CALL FOR PROPOSALS

No Going Back: Global Communication and Post-Pandemic Politics
Biennial Early Career Conference

April 8 and 9, 2021
Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication (CARGC), Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania

On suddenly sparse streets, artists confront the grim reality of the moment. With a nod to the anti-globalization movement or the music notes seemingly playing off the guest that has overstayed its welcome, both messages diagnose the ailment and gesture toward a hope for and belief in change. In a moment shaped by closures – of borders, stores, schools, offices, jobs, and, for many, a dream of “going back to normal” – what openings are made possible?

The second biennial early career conference by the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication (CARGC) at the Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania asks: What are post-pandemic politics? We understand post-pandemic, not as a myopic focus on COVID-19, but rather as an optic illuminating both persistent and emergent conditions of inequity and precarity. We also use post-pandemic as an opportunity to imagine new forms of politics, community, solidarity, and action.

We invite early career scholars, activists, artists, and journalists to reflect on the crucial role of communication in this moment of rupture and offer the following questions as a provocation for participants:

What can the critical study of global communication – in all its expansiveness and imaginative force – offer us in a moment when uncertainty, insecurity, and risk have saturated hegemonic imaginations of the global?

How might these times, which have both exacerbated and highlighted marginalization and oppression across global Norths and Souths and along lines of race, class, gender, and other axes of identity, move us towards justice and anti-oppression? 

What other ways of coming together, collective action, and organizing have been brought to the forefront of dominant imaginations, and what ways of being and living remain possible outside their ambit?

We invite a range of interventions, be they artistic, activist, academic, or some combination thereof, on post-pandemic politics in the context of global communication. Possible topics may include:

  • Affect (paranoia, exhaustion, anxiety, grief, joy, shame, pressure, hope, etc.)
  • Communication and Rights (privacy, freedom of speech, harassment, etc.)
  • Connectivity (broadband, virtualization of life, audience practices, etc.)
  • Data science (Big Data, small data, profiling, tracing-and-tracking, etc.)
  • Discipline and Surveillance: (state, corporate, and community surveillance, violence through surveillance, internet of things, artificial intelligence, etc.). 
  • Globalization and Communication (the global and the local, North-to-South, South-to-South, South-to-North processes, transnationalism, nation, borders and citizenship, etc.)
  • Humor (memes, online humor, entertainment, political satire, etc.)
  • Inequalities (digital inequalities, communication inequalities, structural inequalities, like those related to gender, race or ethnicity, class, sexuality, and others.)
  • Infrastructures and Materialities (communication and media infrastructure, power concentration, etc.)
  • Journalism (news productions, news reception, misinformation, polarization, etc.)
  • Labor (precarious labor, gig economy, unionization, etc.).
  • Media representations ((in)visibilities, audience reception, etc.).
  • Social Movements and Activism (digital activism, feminist activism, anti-racist movements, etc.)
  • Visual and sound communication (videos, photographs, visual and sound interventions, etc.)

Date and Place: If held in-person, the conference will be on April 8 and 9, 2021 at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, US. It will be held remotely if the circumstances do not allow gatherings.

Submissions: Contributions can take the form of academic papers or other creative and multimodal works (audio submissions, short film or documentaries, or creative writing). Please, follow the specific guidelines for each type of submission. Submit your work using this form.

Review Process: Submissions will be reviewed based on clarity, significance, relevance, creativity, and how well they respond to the conference theme. Only submissions that meet the submission guidelines will be considered. For any questions about the submission or review process, please reach out to cargcfellows@gmail.com.

Funding: If the conference can be safely held in-person in April 2021, we have a small amount of funds to support participants. Please indicate in the form if you would be interested in being considered for this.

Deadline: The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2020.

This conference is the second biennial early career conference at the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication (CARGC) at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Its inaugural conference was held on March 27 and 28, 2019 and featured a keynote conversation at Slought, a not-for-profit organization based at the University of Pennsylvania, entitled “Practicing Decolonization,” as well as presentations by 13 early career scholars.