CFP Designing Professional Communication Across Cultures

CFP Designing Professional Communication Across Cultures
Special issue of connexions: international professional communication journal

In the last thirty years, two trends have transformed the world of professional communication. On one hand, a global economy has increasingly placed professional communicators in multilingual and multicultural work environments. In such environments, disciplinary borders are blurred, markets are integrated, and ideas are shared across individuals and organizations. On the other hand, advances in technology have revolutionized the ways communication products are designed, shared, and assessed. Professional communicators must thus reach and serve a diverse population of stakeholders.

They do so with multimodal forms of communication that integrate both text, visuals, and audience interactions. Design no longer means “a picture is worth a thousand words.” It is now impacted by a holistic methodology often known as “design thinking.” Design thinking encompasses the entire process of creating professional communication products and services, including websites, social media campaigns, technical documentation, and information-driven user interfaces. Neumeier (2009) wrote that design “has been waiting patiently in the wings for nearly a century, having been relegated to supporting roles and stand-in parts” (p.18). Design thinking is now important to such disparate activities as branding, innovation, and cultivating optimal user experiences. As Vogel (2009) pointed out: “Only one company in a market can be the cheapest; the rest need design” (p.8).

In this way, the practice of designing across cultures has been brought to the forefront of professional communication in order to engage stakeholders in a globalized, multicultural marketplace. From a business perspective, communicators use design thinking to discover user goals, strategize content, structure teams, and create and evaluate prototypes. Design helps distinguish brands and increase value for enterprises. Design can also help bridge linguistic and breaks language and cultural barriers, however. It can create beneficial solutions for users from minoritized, underrepresented, and marginalized populations. Good design is thus culturally-sensitive as it must adapt to and respect cultural groups being served.

This special issue of connexions: international professional communication journal seeks to understand, articulate, and evaluate the role of design in professional communication across cultures. It aims to bring together scholars and practitioners who engage in design activities in a cross-cultural or multi-cultural context. Here culture is broadly defined. We seek articles related to nationality, race, ethnicity, age, gender, disability/accessibility, sexual orientation, as well as any other cultural/professional identities.

Suggested topic areas include, but are not limited to:
Design thinking in professional communication projects
Challenges in designing for multi-national and multi-cultural audiences
Affordances for specific genres of information products within specific cultures
The design, writing, and strategy of documentation
New approaches to particular sets of audiences and markets
Design pedagogy, curricula, training, and organizational development
Design project management and team work
Design in internationally-distributed work environments
Information design and its relationship to culture
The relationship between design, users, and professional communication

Neumeier, M. (2009). The designful company. In T. Lockwood (Ed.), Design thinking: Integrating innovation, customer experience, and brand value (pp. 15-22). New York, NY: Allworth.
Vogel, C. M. (2009). Notes on the evolution of design thinking: A work in progress. In T. Lockwood (Ed.), Design thinking: Integrating innovation, customer experience, and brand value (pp. 3-14). New York, NY: Allworth.

Submission deadline for manuscript abstracts: March 15th, 2016
Notification of acceptance: June 30th, 2016
Submission deadline for full manuscripts: September 30th, 2016
Expected date of publication: December 30th, 2016

Submission Procedures
Submit 500-word abstracts for original research articles, review articles, and teaching cases; or 250-word abstracts for focused commentary and industry perspectives.
Prepare a cover page for your abstract with 1.5 line spacing and Georgia, 12-point font.
Save the cover page and abstract in doc, docx, or rtf format.
Include in your cover page author(s) names, institutional affiliations, email addresses, and whether you are submitting a research article, a review article, a teaching case, a focused commentary, or an industry perspective.
Submit your abstract via email to Quan Zhou and Guiseppe Getto.

Upon acceptance of your proposal, you will be invited to submit a full-length manuscript. All manuscripts that meet the journal’s standards and requirements will be, without exception, submitted to double-blind peer review.

Abstracts To Be Developed Into
Original research articles of 5,000 to 7,000 words
Review articles of 3,000 to 5,000 words
Teaching cases of 3,000 to 5,000 words
Focused commentary and industry perspectives articles of 500 to 3,000 words

Contact information
Quan Zhou
Metropolitan State University, MN
Guiseppe Getto
East Carolina University

CFP Professional Communication, Social Justice, and the Global South

Professional Communication, Social Justice, and the Global South
Guest editors:
Gerald Savage, Illinois State University, Emeritus Faculty, USA
Godwin Y. Agboka, University of Houston Downtown, USA

Professional communicators are working all over the world. They practice in business, industry, government, charitable non‐profit organizations, non‐governmental organizations, and intergovernmental organizations. And yet, nearly all of the research on international professional communication has focused on corporate contexts in the “developed” world. Consequently, international technical communication practice and research tends to focus on barely more than half of the world’s nations included in the 2013 United Nations Human Development Index. These are nations ranked as “very high” or “high” on the human development scale. Only a few nations ranked as “medium” receive much notice—China, Thailand, Philippines, and South Africa are the most prominent.

Many of the nations regarded as “low” on the Human Development Index are sites of transnational corporate activity, of which a significant amount involves various kinds of resource development of questionable benefit to the people of those nations. However, a number of NGOs throughout the world pay close attention to the unfair, unjust, and environmentally detrimental activities of exploitative transnational corporations among indigenous and marginalized populations. These NGOs’ work includes research, legal action, and extensive documentation. Many transnational corporations also document their development and other business activities in sensitive areas of the world, some of them for purposes of accountability for their efforts at corporate social responsibility, others for purposes of denying or whitewashing egregious activities.

Only a handful of studies in professional communication, published over the past fifteen years, have addressed these issues (Agboka, 2013a, 2013b; Dura, Singhal, & Elias, 2013; Ilyasova & Birkelo, 2013; Vijayaram, 2013; Smith, 2006, 2012; Walton & DeRenzi, 2009; Walton, 2013; Walton, Price, & Zraly, 2013). This is especially troubling, considering that a wide range of other professions have given extensive attention to their roles in development activities among unenfranchised populations—such professions as engineering, medicine, agriculture, economics, business management, computer science, and geography. Professional communication scholars and practitioners have taken great pride in the part played by communication professionals in all of these fields, but too little research/ scholarship in professional communication has kept pace with the global social consciousness these other fields have demonstrated for many years regarding the impacts of their work beyond the industrialized Global North. This special issue attempts to address this need.

For this special issue we seek articles, commentaries, teaching cases, and reviews focusing on research studies, corporate, NGO, or government documentation relating to fair practices, environmental and social justice, and human rights in what is variously referred to as the Third and Fourth Worlds, Developing Countries, or the Global South. “Global South” and “Fourth World” are terms intended to include populations that are not necessarily in the southern hemisphere and that also do not include only nation states. Thus, the terms can include populations within “First World” nations, including the U.S. We especially seek proposals from scholars and practitioners who are indigenous to Global South populations or whose work connects with or affects populations in the Global South. The issue will also include several interviews with practitioners who are working in or with Global South populations.

Suggested topic areas include, but are not limited to:
• Intercultural research that takes place in Global South contexts
• Localization and translation for audiences in Global South sites
• Intersections of globalization and localization, and their associated challenges
• Workplace practices that impact specific Global South contexts
• Ethics in the context of the Global South
• Corporate, NGO, or other organizations’ documentation practices in Global South
• Curriculum design perspectives that address Global South perspectives
• The complexities of cross‐cultural collaborations between Global South and Global
North team members or among teams distributed across Global South cultures.
• Crisis communication in the contexts of the Global South
• Social justice implications of technology deployment and uses in the Global South

Proposals to be developed into
• Original research articles of 5,000 to 7,000 words of body text.
• Review articles of 3,000 to 5,000 words of body text.
• Focused commentary and industry perspectives articles of 500 to 3,000 words of body text.
• Teaching cases of 3,000 to 5,000 words of body text (deadline for submissions of manuscript proposals is February 15, 2015).
Submission procedures:
• Cover page containing your name, institutional affiliation, and email address.
• Prepare the cover page and manuscript with 1.5 line spacing and Times New Roman, 12‐point font.
• 500‐word proposal for original research articles, review articles, and teaching cases; 250‐word proposals for focused commentary and industry perspectives.
• All submissions will be reviewed by at least two readers, whether you are submitting a research article, a review article, industry perspective article, or teaching case.
• Submit via email to Gerald Savage or Godwin Agboka
• Proposals should be sent as a .docx, .doc, or .rtf file attached to an email message with the subject line: “Proposal for Special Issue on Professional Communication, Social Justice, and the Global South.”

• Submission deadline for manuscript proposals: February 15, 2015
• Notification of proposal acceptances: March 15, 2015
• Submission deadline for first drafts of full manuscripts: June 15, 2015
• Submission deadline for revised drafts of manuscripts: November 1, 2015
• Expected date of publication: February 28, 2016.
Journal Editors: Rosário Durão & Kyle Mattson
connexions • international professional communication journal (ISSN 2325‐6044)

Agboka, Godwin Y. (2013a). Participatory localization: A social justice approach to
navigating unenfranchised/disenfranchised cultural sites. Technical Communication
Quarterly, 22(1), 28‐49.
Agboka, Godwin Y. (2013b). Thinking about social justice: Interrogating the international in international technical communication discourse. connexions: international professional communication journal, 1(1), 29‐38.
Dura, Lucia, Singhal, Arvind, & Elias, Eliana (2013). Minga Peru’s strategy for social change in the Peruvian Amazon: A rhetorical model for participatory, intercultural practice to advance human rights. Journal of Rhetoric, Professional Communication and Globalization, 4(1), 33‐54.
Ilyasova, K. Alex, & Birkelo, Cheryl (2013). Collective learning in east Africa: Building and transferring technical knowledge in livestock production. In Han Yu & Gerald Savage (Eds.), Negotiating Cultural Encounters: Narrating Intercultural Engineering and Technical Communication (pp. 103‐121). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.
Smith, Beatrice Quarshie (2006). Outsourcing and digitized work spaces: Some implications of the intersections of globalization, development, and work practices. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 49(7), 596‐607.
Smith, Beatrice Quarshie (2012). Reading and Writing in the Global Workplace: Gender, Literacy, and Outsourcing in Ghana. Plymouth, UK: Lexington Books.
Vijayaram, Vaishnavi Thoguluva (2013). Learning curve. In Han Yu & Gerald Savage (Eds.), Negotiating Cultural Encounters: Narrating Intercultural Engineering and Technical Communication (pp. 61‐80). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.
Walton, R., & DeRenzi, B. (2009). Value‐sensitive design and health care in Africa. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 52, 346‐358.
Walton, R. (2013). How trust and credibility affect technology‐based development projects. Technical Communication Quarterly, 22, 85‐102.
Walton, R., Price, Ryan, & Zraly, Maggie (2013). Rhetorically navigating Rwandan research review: A fantasy theme analysis. Journal of Rhetoric, Professional Communication and Globalization, 4, 78‐102.

CFP Translation and International Professional Communication

CFP Special issue of Connexions
Translation and International Professional Communication: Building Bridges and Strengthening Skills

Guest editors:
Bruce Maylath (USA)
Ricardo Muñoz Martín (Spain)
Marta Pacheco Pinto (Portugal)

Deadline for submissions: April 10, 2015. See the complete call for papers for additional details.

The globalization and the fast mobility of today’s markets—aiming to serve as many heterogeneous settings and audiences as possible—have posited a growing need for high quality products and optimal performance in nearly all areas of everyday life. Specialists in communication play an important, albeit often hidden, role in these processes. Translators and other international professional communicators operate as mediators to facilitate understanding across global, international, national and local contexts through diverse communication channels. Translating today often involves several agents with different roles, responsibilities and skills. This entails creative work, various innovative procedures, and collaborative networks in highly technological, distributed environments. All these agents can be seen as text producers with an increasing expertise in the tools and skills of their trades to find, manage, process, and adapt information to target audiences.

Despite disperse attempts at acknowledging the importance of approaching professional communication as translation or as involving translation-related skills, translation often remains invisible both in the literature and in the training of (international) professional communicators. The extant literature in Communication Studies that actually addresses translation usually tends to emphasize, and concentrate on, localization issues, and it often draws from functional approaches to translation as production of a communicative message or instrument.

In Translation Studies, on the other hand, there is an increasing awareness of the need to tend bridges to Communication Studies in research. However, more dialogue seems necessary to fully grasp the implications and commonalities in all areas of multilingual professional communication, not the least that they are usually ascribed peripheral roles in business, technical, and scientific endeavors.

The emerging figure of the multitasked professional communicator has brought translation as part of the document production process to a different level of discussion. It is drawing increasing attention to translators’ profiles and training as competent communicators and vice versa, thus showing that the role translation plays in international professional communication, and the role of international professional communication in translator training cannot be downplayed. This issue of the connexions journal seeks to build bridges of cross-disciplinary understanding between international professional communication scholars and practitioners and translation scholars and practitioners. It aims to foster debate around the role of translation as a special kind of international professional communication and also as an integral part of other (international) professional communication instances.

CFP Globally distributed virtual teams

Special issue
connexions • international professional communication journal

December 2014

Today, information and communication technologies (ICTs) allow individuals located in different nations to collaborate almost as easily as if they were located in the same physical office.  As a result, globally distributed virtual teams now support the work of organizations across the spectrum of products and services.  Such teams are used by a range of for-profit and non-profit organizations including businesses, government organizations, the military, and educational institutions.  These organizations are increasingly employing individuals located in different nations to engage in various types of collaborative work via ICTs.

As a result of such factors, much of the modern workforce is now migrating toward a virtual model of work, and forces associated with globalization are changing the nature of competitiveness in the new economy.  Individuals, in turn, must often adapt rapidly to virtual environments and do so with little or no formal preparation in the types of professional communication practices essential to success in such contexts.  As a result, individuals working in internationally distributed teams must generally learn from their mistakes, an effective but often costly approach.  Moreover, individuals must also often adapt to working in an environment in which they are regularly paired with new colleagues and clients from different nations, cultures, and language groups.

Thus, the modern distributed workplace requires employees to account for and address three central factors—technology, culture, and language—in order to succeed in most work-related tasks.

An all-important question arising from this situation is, “How can we better prepare these individuals for this international, online context?”

A 2012 IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication special issue on global training reveals, however, that very little information on training—particularly global virtual communication training—has been published in the major professional communication journals in the last ten years.  Such a gap needs to be closed if educators and trainers alike wish to prepare adult learners to be successful participants in current (and future) business practices and processes.

This special issue on education and training for globally distributed virtual teams seeks to address this topic through articles on how best to prepare individuals to succeed in this new workplace.

In particular, the editors are interested in articles that answer questions such as:
*What types of education and training are most desired by managers and participants of global virtual teams?
*How can organizations best prepare virtual team members for working across boundaries of language? What issues affect translation and terminology?  What do team members most need to know about World Englishes, English as a Second Language, or English for Specific Purposes?
*How can organizations better prepare employees to collaborate and cooperate online and across cultural boundaries?
*How can social media be used to prepare individuals for working in intercultural online contexts?
*What legal issues can affect or should be included in global virtual team training?  What should participants in global virtual teams know about proprietary information and privacy?

In addition, the editors of this special issue welcome articles such as:
*Critical analyses of the many published task/technology models that support global virtual teams.
*Critical analyses of virtual team studies in areas such as technical training, adult education, human resources development, educational technology, human performance technology, technical communication, and user experience design.

The guest editors are also interested in discussing other prospective topics with potential contributors.

Types of articles
connexions publishes four types of articles:
*Original research articles of 5,000 to 7,000 words in length
*Review articles of 3,000 to 5,000 words in length
*Focused commentary and industry perspectives articles of 500 to 3,000 words in length
*Teaching cases of 3,000 to 5,000 words in length

Submission Guidelines
Interested individuals should send a 150-200 word proposal to
Proposals should be sent as a .docx, .doc, or .rtf file attached to an email message with the subject line:
“Proposal for Special Issue on Globally Distributed Virtual Teams.”
All proposals should include the submitter’s name, affiliation, and email address as well as a working title for the proposed article.

Production Schedule
The schedule for the special issue is as follows:
15 Jan. 2014 –Proposals due
15 Feb. 2014 – Decisions on proposals sent to proposal submitters
15 June 2014 – Manuscripts due
15 Aug. 2014 – Reviewer comments to authors
15 Oct. 2014 – Final manuscripts due to editors
Dec. 2014 – Publication of special issue

Contact Information
Completed proposals or questions about either proposal topics or this special issue should be sent to Pam Estes Brewer and Kirk St. Amant at connexionsspecialissue AT


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