2012 ECIG Call for Papers
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2012 CFP for Environmental Communication

The Environmental Communication Interest Group invites submissions that illuminate all aspects of communication related to nature and the natural world. The group aims to advance research on the interplay of the environment with any level of communication (such as interpersonal, group, intergroup, organizational, mass, or global) and in any setting (education/instruction, leisure/gaming, economic, legal, and so forth). Research on health, risk, and science communication issues related to the environment are especially germane. Topics might include environmental rhetoric and discourse, visual and textual representations of the natural environment in popular culture or journalism, political communication about environmental issues, critical animal studies, public participation or interaction in ecological decision making, environmental campaigns and green marketing, scientific sense-making about nature, and the impact of communication technologies and communication about environmental technologies, among others. The group welcomes work from any perspective (including critical, cultural, ethnic/minority, feminist) employing any research method motivated by sound research questions on environmental communication—philosophical/theoretical, historical, and applied research and conceptual, performative, or empirical presentations.

The group will accept full papers (maximum 10,000 words plus tables, charts, and references in minimum 12-point type) and panel proposals. Include panelists’ names and background, abstracts of papers, and a justification that explains the importance of the topic and its interest to ICA members. Follow the length guidelines on the ICA panel submission template. The group will consider panel proposals that employ novel formats to expand participation, mentor junior scholars, promote graduate student research projects, and advance similar aims. To encourage an international perspective, panel proposals that include presenters from different countries receive priority. Submit paper and panel proposals online at the conference submission website and follow the ICA submission guidelines. Please indicate if your paper can be in an interactive (display/poster) or virtual (distance/asynchronous) session. Read carefully the ICA rules for preparing your submission, especially for removing from papers any information identifying authors.

Top faculty and student papers will receive recognition awards at the group’s business meeting. To be eligible, student authors should indicate their status.


2012 CFP for Environmental Communication Pre-conference, May 24, 2012

at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Phoenix, AZ

Communication and the Ethics of Consumption

Environmental Communication Interest Group, International Environmental
Communication Association (IECA)

Goals and Participants
This pre-conference is one of the inaugural events of the Environmental Communication Interest Group at ICA. The goal is to bring scholars, grad students, community activists, journalists, and other environmental communicators together to engage in a meaningful dialogue about what lies at the crux of our environmental crisis: excessive consumption. We seek submissions that address the ethics of consumption from a communication and media perspective. Consumption is defined broadly, including both the use of exhaustible material products (for example, media hardware) and the use of inexhaustible and immaterial products and services (such as TV programming, music, movies, games, and web services). As user-generated media and DIY cultures increasingly merge consumption into the process of production, we also call for new ways to define the ethics of consumption. Through this pre-conference, we hope to highlight the links between environmental communication, cultural studies, political communication, health communication, science communication, and popular communication.

The word “consumption” dates back to the 14th century and originally referred to diseases, especially tuberculosis, that slowly waste away the body. Raymond Williams noted that consumption is a metaphor for the stomach or furnace, where goods disappear. Today, as new and old consumer societies are rapidly exhausting the planet’s resources and the exploitation of the labor force has become a global phenomenon, the ethics of consumption frequently come under broad scrutiny. In popular media, activists, intellectuals, citizens groups, NGOs, and last but not least, businesses have all taken stands on what they consider as ethical consumption. From green consumerism, social marketing, corporate social responsibility programs, to the Meatless Monday Movement and the emerging urban farmer coalitions in China, we are witness to a worldwide array of corporate and non-corporate attempts to explore ways to consume frugally and/or ethically, if at all possible. This pre-conference draws in part from the interest in the cultural contradictions of Western and global consumption patterns as expressed in new books, mailing lists, popular publications and conferences dedicated to sustainablity and consumption.

In the interest of developing the field of environmental communication, we plan to split the day-long pre-conference into scholarly discussions and innovative forms of engagement. We therefore welcome traditional academic abstracts, as well as substantive teaching plans (lesson plans, assignments, or syllabi) and other forms of creative involvement on the ethics of consumption. All participants are required to submit an abstract, including for example, participants who want to lead a tour to a local supermarket.

Topics (include but are not limited to):
1. Critical examination of mainstream commercial discourse on ethical consumption (advertising, public relation campaigns, lifestyle journalism, etc.);
2. The grassroots use of media to organize or promote ethical consumption and attitudes;
3. Media debates on the ethics of consumption and their implications for the environment, human rights, social justice, and democracy;
4. Ethical assessments of the media industries themselves as consumers of raw materials (in the production of paper, electronics hardware, the energy that runs the internet and the like) and the discourse of green consumerism on media hardware;
5. Philosophical and theoretical framing of the relationship between communication and the ethics of consumption, or proposals for a new ethics of consumption in a world of changing media technologies.
6. Strategic media plans for carrying out integrated communication campaigns (using print, mass, and social media) to promote ethical communication in local communities.

Submission Guidelines
Prospective presenters are invited to submit abstracts of 300 words maximum (Word or PDF formats) to Richard Doherty at rdoherty@illinois.edu no later than Oct. 29, 2011. Please include authors’ names, institutional affiliation and email address in your abstract.

Organizing Committee
Merav Katz-Kimchi (UC Berkeley), Lee Ahern (Pennsylvania State
University), Xinghua Li (Babson College), Richard Doherty (U of Illinois,