AAA/AAC, Colloque

(06/11/2020) 71st Annual ICA Conference in Denver, USA, May 2021

We are delighted to invite you to the hybrid 71st Annual International Communication Association Conference in Denver, Colorado, USA from 27-31 May 2021. All calls for papers are available, and the paper submission website is now open !

The theme of ICA 2021 is Engaging the Essential Work of Care : Communication, Connectedness, and Social Justice.

Be sure to read through the division/interest group call for papers before you submit. Make note that each division/interest group has different requirements and there is an overall limit of maximum three first-author submissions, unlimited non-first author papers/panels.

The paper submission website will close Friday, 6 November, @ 12:00 Noon ICA Office Time (EDT).

Conference Theme Call for Papers

The ICA 2021 conference theme of Engaging the Essential Work of Care: Communication, Connectedness, and Social Justice calls for our examination of how care forms the fabric of our social and interconnected lives. From the moment that we enter this world we are completely dependent on the care of others, and as we move through our lives, the care of our teachers, doctors, leaders, and artists shape us into the adults that we are today. Even as we leave this earth, on our last days, we are comforted by the care of loved ones.

“Care” can be understood from a variety of perspectives relevant to communication. Namely, care can refer to:

  • Providing Assistance for Others (She takes care of my aunt.)
  • Being Interested in a Topic/Issue/Idea (They care about the notion of compassion.)
  • Concern about Others’ Well-Being (He cares what will happen to his children.)
  • The Provision of Needed Attention or Resources (Do they provide care at the hospital?)

The concept of care can also be understood from at least two vantage points that intersect with those meanings: self-directed and community-centered. The relative priority of self and community care within a given community reflects deeply embedded cultural values, experiences of oppressions, access to resources, and histories of trust.

The concept of “care” requires our thoughtful examination and reflection. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the crisis of climate change, and militarized police brutality that continues to target, harass, and kill people of color, the urgency of care to address entrenched inequalities, an overarching climate of neglect, and a global political economy of individualized self-help has been rendered visible. Communication emerges in this backdrop as a transformative site for re-working care, anchoring it in relationships, communities, organizing processes, media systems, and social formations. Care is both constituted by and constitutive of communication, as a register for creating spaces of compassion and connectedness.

This theme invites scholars to consider a host of related questions and issues, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • How do we cultivate and celebrate care?
  • How is care communicated interpersonally, politically, economically, and via communication technologies?
  • How can care be used to amplify diverse voices and provide courage to those who resist? 
  • How can care be the embodiment of healing, community, and solidarity?
  • How is care enacted and experienced differently across communities and cultures?
  • How is the concept of care relevant to issues of climate change and efforts to protect the humans, animals, and plants that inhabit our environment?
  • Why have those who provide us with care — our teachers, our health-care workers, our refuse collectors — been disparaged and economically neglected, only to now be deemed as “essential” and therefore expected to risk their lives to provide comfort to the most privileged?
  • How has the concept of care been communicated or executed in ways that work against social well-being or utilized to justify the continuation of inequities and oppression? 
  • In what way might structures and practices, such as transnational NGO programs, impose care in ways that instantiate neocolonial forms of power? How can we probe the problematic ethics of care?
  • How and why is care “gendered,” and what impact does this have on labour and economic/political disparity?
  • How does the marketing of and profit from care by corporations, governments, or other entities use the same bodies in appeals that often get neglected in practice?
  • How can we use our scholarship to encourage and enhance care, and how can we ensure that our organization practices the ethic of care in our mentorship, our publications, our teaching, our research, our service, and our collaborations?


  • All submissions must focus on the concept of care;
  • Work that debates, advances, critiques the concept of care can be submitted as papers so as to allow the theme committee to create panels that discuss and/or showcase open science practices; 
  • Panels for the theme should be cross-divisional (having broad appeal across all units of ICA) and adhere to the diversity considerations highlighted under the general guidelines below; 
  • Innovative (and interactive) and educational formats are encouraged. 

Submissions to theme sessions must follow all general guidelines put forward by ICA. Proposals for papers and panels on the conference theme are invited from all sectors of the field, and will be evaluated competitively by anonymous reviewers selected by the theme committee. Submissions deemed to fit only the interests of one division or interest group rather than the conference as a whole will be forwarded to that group for consideration. Papers or panels submitted to the theme must not be submitted simultaneously for consideration to any division or interest group. Panel proposals on the conference theme must include a 400-word rationale explaining how the panel fits the conference theme plus a separate 150-word summary of the rationale to appear in the conference program.


As always: papers, posters, and panels that apply to general communication topics not having to do with theme are also welcome, though it should be noted that themes of inclusion, care, equity, justice, and diversity are not “niche issues”, and examining or addressing these topics even within seemingly unrelated papers (i.e., in both theme and non-theme submissions) is encouraged. New this year, questions will be added to the submission platform highlighting and asking authors to confirm that they have examined and addressed both the diversity of their works cited list as well as whether they have addressed the broader societal impact of their work. These calls are organized within the 33 ICA divisions and interest groups’ Calls for Papers, the submission guidelines for which will be enumerated on the ICA website in August.

All panel submissions (general and theme) should include contributions from at least two different countries; not more than one contributor from a single faculty, department or school; and generally be mindful to consider panelist diversity.

Paper and panel submissions that involve direct collaboration with community partners, both in work and in authorship, are encouraged.

Conference Program Chair
Mary Beth Oliver, Pennsylvania State U
Conference Theme Committee Co-Chairs:
Walid Afifi, U of California at Santa Barbara,
Mohan Dutta, Massey U,
Chenjerai Kumanyika, Rutgers U,
Srividya Ramasubramanian, Texas A&M U,
Anamik Saha, Goldsmith, U of London,
Meghan Sanders, Louisiana State U,

General Guidelines for All Submissions

ALL Divisions and Interest Groups will accept only online submissions for the conference. Specific questions regarding a Division or Interest Group program should be directed to the program planner for that Division or Interest Group.

The following guidelines apply to ALL submissions, including theme sessions and proposals by affiliate organizations. The main ICA rules are the standards, and then Divisions and Interest Groups can be more strict, so please reach each Div/IG’s calls carefully. NOT FOLLOWING THE GUIDELINES MAY DISQUALIFY YOUR SUBMISSION FROM REVIEW.


Deadline: All submissions must be completed online no later than 6 November @12:00 Noon ICA Office Time (EST). To avoid technical problems, early submission is strongly encouraged. The conference submission website will go online on 4 September. To reach the conference website, go to the ICA homepage at and follow the navigation bar to find the link for Paper Submission Website.

Eligibility: You do not need to be an ICA member to submit a paper or proposal for the conference. Simply go to the paper submission site and you will be prompted to create a new profile, if you do not already have one. Our paper submission system is no longer tied to our membership database. When creating your new profile, please consider carefully the keywords that identify your area of expertise – or scroll down to continue to the submission site.

E-mail address: Each conference participant must use one and only one e-mail address for all submissions. If you are an ICA member, this should be the same e-mail address you have entered into the ICA membership database. You should consider this your unique identification for all ICA purposes.

Exclusive submissions: Each paper/proposal may be submitted to only one Division or Interest Group, OR to the theme sessions. Submission of the same paper/proposal to more than one section is not permitted, and will disqualify the paper for presentation. You are welcome, however, to submit different papers or proposals to the same or different sections.

Categories of Submissions: Several categories of submissions may be accepted, depending on the submission guidelines of the specific Division or Interest Group. NOT FOLLOWING THE GUIDELINES MAY DISQUALIFY YOUR SUBMISSION FROM REVIEW.

Full Papers 8,000 words maximum, not including tables and references, unless Division or Interest Group guidelines state otherwise. (Where ICA guidelines and Division or Interest Group guidelines differ, the Division or Interest Group guidelines will prevail.)
Extended Abstracts A few Divisions and Interest Groups accept either full papers or extended abstracts. Consult the Division’s or Interest Group’s submission guidelines in this Call for Papers for specific information. 
Interactive Paper (Poster) Presentations Most Divisions and Interest Groups accept poster presentations. A poster presentation is a paper you would like considered for presentation at an interactive poster session. Some research lends itself well to this style of presentation. If your poster presentation is accepted, you will be expected to prepare a poster display of your research for presentation at the conference. Your presentation may be accepted as a poster display even though you submitted for a paper session. If your submission is accepted as a poster, you will be expected to prepare a poster display of your research for presentation at the conference. Poster sessions have plenary status at ICA conferences. 
Panel Session Proposals Most Divisions and Interest Groups and the theme sessions accept proposals for organized panel sessions.

Division and Interest Group program planners will assemble all accepted submissions into sessions and assign them to the format (paper session or poster session) that provides the most coherent scholarly program.

Registering for the Conference

Submission of your paper or proposal does NOT enroll you as an ICA member or automatically register you for the conference itself. If your paper or proposal is accepted for presentation at the annual conference, you will be notified in mid-January and must then register for the conference and pay the conference fee. An online membership application is always available on the ICA homepage. Online registration for the conference will me made available online in January.

Everyone planning to attend the conference must complete the registration process. 

Submitting a paper, extended abstract, or interactive poster presentation


Preparing the file: Before submitting, consult the guidelines in the Call for Papers and have your paper or extended abstract ready to upload as a single document (maximum length 8,000 words, not including tables and references, unless Division or Interest Group guidelines state otherwise). All online submissions must be in PDF format. All tables, graphs, and pictures associated with your submission must be included with the main text in a single document.

Author identification: Names must be removed for blind reviews of submissions. Before uploading your paper, remove all author identification from the document including any file properties. (For example, in MS Word, in the “File” menu, select “Properties,” delete any identifying information, click “OK,” and save the document.) NOT FOLLOWING THE GUIDELINES MAY DISQUALIFY YOUR SUBMISSION FROM REVIEW.

Additional information: Title (15-word limit), author(s), a 75-word description, and other information (e.g., student authorship, special requests) must be entered online when you submit your paper, poster, or extended abstract. To begin the submission process, visit the conference page on the ICA website, register as a submitter, select the Division or Interest Group and type of submission, enter all required information, click “Continue,” AND follow the instructions to upload your document. You must upload a paper, poster, or extended abstract in order to complete the submission process.

Submitting a panel session proposal


Registering panelists: All panelists must agree in advance of submission to participate as panel presenters AND to register for the ICA conference. ICA does NOT provide registration waivers for members or for nonmembers participating in panels.

Texts needed: If your panel session will include individual presentations, you (the session organizer) also need to obtain a title and 75-word abstract from each presenter before submitting. Also before submitting, you need to prepare a 400-word rationale for your panel proposal and a 75-word panel description for the conference program.

Entering the panel: If you are the panel organizer, once you have the required information for each participant, you will then visit the website, submit the panel proposal, and enter all panel information. You will be able to enter the panel title, rationale, panel description, chair/discussant, presentation titles, abstracts, and any other required information by cutting and pasting the text from your word-processing program.

Changing or deleting a submission

Changing title or abstract: Up until the deadline of 6 November @12:00 Noon ICA Office Time (EST) you may return to the conference website, select “View/Edit a previous submission,” click on the title of the submission you wish to change, and edit the information or delete the submission. Follow online instructions for editing submissions.

Changing text: You can change a document, by re-uploading thus replacing the current pdf. To protect yourself from self-plagiarism, please note in your submission if you have submitted your paper to another conference or publication that has the possibility of being accepted prior to ICA’s conference acceptance. When in doubt, communicate with your group’s program chair.

Changing Unit: You also CANNOT simply change the unit (Division or Interest Group) to which you submitted. If you need to send your submission to a different unit, you can do so in either of two ways: (1) Delete your submission and resubmit to a different unit, OR (2) e-mail your request to the Conference Program Chair, who can transfer your submission to a different unit.

Ethical Considerations

Authorship: Authors must give credit through references or notes to the original author of any idea or concept presented in the paper or proposal. This includes direct quotations and paraphrases.

Publication or presentation history: If material in your presentation has been published, presented, or accepted for publication or presentation, this must be disclosed in your paper or proposal and may make your submission ineligible, depending on the Division/Interest Group.

Conference attendance: If your panel, paper, or interactive display presentation is accepted for an ICA conference, you have a commitment to register for and attend the conference and perform your assigned role. All chairs and respondents also make this commitment. If extenuating circumstances prevent you from attending, you should find a substitute to perform your duties and notify the program chair and Division or Interest Group contact person.

Self-Plagiarism (or duplicate publications): Self-plagiarism involves an author presenting earlier published material as original and new. Self-plagiarism is often not an issue, but it must be transparent and limited. A critical issue involved in self-plagiarism is the degree to which it is clear whether the author is drawing from earlier manuscripts/research. Covert self-plagiarism occurs when the author is not transparent when drawing from earlier manuscripts or research; this can constitute a serious ethical transgression.

Types of covert self-plagiarism include:

  • Covert Duplicate Publication / Presentation – Submitting a paper to a journal or conference which had been previously published in a journal or conference proceedings.
  • Covert Redundant Publication – Occurs when some portion of previously published data is used again in a new publication with no indication that the data had been published earlier.
  • Covert text recycling – Reusing portions of previously published text in a new publication without a reference to the origin of the earlier published text.
  • Covert fragmented publication (salami strategy) – Occurs when a complex study is broken down into two or more components and each component is analyzed and published as a separate paper.

For more information on ICA’s Publication Policies, please follow this link.

More Information: Click here