Philosophy, Theory and Critique Division

Conference Call for Papers


Kaarina Nikunen, Vice Chair
Faculty of Information Technology and Communication 
33014 Tampere University

The Philosophy, Theory and Critique (PTC) Division invites papers and/or panels for the 2021 conference in Denver, Colorado, USA. The PTC Division is broadly concerned with the critical, theoretical, analytical and political issues that cut across the various boundaries that are often taken for granted within the study of communication. Its primary goal is to provide a forum in which scholars can share knowledge and critically explore the relations between the study of communication and the range of contemporary theoretical and philosophical approaches, arguments and positions, especially those concerned with social, political, or cultural critique. Work presented in PTC is wide-ranging including theoretical and empirical research on the nature of communication, media and (digital) technology; questions of power, subjectivity and experience; critical theories of data, surveillance and digital labor; connections between critical knowledge production, digital media and social change; philosophy and ethics of communication; ethics of care; issues of citizenship, participation, recognition and the public sphere(s); and nationalism, cosmopolitanism and power in various forms (symbolic, institutional, economic, technological, etc.). Members bring different theoretical and philosophical orientations to bear upon these topics, including phenomenology and hermeneutics, Marxism, feminism, critical theory, media theory, pragmatism, social theory and cultural critique. We welcome research that engages with and makes contribution to critical theoretical or philosophical debates. Submissions that also address the conference theme (in 2021: Engaging the Essential Work of Care: Communication, Connectedness, and Social Justice) are particularly welcome. 


The PTC Division will accept submissions in three formats this year:


1. Full paper submissions up to 25-30 pages (double spaced, about 7000-8000 words) excluding references and illustrative material). Papers must be original to ICA, i.e., you should not submit work already published elsewhere. In preparing your submission please remove all author information from the manuscript, including metadata, to facilitate the process of blind peer review. Please note that accepted full papers may be scheduled either on panels or in an interactive (“poster”) session. 

2. Panel submissions. Panels provide a good forum for the discussion of new approaches and innovative ideas. Panel proposals should include 4-5 paper presenters (if a designated respondent is required, then 4 presenters only please). Please consider forgoing a respondent in favour of an additional presenter.

The panel proposals should include contributions from at least two different countries, feature gender balance, and include not more than one contributor from a single faculty, department or school.

Panel submissions should include the following:

Please note that the ICA’s online conference submission system may offer different word length limits but the limits stated above take precedence.


3. Roundtable submissions. Roundtables provide an opportunity for a larger panel (6-8 participants) to offer short position statements on a topic of major interest or controversy. If you plan to submit a roundtable proposal, please submit the same details as for a panel, except that abstracts from each panelist should be 100-150 words in length and no respondent is required.




Full papers, panel and roundtable proposals can be on any aspect, theme or approach that fits the PTC remit.


If you have any questions concerning these formats or general enquiries regarding your individual submission, please contact the 2021 conference planner and PTC vice-chair, Kaarina Nikunen ( All submissions will go through a process of blind peer review and ICA will notify you if your paper has been accepted in mid-January.


Volunteer to Review Papers and Panels! 


Please note that by submitting proposal to ICA you are also asked to volunteer to review papers and panels. Given the usual high number of papers/panels/roundtable proposals, we encourage you to review papers and panels for PTC. If you have not already volunteered for the coming year, please e-mail Kaarina Nikunen, providing some details about your expertise and contact information. You can also nominate yourself on the ICA website.