72nd Annual ICA Conference Call for Papers
The ICA 2022 conference theme One World, One Network‽ invites reimagining communication scholarship on globalization and networks. The use of the interrobang glyph – a superposition of the exclamation and question punctuation marks – seeks to simultaneously celebrate and problematize the “one-ness” in the theme.
Arguably nothing celebrates the “one-ness” of the world more than our existential commitment to the sustainability of our planet. Indeed, the blue marble photograph of Earth taken by the crew of Apollo 17 in 1972 is one of the most reproduced images in history. In other areas, “One World” remains a contested slogan. Marshall McLuhan invoked visions of a “global village” in the 1960s. A 1980 UNESCO report titled “Many Voices, One World” introduced the phrase “New World Information and Communication Order” to recommend changes to address inequities in global media representations. The proliferation of the Internet, social media, and mobile technologies since the turn of the 21st century has generated a robust debate on the promises and perils of globalization.
Communication scholars have also interrogated the “one-ness” of networks among individuals, families, children, organizations, communities, cultures, media systems, and nation-states, among others. More recently, scholars have explored the communicative implications of networks in the human brain as well as networks of humans and autonomous agents (robots, AI). Networks offer evocative metaphors, theories, and analytical tools to help us understand communication processes and structures that undergird a wide range of domains. Communication scholars have deployed network approaches to understand education, healthcare, sustainability, policy making, as well as work and organization. They have probed the interplay between networks and journalism, media governance, popular culture, visual representations and online gaming. And, they have explored how networks enable and undermine social support, social justice, and social movements. Networks also offer us a lens to problematize – and address – issues such as the geo-political fragmentation of the Internet (“Splinternet”), cyberattacks, disinformation, exclusion, extremism, hate, marginalization, oppression, polarization, and racism. In addition to helping us reimagine our engagement with globalization and networks, advances in technologies are spurring new computational modes of intellectual inquiry alongside more established empirical, interpretive, discursive, rhetorical, and critical approaches.
The theme invites research, reflection, and critique of the “One World, One Network‽” discourse in communication studies on questions including (but not limited to) the following:
- How do we theorize and model interdependent networks nested at many levels (from brain cells to societies) to better understand and enable how communicative processes and structures shape our world?
- How do global networks organize and mobilize socio-political contestations online and offline? How can networks of resistance, solidarity, and counter-power through regional formations both beyond and beneath the nation-state shape “Another World”?
- How are advances in artificial intelligence, robotization, the Internet of Things, genetic engineering, and neuroscience, among others, contributing to the future trajectories of algorithmically infused societies and networks, at work and play, around the world?
- How are media systems – old and new – nurturing networks of “intimate publics” and “counter publics” among communities around the globe?
- How and why do some networks infiltrate mainstream media systems with disinformation, propaganda, and hate while other networks find themselves ignored, censored, or targeted?
- How are networks contributing to images of the Global South produced and consumed in the Global North – and vice versa? How do these asymmetries shape inequities in our responses to global challenges such as pandemics and sustainable development?
- How can networks change the lived experiences – training, mentoring, publishing, co-authoring, and recruiting – of under-represented scholars around the world in the field of communication? How do we square the circle of “oneness” while promoting visibility of minoritized positions? What must we do to decolonize communication scholarship and address methodological imperialism? How do we expand the notion of “One World” to also signal, inclusively, “All Our World(s)”?