ICA Pre-conference 2018

The Visual Expression of Voice

ICA Young Scholars Preconference, Hilton Prague (Prague, Czech Republic) | May 24, 2018


Pinar Istek (University of Texas at Austin, USA)
David L. Morris II (University of Oregon, USA)
Catherine Preston (University of Kansas, USA)


Voices have the capacity to take on many different forms. Research questions aimed at examining voices provide an entry point into addressing societal and philosophical problems. This preconference attempts to encompass all of the definitions of voices, particularly how voices are visually represented in the still-growing field of visual communications. We bring together a critical mass of young and senior scholars to discuss the complexity of voices as a concept and their relationship to the world of visual communication.

As visual materials, phenomenon, and psychology are increasingly the object of inquiry in communication research, many junior scholars do not have a mentor with expertise in this aspect of visual communication research. Senior scholars of visual communication face the similar challenge of isolation, as they do not necessarily work with students focus solely on visual research. Thus, this pre-conference is necessary to continue to further the field of visual communication.

In an effort to build a coalition of emerging and senior scholars for the advancement of visual studies, this pre-conference aims to provide a forum for the discussions, reflections, and arguments that will allow our growing field to move forward.


This one-day preconference will bring young scholars (current Ph.D. students and early career postdoctoral researchers) engaged in promising research on visual communication together. We aim to 1) theorize key challenges in visual communication research and publication; 2) provide strategies for addressing and overcoming these challenges; 3) provide a forum for cross-divisional and transnational networking between young and senior scholars; and 4) provide feedback on young scholars’ research projects and publication plans.


In its 4th year, the ICA Visual Communication Studies Young Scholars Pre-Conference will follow a similar format to previous years. First, our keynote speaker, Dr. Nicole Dahmen will give an overview of the notion of voices as they relate to current and future visual communication research. Next, young scholars will present their research to a panel of senior scholars. This will give them an opportunity to discuss their successes and challenges and receive feedback that can help them improve their research. Finally, young and senior scholars will participate in an open discussion, focusing on careers in the field of visual communication studies. We hope this creates an environment which allows scholars with similar interests to connect. In a closing plenary, we will summarize key insights from the pre-conference and discuss plans for future networking and research events.


We invite young scholars from all ICA divisions and interest groups to submit extended abstracts on both completed and ongoing projects. We welcome submissions on all aspects of the visual communication process and research methods, with a broad range of topics. Extended abstracts should briefly summarize the project, including theory, methods, results (where applicable), and its relevance to visual communication studies. Please specifically address challenges in with your research projects where senior scholars’ feedback would be the most useful.

Extended abstracts should be limited to a maximum of 1,000 words (double-spaced; illustrations, tables and references do not count against this total of words). Please remove all identifying information from the document and include a separate title page indicating the name(s) of the author(s), the affiliation(s) of the author(s), the title of the project, and the status of the project (e.g. completed project, work in progress).

Please send your submissions via e-mail to pinaristek@gmail.com as a Word or PDF document no later than 28 February 2018. Decisions will be made by 14 March 2018. The pre-conference will be open to a maximum of 20 young scholars. Participants will be selected based on the quality of their extended abstracts. In the review process, we will also consider that a reasonable range of topics will be covered by the presentations and that participants can be grouped in sessions focused on similar concerns.


The preconference will be hosted at the Hilton Prague this year’s main conference hotel. The Hilton Prague is located at Pobrezni 1, Prague, 186 00, Czech Republic.


There will be a US $50 fee for preconference participants to cover room and equipment rental, and catering costs. Depending on the availability of additional funding for the preconference, we may also be able to offer a discounted fee at the time of registration.


Please also visit the accompanying website www.visualcommunicationstudies.net for any updates on the preconference.


Feel free to reach out to us with any questions.

Pinar Istek
University of Texas at Austin

David L. Morris II
University of Oregon

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