VACAS 2020: Communication and Identity

VACAS 2020: Communication and Identity
VACAS 2020

Conference Theme:

Identity. The concept has taken on increased significance in the past three years. We build our identities, our complex sense of who we are, through communication and social interaction.

In our homes, schools, and neighborhoods we collectively develop a sense of self, and a shared sense of community. We also attribute identities to others, in ways that can be positive and affirming or violent and destructive.

Media texts and images can tell stories about identity, stories that build identification and solidarity across difference. Media stories can also stereotype, marginalize, and promote hatred and ill-will. The labels that we affix to one another—in institutions, in everyday life, online on Instagram and Twitter--can shape our lives in profound ways, drawing and re-drawing lines of connection and exclusion. And, lest we forget, the power to define our identities and those of others is not held equally.

Powerful institutions—media, government, religion, and education—create categories, like those of “citizen” or “illegal,” “migrant” or “refugee,” and these categories distribute social advantage to some and violence and detention to others. VACAS 2020 therefore calls on students and scholars to examine the relationships between communication, media, and identity both historically and in our contemporary moment.

~As always, we welcome submissions that fall outside this theme as well. This conference is open to all papers, posters, and panels related to the field of communication studies, regardless of topic.~

 

 

About VACAS 2020:

VACAS 2020 represents a great opportunity for undergraduate students, graduate students, and communication faculty—especially those based in Virginia—to share their latest work in the field of communication. We encourage submissions across the whole range of the communication field, including, but not limited to: media studies, journalism, political communication and campaigns, film studies, communication and advocacy, public relations, communication theory and rhetorical criticism, critical/cultural studies, science and environmental communication, intercultural communication, interpersonal/small group communication, health and risk communication, and communication education/pedagogy. We welcome submissions from undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty. Panels, papers, and posters can present completed work or work-in-progress.

Undergraduate students (and their faculty advisors): are especially encouraged to submit their work. In short, we envision VACAS 2020 as a positive and supportive venue for undergraduate students to present their exemplary work in communication research and critical analysis. A full discussion of this year’s conference theme—Communication and Identity—can be found at vacas.gmu.edu.

 

Submission Guidelines:

All submissions should be sent to vacas@gmu.edu. All submissions are reviewed by VACAS division or section chairs. However, as spelled out below, the process for submitting work differs for faculty/graduate students and undergraduate students.

  • Proposals from Faculty/Graduate Students: Individual paper submissions
    • Please email a 250-300 word abstract of your paper (or completed paper) to vacas@gmu.edu.
    • New deadline: February 7, 2020.
  • Panel submissions – Please submit a 300-500 word proposal for your panel which includes (1) A title; (2) A list of panelists and their institutional affiliations, including panel chair and (optional) respondent; (3) Titles and abstracts for each paper or presentation; (4) A rationale of no more than 250 words that states the relevance of the topic for your unit and how panelists will make the topic interactive for the audience (handouts, links to websites, paper distribution, etc.). Panel submissions should be emailed to vacas@gmu.edu. New deadline: February 7, 2020. Note: Issue-based discussion panels, or roundtables, are welcome as well. We view faculty/graduate student panels as a particularly good venue for discussing pressing issues or challenges facing communication students, graduate students, and faculty in Virginia and beyond.
  • Undergraduate Student Proposals:
    (a) Panel submissions (submitted by faculty sponsor)
    • Faculty members are encouraged to submit panels showcasing their students’ papers, analyses, or research. Undergraduate panels can also provide a venue for discussing and reflecting on students’ experiences within the professional fields of communication (including in internships or co-curricular activities).

Submitting a Proposal:

  • To submit a proposal for an undergraduate panel, the faculty sponsor should submit a 300-500 word proposal for the panel which includes (1) A title; (2) A list of panelists and their institutional affiliations, including panel chair and (optional) respondent; (3) Titles and abstracts for each paper or presentation; (4) A rationale of no more than 250 words that states the relevance of the topic for our unit and how panelists will make the topic interactive for the audience (handouts, links to websites, paper distribution, etc.).
  • Panel submissions should be emailed to vacas@gmu.edu. New deadline: February 7, 2020.
    (b) Individual poster presentations (submitted by individual undergraduate students)—Undergraduate students are encouraged to submit a 250-300 word abstract describing their research or criticism paper, for inclusion in our undergraduate poster presentation sessions. These poster presentation abstracts should be emailed to vacas@gmu.edu.
  • Abstracts are due by February 7, 2020. The finished poster must then be submitted to the section or division chair by March 10, 2020. [Please let us know if you need advice on how to create these posters!] Those undergraduate students who are unable to finish their poster by March 10, 2020 will be invited to discuss their research at an undergraduate “works-in-progress” roundtable session where they will receive guidance and feedback from VACAS faculty members.