Popular Communication Division

Conference Call for Papers

Melissa Aronczyk, Vice-Chair
Conference Program Planner, Popular Communication Division, 2020
Rutgers U
School of Communication & Information
4 Huntington Street
New Brunswick, NJ USA 08901
E-mail: melissa.aronczyk@rutgers.edu 

The Popular Communication Division provides a forum for scholarly investigation, analysis, and dialogue among communication researchers interested in popular media, popular communication and popular culture. The Division invites papers, panels, and roundtable proposals from diverse theoretical and methodological approaches that explore a wide range of artifacts, processes, meanings, effects, and affects associated with popular communication. The Division particularly values critical research that regards popular media and communication as a productive site for the examination and understanding of culture, society, the economy, and everyday life. The Division welcomes research that analyzes popular cultural industries, texts, systems, and audiences, as well as the roles of technology and policy in relation to them. Submissions that also address the conference theme (in 2020: Open Communication) are particularly welcome. The following submission formats are permissible:

Full papers: Full papers should not exceed 8,000 words (25 pages) in length; tables, images, appendices, and reference do not count toward this limit. Papers should be in 12-point type, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins and with all identifying marks removed. Please note that accepted full papers may be scheduled either on panels or in an interactive (“poster”) session. 


Panel proposals: Panels may include four or five papers, or four papers with a respondent


Roundtable proposals: Roundtable sessions involve more speakers/session leaders (6-10) who give shorter, more informal presentations of their work. Roundtables are intended to provide more time for audience interaction/discussion. Submissions should articulate specifically why a roundtable format is optimal and provide a clear rationale for how audience interactivity will enhance these sessions.


We are open to proposals for alternative formats; but these should be discussed with the Division’s Conference Program Planner before being submitted for review. Popular Communication does not accept paper abstracts or extended paper abstracts in lieu of paper submissions.


Panel and roundtable submissions should cohere around a single topic (one that is timely, and directly relevant to the division), with each paper/presenter providing a distinct perspective on that topic. Panels should aim to reflect and juxtapose different interregional, international, transnational, and global perspectives. Proposals whose participants and topics reflect the cultural, geographical, and gender diversity of the Division’s scholarly community, and which include both junior and senior scholars, will be viewed most favorably. Sessions consisting of multiple panelists from a single institution are strongly discouraged, as are panels that closely mirror one from a recent ICA, in either composition and/or topic.


Proposals for panel and roundtable sessions must include the following:


1. A 400-word abstract for the panel.


2. A 150-word abstract for each of the papers on the panel followed by a very brief (<100 word) description of each panelist’s background and qualifications regarding the proposed topic.


3. A 75-word description of the panel for the conference program.


4. A 200-word rationale is optional for panel proposals and should be used only if there is a need for explaining something above and beyond what has been included in other aspects of the proposal (e.g. a unique format, further clarification of how the papers fit together, connection to an external event, etc.). Roundtable proposals must include a rationale that speaks to why a roundtable is the preferred format.

ICA’s submission system may offer different word length limits, but the limits stated above take precedence.


It is expected that any work submitted to this division has not been already been published. Submission of the same paper to multiple divisions is strictly prohibited. Submission of material that does not meet Division requirements will result in automatic rejection.

It is expected that all who submit to the Popular Communication Division will also volunteer to review papers for the conference. If you are submitting a panel or roundtable proposal, be sure to remind fellow panel members to volunteer to also review for the Division. All are encouraged to volunteer to review for the Division, including graduate students.


Those seeking help with the submission process are invited to contact the Division’s Conference Program Planner, Melissa Aronczyk, at melissa.aronczyk@rutgers.edu.