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68th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association

68th Annual ICA Conference
Prague, Czech Republic
24-28 May 2018

Against a backdrop of evolving technologies and shifting sociocultural and political dynamics, the 2018 ICA conference theme, Voices, encourages scholars to delve more deeply into a concept inextricably linked with communication.

Examined from multiple epistemological approaches, a host of methodologies, and numerous levels of analysis, studying voice – or the plurality of voices – can illuminate the process by which it is fostered and/or constrained as well as the conditions under which it is expressed and/or stifled. More important, the study of voice can shed light on the process by which it impacts behaviors, defines relationships, influences policies, and shapes the world in which we live. In other words, the conference theme encourages the submission of scholarship that examines voice vis-à-vis various discourses, actors, processes, and outcomes.

The significance of voice is reflected in contemporary debates around domestic and transnational issues such as the environment and immigration. It also plays a critical role in numerous systems, regardless of whether these systems are bound interpersonally, organizationally, culturally, politically, or socially. Irrespective of the domain of study, the conference theme Voices encourages scholars to address key questions related to:

* Theorizing about voice

How have conceptions of voice, either theoretically or in specific contexts, evolved over time and in different cultures? How do we theorize the combining of voices? How do we theoretically juxtapose voice against listening or thinking? How is voice implicated in claims to distinctive or authentic identity?

* The creation and representation of voice

Among different groups of individuals, ranging from young adults to underrepresented groups to political elites, how is voice fostered and what is the process by which private voices become public? Under what conditions are advocacy efforts successful or justifiable as forms of speaking on behalf of others? From dyadic contexts to public diplomacy, who speaks for whom?

* The expression of voice

When is voice activated and how is it communicated? How do individual or group voices organize socially available discourses? What individual, social, organizational, economic or legal considerations influence the expression of voice? How have media technologies amplified the expression of personal voices in public fora?

* The impact of voice

What communication strategies are effective in simultaneously bolstering voice and resolving conflict? How can the coexistence of voices be leveraged to introduce synergy and collaboration in problem-solving? How successful are different voices and messages in gaining traction via traditional and/or digital media? What is the process by which voices become influential, empower or constrain individuals and groups, and shape social processes?

General Proposals

Submissions to theme sessions must follow all general guidelines put forward by ICA (8,000 words, not including tables and references). Proposals for papers and panels on the conference theme are invited from all sectors of the field, and will be evaluated competitively by anonymous referees. Theme-based submissions must be cross-divisional; that is, they must span the interests and purview of more than one ICA division or interest group, and should have broad appeal across all units of the association. Submissions deemed to fit the interests of one division or interest group rather than the conference as a whole will be forwarded to that group for consideration. Papers or panels must not be submitted simultaneously for consideration to any division or interest group. Space constraints in Prague allow submissions to be accommodated as regular and high-density paper sessions, hybrid sessions, interaction paper (poster) sessions, and extended sessions.

Panel proposals on the conference theme must include a 400-word rationale explaining how the panel fits the conference theme and 150-word summary of the rationale to appear in the conference program. In keeping with ICA tradition, an edited volume focusing on the conference theme will be published. This volume will draw from presentations in divisions, interest groups, and theme sessions.

Conference Theme Chair
Donald Matheson
Canterbury U

Conference Program Chair
Patricia Moy
U of Washington

Conference Secretariat
Laura Sawyer
ICA Executive Director

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