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Popular Communication Division By-Laws
International Communication Association

(version August, 2012)

The Popular Communication Division provides a forum for scholarly investigation, analysis, and dialogue among communication researchers interested in popular communication and popular culture. Division members employ diverse theoretical approaches and methodological tools to explore a wide range of artifacts, processes, effects, and meanings that are associated with the shaping of popular communication and popular culture. The division particularly values critical research that regards popular communication and popular culture as a locus from which to generate useful and provocative questions about everyday life. Submissions that address the conference theme are particularly welcomed. Students should indicate status in the abstract section of the online submission form unless otherwise indicated.

Member Rights and Duties

The official journal of the division is Popular Communication: International Journal of Media and Culture, published by Taylor & Francis. This peer-reviewed journal, which began in 2002, is issued four times a year and is designed to be of interest to those from the division as well as beyond it. Members are encouraged to submit their scholarship to this journal.

All members are also invited and encouraged to submit papers for the peer-reviewed annual conference presentations. The deadline for this submission is November 1, and guidelines are available on the division website. Members are also invited to serve as peer reviewers for papers submitted to the division, and may volunteer or be invited to serve as chairs and respondents for panels at the annual conference.

Members are also encouraged to send their professional news to the division Secretary for inclusion in the newsletter. All members receive a copy of the division newsletter twice a year: once in the fall and once before the annual conference in the spring.

All members and prospective members are welcome to attend the annual division reception held in conjunction with the annual conference.


The Popular Communication Division offers Top Paper awards for those papers receiving the highest peer evaluations for a given year. Three are given to top faculty papers and one to the top graduate student paper. Award checks in the amount of $100 are given during the annual conference, and awardees are recognized in both the division and in the International Communication Association newsletters. Paper authors must be members of the division to be considered for Top Paper awards.

Travel Grants in the amount of $300 are available for student members of the division. Students traveling a great distance to present scholarship accepted for presentation are especially encouraged to apply by writing a letter of inquiry and sending a c.v. to the Chair by February 15.

Division Leadership

The membership of the Popular Communication Division is brought together for an annual business meeting as part of the annual meeting of the International Communication. Nominations for officers are sought at the divisional business meeting and are solicited from the entire membership by email in July/August. Elections for officers are held in conjunction with the annual ballot issued through the International Communication Association in October. The elected official begins serving at the conclusion of the following Spring annual meeting.

The Chair and Vice Chair/Chair Elect position for the Popular Communication division is a four year term, consisting of two years as Vice Chair/Chair Elect followed by two years as Chair, and serving as Program Planner during the second year of the Vice Chair and first of the Chair. The Chair serves as a Member of the Board of the International Communication Association. After serving, he/she beomes an Immediate Past Chair and remains in advisory duties to the current Chair and other officers.

The Secretary, Webmaster, and Graduate Student Representative are elected for two year terms.

Officer Responsibilities:

The Chair is responsible for the oversight of all matters related to program planning and interface with ICA headquarters. The Chair serves as Program Planner and ICA board member in his/her first year as Chair and as ICA board member (with advisory responsibility for program planning) in his/her second year as Chair. The Chair is also responsible for membership recruitment, writes columns for the bi-annual division newsletter, submits news of the division to the ICA newsletter, and runs the annual business meeting. He/she also manages Travel Grants made available to graduate students who so request them.

The Vice Chair is responsible for learning the administrative tasks of the division during his/her first year. S/he serves as Program Planner in his/her second year as Vice Chair, and in the following year becomes Chair.

The Secretary is responsible for collating, writing, and publishing the division newsletter online twice a year, in late September and late April. Once the newsletter is completed, the Secretary shall forward it to the Webmaster for creating an email document with hypertext headline links and uploading the full newsletter to the division’s web page, and the Chair then forwards the email to the division. S/he also takes minutes at the annual business meeting and posts these on the division website after the annual meeting.

The Program Planner (a role filled by the Vice Chair or Chair) is responsible for updating the call for papers for ICA conference, recruiting submissions to the division, recruiting reviewers for paper and panel submissions, receiving reviews, ranking papers and panels according to reviews, contacting other divisions to seek joint sponsorship of eligible panels, and submitting these rankings and co-sponsorships to the ICA headquarters. He/she also names the Top Papers based upon reviews and selects the paper from the Interactive Paper Session that will be nominated for that session’s prizes (top prize: $250) and submits those names to ICA.

The Webmaster works in close collaboration with the Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary of the Division, overseeing the design and updating the division’s website. The webmaster works with the secretary to archive current and past issues of the division’s newsletter.

The Graduate Student Representative works with the other officials of the division to represent student interests. S/he contributes at the annual division meeting and in the biannual newsletters, and helps to promote the division and its travel grants among graduate students.

Previous Officers serve an advisory role for the division. They are called upon as reviewers, in particular of panel proposals, and take responsibility for attending Popular Communication panels and keeping counts of those in attendance (when requested by the Chair). They also are copied on division business matters that come up during the year so as to retain an advisory role for currently serving officers.

Editors of the Journal Popular Communication (including journal editors, book editors, and special guest editors) are selected by members of the journal’s Editorial Board in conjunction with Journal owner Taylor & Francis. While the division will exert no formal editorial control over the journal, the membership will play a role in recommending future editors. This most likely will take the form of the division’s chair participating in the process of interviewing editorial candidates and making recommendations to the publisher on behalf of the division. Editors are expected to serve a term of five years. A representative from the journal reports on the journal at each year’s annual business meeting of the division.