Q&A and one broader round-table discussion of best practices. For the first session, we invite paper proposals on any topic that fits within this broad theme. We plan to organize a journal special issue or edited volume on the basis of the workshop. Possible paper topics and approaches include: - Empirical case studies of the benefits of public engagement - Empirical case studies of the perils of engagement - Empirical work examining dynamics involving race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and/or sexual orientation - Reflection essays on institutional support needs - Reflection essays on best practices for early-career scholars - International perspectives on any of these, or related, topics