Yea-Wen Chen Profile

ProfilesYea-Wen Chen (M.A. University of North Texas, Ph.D. University of New Mexico) is an Associate Professor in the School of Communication and Director of the Institute for Dialogue and Social Justice at San Diego State University.

Yea-Wen Chen

Between spring 2019 and fall 2020, she served as a Professor of Equity co-facilitating seminars on equity, implicit bias, and microaggressions on her campus. Her research examines how communication—including silence—about cultural identities impacts diversity, inclusion, and social justice across contexts such as identity-based nonprofit organizations. She is the winner of numerous top paper awards at regional, national, and international communication conferences. Dr. Chen has published over 40 works, including peer-reviewed articles in Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, and Departures in Critical Qualitative Research. She has co-edited Our Voices: Essays in Culture, Ethnicity, and Communication (6th Edition, Oxford University Press, 2015), and Postcolonial Turn and Geopolitical Uncertainty: Transnational Critical Intercultural Communication Pedagogy (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021).

Key Publications:

Chen, Y.-W., Black, F., Devos, T., Hernandez, R., Jayawardene, S., Reinholz, D. L., & Villodas, F. (2021). Becoming Professors of Equity at San Diego State University: Reflecting on professional seminars on implicit biases and microaggressions. In H. Oliha-Donaldson (Eds.), Confronting critical equity and inclusion incidents on campus: Lessons learned and emerging practices. Routledge.

Chen, Y.-W., & Lawless, B. (2019). Teaching critical moments within neoliberal universities: Exploring critical intercultural communication pedagogy. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 48(5), 553-573. doi:10.1080/17475759.2019.1683056

Chen, Y.-W., Chalko, K., & Bonilla, M. (2019). When religion meets academia: Millennial Christians becoming cultural Others on a minority-serving campus in the United States. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 12(4), 325-343. doi:10.1080/17513057.2018.1557732

Chen, Y.-W. (2018). “Why don’t you speak (up), Asian/immigrant/woman?”: Rethink silence and voice through family oral history. Departures in Critical Qualitative Research, 7(2), 29-48. doi:10.1525/dcqr.2018.7.2.29

Chen, Y.-W., & Lawless, B. (2018). “Oh my god! You have become so Americanized”: Paradoxes of adaptation and strategic ambiguity among female immigrant faculty. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 11(1), 1-20. doi:10.1080/17513057.2017.1385825

  *Translation article: Chen, Y.-W., & Lawless, B. (January 11, 2018). Challenging “otherness”: Female immigrant faculty in the U.S. and their struggle to adapt. Communication Currents.

Chen, Y.-W., & Collier, M. J. (2012). Intercultural identity positioning: Interview discourses from two identity-based nonprofit organizations. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 5(1), 43-63. doi:10.1080/17513057.2011.631215

  *Translation article: Chen, Y.-W., & Collier, M. J. (April 1, 2012). Communication about cultural identity differences matters for nonprofits. Communication Currents.

CFP JIIC issue Partnering for Social Change

Call for Special Issue: Partnering for Social Change? Rethinking Intercultural Partnerships in Nonprofit Contexts, for Journal of International and Intercultural Communication

Special Issue Guest Editors: Yea-Wen Chen, Ohio University; Brandi Lawless, University of San Francisco; and Alberto González, Bowling Green State University

Communication scholars have recently directed attention to cultural discourses and nonprofit and voluntary organizations. At the same time, much more needs to be understood about how nonprofit and voluntary organizations constitute (inter)cultural sites, how they work with diverse memberships, stakeholders, publics, and partners, and how they organize for social change. We have chosen the broad term nonprofit organization to encompass not only registered tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations but also voluntary, community-based, non-governmental, civil society, and people’s organizations.

Nonprofit organizations are rich contexts for examining issues of identity, structure, institution, relationship, discourse, and power, which are of great interest to intercultural communication scholars. However, scholars have just begun to explore the intersection between intercultural communication and nonprofit relationship building (e.g., partnership, alliance, coalition building, etc.). This special issue serves as a critical space to rethink the challenges and limitations and opportunities of intercultural nonprofit partnership and also re-imagine new possibilities of relating across difference to promote social change.

This special issue invites research that is directed by three central questions: a) How are intercultural partnerships constituted, formed, maintained, negotiated, and practiced in the work of nonprofit organizations?; b) How do nonprofits navigate, negotiate, and mediate the competing dynamics of social structures, identity politics, and power relations as sites of intercultural practices?; c) How do nonprofit partners (e.g., practitioners, communities, funders, scholar, policy-makers, etc.) negotiate their intersecting cultural identities in ways that sustain, reproduce, or resist existing power relations?

All research methodologies are welcome. Papers that emphasize applied case studies, relationships between scholars and practitioners, theorization of culture within nonprofit organizations, social justice issues and examinations of power disparities are preferred. Joint submissions co-authored by nonprofit practitioners and scholars are especially welcome.

Submitting your manuscript: Please submit electronically an extended proposal between 500-600 words (excluding references) by March 15, 2014.  Authors should submit proposals using the journal’s website ( and follow instructions for online submission. Please select ‘special forum paper’ to describe the type of submission. JIIC now follows APA 6th edition guidelines. Proposals will undergo a blind review process, and a selection will be shortlisted for development into approximately 3000-word essays. Shortlisted authors must commit to a timeline for revision, resubmission and publication, with full manuscripts to be submitted by August 15, 2014. Final acceptance is contingent upon satisfactory revisions. Questions should be directed to Dr. Yea-Wen Chen.

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