Yea-Wen Chen Researcher Profile

Researcher ProfilesYea-Wen Chen (Ph.D., University of New Mexico) is Associate Professor in the School of Communication at San Diego State University.

Yea-Wen Chen

She is a certified diversity educator, a trained mediator, and a teacher-scholar of intercultural communication. She is the winner of numerous top paper awards at regional, national, and international communication conferences. Her research program aims to raise consciousness of the particular ways in which communication—including silence—about cultural identities impacts diversity, inclusion, and social justice. She attends to these inter/cultural dynamics within interpersonal communication and nonprofit communication sites, and across local and global contexts. Dr. Chen has published over 35 works, including peer-reviewed articles in Communication Monographs, Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, Intercultural Communication Studies, Howard Journal of Communications, and International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities, and Nations: Annual Review. Also, she has co-edited Our Voices: Essays in Culture, Ethnicity, and Communication (6th Edition, Oxford University Press, 2015) and guest-edited a journal special issue on inter/cultural nonprofit partnerships.

Key Publications:

Chen, Y.-W., & Lawless, B. (2016). Immigrant women negotiating shifting meanings of work and confronting micro-aggressions with/in the Ivory Tower. In S. Shenoy-Packer & E. Gabor (Eds.), Immigrant workers and meanings of work: Communicating life and career transitions (pp. 99-111). New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Chen, Y.-W., Simmons, N., & Kang, D. (2015). “My family isn’t racist—however…”: Multiracial/ Multicultural Obama-ism as an ideological barrier to teaching intercultural communication. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 8(2), 167-186. doi:10.1080/17513057.2015.1025331

Chen, Y.-W. (2014). Pan-Asian organizing for empowerment? Unpacking nonprofit discourses across organizational status positions. The Howard Journal of Communications, 25(3), 350-371. doi:10.1080/10646175.2014.924451

Chen, Y.-W. (2014). “Are you an immigrant?”: Identity-based critical reflections of teaching intercultural communication. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 2014(138), 5-16. doi:10.1002/tl.20091

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     

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.