CFP Urban Communities in Conflict and Dialogue preconference

Call for Submissions
Pre-Conference on Urban Communities and Communication at 2014 NCA Conference:
Urban Communities’ Present(s), Past(s), & Future(s) In Conflict and In Dialogue

Chicago, Illinois
Wednesday, November 19
Full Day (9 am – 5 pm)

Matthew Matsaganis, State University of New York – Albany, NY
Peter Haratonik, The New School, New York, NY

Susan Drucker, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
Gary Gumpert, Urban Communication Foundation, Great Neck, NY

Under the title “Technology is Not Driving Us Apart After All,” a recent New York Times article featured the research of Keith Hampton, a sociologist by training and a scholar of communication. Hampton’s (and his students’) work builds on the groundbreaking work of sociologist William H. Whyte. In the late 1960s and 1970s, Whyte, working with the New York City Planning Commission led a series of granular studies of the city’s public spaces. He and his collaborators spent many hours filming and photographing people in public spaces, taking detailed notes about how they behaved. The project became known as the Street Life Project. It was considered revolutionary in urban planning, both because of the methods employed and its findings. Whyte argued that this type of close and systematic observation of human behavior would provide insights into how policy could help people lead happier lives; lives in which individuals would not feel alienated from their neighbors.

Hampton’s work has taken on a similar set of questions, focusing though on what many deem to be the atomizing forces of our day: new communication technologies and, of course, the Internet.

Beyond the actual and fascinating findings of this work, the project undertaken by Hampton and his students reminds us that in our future-focused societies, researchers, too, frequently forget to look back to the past. Hampton revisited and learned from Whyte. Looking back can be enlightening.

Inspired by this example and in response to the call for submissions for the 2014 NCA conference, this preconference will bring together scholars and professionals from multiple areas within the discipline, but also from other fields of inquiry, to explore and discuss theoretical perspectives, new and ongoing field research findings, as well as case studies aimed at enhancing our understanding of:
(a) Communication patterns in urban communities;
(b) How these patterns are shaped by and shape the physical, built, and social environment of the places we live in;
(c) How the communication ecologies we construct in the process of our everyday lives impact our well-being; and
(d) The positive and negative ways in which policy interventions influence the communication environment of cities.
Historical perspectives on any of these topics, research revisiting old and persistent issues of everyday life in the city, and longitudinal studies will be particularly welcomed.

The pre-conference will unfold in a series of higher density panels, which will be organized thematically, and during which more colleagues (approximately 6) will be invited to present short position papers, research reports, or case studies (length: 7-10 pages, double-spaced). Presentations will be brief to allow more time for dialogue and debate among presenters and audience members. There will be 4-5 such panels held throughout the course of the day. The final number will depend on the number and quality of submissions, as well as the range of themes that emerge out of the submissions.

PROCEDURES FOR SUBMITTING ABSTRACTS & PAPERS To participate, please submit an abstract for the short position paper, research report, or case study you wish to contribute to the pre-conference. The deadline for submitting an abstract, which should be no longer than 200-250 words, is September 1. Abstracts should be submitted electronically to the co-chairs, Matthew Matsaganis and Peter Haratonik.

A committee composed of NCA members with UCF representation will review all submissions and inform the authors of the submissions rated the highest by October 1, 2014.

For colleagues whose abstract is accepted, full papers (7-10 pages in length, double-spaced) will have to be submitted by November 1. They will be made available in advance of the pre-conference, so that participants/attendees have a chance to review them prior to the actual meeting on November 19 in Chicago. The final seminar schedule will also be made available by November 15, 2014.

More information regarding the pre-conference at NCA will be made available later in the summer and over the first few weeks of fall via the Urban Communication Foundation’s website and Facebook page.

Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Book Award

The Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Book Award recognizes an outstanding book that exhibits excellence in addressing issues of urban communication. It is given out every year by the Urban Communication Foundation and is named in honor of the late social activist and author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities. The award brings with it a $500 prize.

To nominate a book, please send a short letter of nomination or self-nomination (in the form of an email attachment) to Steve Macek, chair of the Jane Jacobs Book Award review committee, at the email address below by August 15, 2014. The letter of nomination should describe the book and explain how it addresses issues central to the field of urban communication. Nominees for this year’s award must be published between January 1, 2012 and June 30, 2014.  Finalists (or their publishers) will be asked to send three copies of the book to the award committee. For more information on the field of urban communication, and to determine if your nomination fits the award call, please review our  mission statement and look at the list of past Jane Jacobs winners.

Dr. Steve Macek
Associate Professor of Communication
Coordinator of Urban & Suburban Studies
North Central College Naperville, IL 60540

Urban comm and health disparities award

Gary Gumpert Award: The State-of-the-Field of Urban Communication

The Gary Gumpert Award is given to the applicant whose proposal shows a clear understanding of the state of the field of urban communication with respect to a particular issue or question (as specified by the Urban Communication Foundation every year the award is given), along with a clear articulation of how “state of the field” paper will be developed.

Amount of Award: $2500

For 2013-14, the area of focus for the award is Urban Communication and Health Disparities.

The successful proposal should focus on pertinent communication concepts, theories and literature, not just on the area of focus. Proposals are not limited to a particular methodology and may extend to policy areas and applications.

The final paper must clearly summarize what is known about the targeted area of urban communication, identify gaps in the existing literature, and suggest directions for future research. In doing so, this paper should feature concepts and theories that have been applied in urban communication research and discuss findings of empirical studies, case studies, as well as critical essays and analyses. In a successful proposal (and paper), the link between communication and the urban context must be made clear.

*       A 500 word (max) description of how you would approach this topic
*       A current vita
*       And a 150 word (max) bio must be submitted by February 1, 2104
Winner will be notified by March 1, 2014
Final paper must be submitted by June 1, 2014

Send inquiries and grant proposals to Peter Haratonik, Executive Coordinator, Urban Communication Foundation.


ICA 2012

The International Communication Association convention was held from May 23-28, 2012, in Phoenix, AZ. I presented a paper co-authored with Yves Winkin, of the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon entitled “Walk Like a Local: Pedestrian Behavior in the US, France, and China” to the Urban Communication Foundation Preconference.

(Thanks to Casey Lum for both organizing the event, and for the photo of me at the Seminar.) I also served as respondent to a panel entitled “Narrative and Community in Intractable Conflicts.” In addition, the Language and Social Interaction Division honored me with a panel entitled ” Constructing Communities of Scholars: Celebrating the Work of Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz” (thanks to Theresa Castor for organizing the event, and to Liliana Castañeda Rossmann, Teri Harrison, Beth Haslett and Saskia Witteborn for participating).

We continued the tradition of holding a mini-meeting of those members of the Advisory Board of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue who were present at a conference (this time it was Donal Carbaugh and Michael Haley) along with the past and current Presidents of our parent organization, the Council of Communication Associations (Patrice Buzzanell and Linda Steiner).

While at ICA I connected with many international scholars, including some of those I had met or visited during the last year or two of travels: Simon Harrison (met in France, now based in Germany), Ifat Maoz (Israel), Saskia Witteborn (Hong Kong), Vivian Chen (Singapore), and Carla Ganito (Portugal).

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue