Archive for 2019

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[Commlist] CFP: Publicity and Transparency - Special Journal Issue

Tue Feb 19 04:01:51 GMT 2019


*Special Issue -- Call for Abstracts*

In the contemporary era of “disrupted” public spheres (Bennett & Pfetsch 2018), “fractured” democracies (Entman & Usher 2018), and “networked” disinformation (Ong & Cabañes 2018), it is time to rethink some basic precepts of public communication. This special issue takes up the challenge posed by these critics and others to rework concepts and develop methods of research that can adequately account for the habits and systems of contemporary politics. We focus here on the nexus of publicity and transparency, two foundational concepts regarding the proper structure of democratic communication, and solicit work addressing how these concepts are being reshaped in our moment.

Rather than presuming a necessary symbiosis between transparency and publicity, we invite proposals for papers that will investigate the tensions between these concepts as they manifest within actually existing democracies and through actually existing acts of promotion. What happens when transparency is appropriated as a promotional tactic? Are there situations in which transparency and publicity are present and vigorous, yet together politically ineffectual? How do digital platforms or interfaces affect the nexus of transparency and publicity in productive or problematic ways? What types of transparency make publicity powerful, and vice versa? To address these and similar questions, we invite contributions to this special issue that examine the labor of publicity, investigating promotional intermediaries operating between organizations and publics. Articles may address the role of promotional work in government, political parties, corporations, NGOs, loosely-knit online networks, activist collectives, or other civil sphere groups, but will share an attempt to better understand transparency and publicity as processes, not just normative standards. We particularly encourage research attentive to the ways publicity and transparency are harassed to either challenge or ossify inequalities across lines of race, gender, class, nationality, or other structuring identities.

We ask all interested contributors to send a short abstract of their proposed paper (250-350 words) and a bio (~75 words) to *(twood12 /at/ fordham.ed)*u by *March 15, 2019*. We are currently in conversation with a journal about publishing this special issue, and abstracts will be included in a final proposal to the publisher. Inquiries regarding the scope, timeline, or details of the proposed issue can be directed to the same address.

Tim Wood, Fordham University

Melissa Aronczyk, Rutgers University

Works Cited

Bennett, L., & Pfetsch, B. (2018). Rethinking Political Communication in a Time of Disrupted Public Spheres. Journal of Communication 68, 2 43-253.

Entman, R., & Usher, N. (2018). Framing in a Fractured Democracy. Journal of Communication 68, 298-308.

Ong, J. C., & Cabañes, J. V. (2017). Architects of Networked Disinformation: Behind the Scenes of Troll Accounts and Fake News Production in the Philippines. Newton Tech4Dev Network. University of Leeds.

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