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ICA 2019: Comunicación sin Fronteras
24 MAYO 2019
ICA 2019: Comunicación sin Fronteras

The ICA 2019 conference theme of Communication Beyond Boundaries aims for an understanding of the role of communication and media in the crossing of social, political and cultural boundaries that characterize contemporary society, and encourages research that crosses the boundaries of research domains, of particular fields of research interest, and of academia and the outside world.

Communication and media feature centrally in today’s crossing of boundaries that characterizes societal structures, institutions and cultures, themselves firmly founded in communications technologies, infrastructures and practices. The spatial dimension of the practice of communication, in the past, resulted in legacy media allowing people to be constituted as an ‘imagined community’ within the defined territories of the nation state, while today’s global digital technologies and networks have been central to the expansion in movements of people, capital, commodities, images and ideologies across national boundaries. This contributes, according to optimists like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (channelling Marshall McLuhan), a ‘global community’, while critical voices see them as markers of new forms of social inequality and cultural domination. 

Beyond this, communication and media feature centrally in various other forms of social, political and cultural boundary crossing. These include:

  • the discursive work involved in thinking beyond binary boundaries in contemporary identity politics; 
  • the role of social media in re-defining the boundaries between fact and fake and between science and beliefs, affecting the politics of knowledge and the epistemology of science; 
  • the place of communication technologies in AI and the Internet of Things, questioning what it means to be human; and 
  • the growing recognition of the role of the brain as a window in to attitudinal and behavioural change and its repercussion for marketing as well as children’s well-being. 

Communication and media are part and parcel of these trends, sometimes as instigators, other times as the result, most often as important conduits for this crossing of boundaries.

With the conference theme of Communication Beyond Boundaries, we encourage scholars to address key questions related to:

  • How to understand the role of communication in boundary crossing developments in politics, culture and society?
  • What is the role of communication in the counter-movements opposing/rectifying globalising boundary crossing?
  • Where do various strands of communication research need to (re)connected to tackle the issues and problems of contemporary boundary crossing?
  • How can communication research inform and be informed by other academic disciplines in understanding these boundary crossing trends and their counter trends?
  • What role for academics in crossing the boundaries of academia into society as policy advisors, activists and NGOs, industry researchers, or end-users of communication services?

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