Call for proposals: Exclusions in the History and Historiography of Communication Studies, International Communication Association Remote Preconference, May 27, 2021. Organizers: David W. Park, Jefferson Pooley, Peter Simonson. Deadline: 20 December 2020.
The broader field of communication studies is in a moment when we are—or should be—intensively interrogating patterns of exclusion and hegemony that have continued to constitute it: around global region (de-Westernizing, theory from the South, persistent patterns of American influence/hegemony), race (#communicationsowhite), gender (#metoo, #gendercom, Matilda effects,), and indigeneity/colonization (postcolonial and decolonial initiatives). To frame these exclusions as constitutive is to head off any easy solutions in terms of greater inclusivity, though that needs to be part of the mix; rather, it is to invite us to consider all of the ways in which these and other exclusions have functioned to center certain problems, theories, methods, languages, nations, social identities, and publication venues; and to exclude or marginalize others that are cast as differentially less valuable, lower status, Other, and more. To frame them as constitutive is also to draw attention to how those exclusions are performatively enacted on an ongoing basis through the full range of practices, social and epistemological, through which the field (re)produces itself.
It is time to animate our histories of communication and media studies with similar problematics, recognizing the patterns and performances through which the field(s) has organized itself around constitutive exclusions and continues actively to do so in its historiography. How have particular geopolitical locations (including but not limited to nations) achieved centrality, established standards and status hierarchies, and accumulated advantages and various forms of capital through marginalization and exclusion? How has colonialism and its persistent structural effects fueled communication study around the globe, and how does our historiography maintain that form of dominance and exclusion? How have gender/patriarchy, race/racism, and ethnicity fueled analogous processes? What forms of resistance and counter-hegemonies have arisen or persisted?