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OPENING PLENARY of the 68th Annual ICA Conference: Communication and the Evolution of Voice

Thu, May 24, 18:00 to 19:30, Hilton Prague, Floor: M, Hilton Grand Ballroom

Session Submission Type: Panel


From dyadic, face-to-face interactions to blogs and Twitter feeds, the expression of voice has long played a central role in our social and political lives. Studies of voice – its normative underpinnings, its manifestations, and its micro- and macro-level effects – illuminate how our lives have been impacted and how our scholarship has evolved. More important, the landscape continues to evolve and compelling questions remain before us.

This year's opening plenary features four experts whose presentations paint an arc of significant theoretical, technological, political and social change vis-à-vis voice. Guobin Yang (U of Pennsylvania) analyzes the transformation of New Left radicalism in the US and China, and shows how a fascination with abstract theoretical concepts can harm practical struggles for social justice. Peter Baumgartner (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) examines evolving expressions of voice, particularly in Russia and Eastern Europe. Sheila Coronel (Columbia U) focuses on technology and voice, juxtaposing the power of the early web to break the monopoly of information against the current use of social media for disinformation and harassment purposes. Philip Howard (Oxford U) closes by presenting five design principles that allow for building civic engagement and voice into the internet of things.

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