Call for extended abstracts

ICA 2022 Virtual Preconference: 

“Media and Communication in Global Latinidades

Organizers: Pablo J. Boczkowski, Claudia Bucciferro, Eddy Borges-Rey, Ayleen Cabas-Mijares, Nivia Escobar Salazar, Miriam Hernandez, Ezequiel Korin, Juan S. Larrosa-Fuentes, Lucía Magis-Weinberg, Mora Matassi, Pablo Miño, Eugenia Mitchelstein, Adrián Pino, Pablo Porten-Cheé, Jessica Retis, Laura Robinson, Magdalena Saldaña, Mariana Sánchez Santos, Arthur D. Soto-Vásquez, María Celeste Wagner & Silvio Waisbord

Preconference Date and Time: May 25th, 2022, TBD

Submission Deadline: January 24, 2022, 23:59 GMT

This preconference aims to examine the production, distribution, and consumption of media and communication in global Latinidades. It follows up to the three preconferences held in the context of the 2019, 2020, and 2021 Annual Meetings of the International Communication Association – on Digital Journalism in Latin America in 2019, and on Digital Media in Latin America in 2020, and on Digital Media in Latinx and Latin America in 2021.

For this fourth edition, and in alignment with ICA’s call to reimagine communication scholarship on globalization and networks, we have further broadened the scope of our preconference to include media and communication practices of the Latinx and Latin American experience globally. This will allow us to create a platform able to showcase the richness of a wider variety of relevant research about experiences of Latinidades around the globe. Despite its long history, research about Latinx and Latin American topics — and made by Latinx and Latin American researchers worldwide — tends to be underrepresented in communication scholarship in general, and in ICA in particular. In this sense, the preconference will address the theme of media and communication in local, global and/or transnational Latinx and Latin American experiences, such as those related to issues of access, practices, markets, representations, technologies and more.

We think it is important to provide a platform that incentivizes the flow of information and scholarship as well as equitable participation across the globe. As such, and in recognition of the often unsurmountable structural differences that exist among different national contexts in regard to resources for travel to international academic conferences as well as the complexities due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to hold the fourth edition of the preconference virtually. As such, all panels and presentations will be held virtually while an optional community-building initiative will be held at the site of the 2022 ICA conference, if conditions allow it.

Issues of media and communication have featured increasingly more prominently in the information landscape of global experiences of Latinidad. Thus, it is critical to both inquire into the experience of these communities in and of itself, which tends to be understudied and underrepresented in ICA, as well as to examine whether the specificity of Latinx and Latin American experiences might entail differences with those of other communities. These are some possible topics (suitable additional topics will also be considered):

  • Latinx and Latin American journalism, as well as journalism by and for Latinx and Latin American diasporas, has sometimes been described as less professionalized and less independent than mainstream journalism in stable democracies. How have these two long-standing features affected the practices of online news production and the self-perception of reporters?
  • Misinformation and “fake news” have become a hot topic across the globe, especially during presidential elections and health and environmental crises. What factors affect the spread of misinformation and disinformation in the media by and for Latinx and Latin American communities and diasporas, and how does it compare to the spread of “fake news” that we have observed in mainstream Global North media? How has this been reflected in identity politics?
  • Political communication has become more polarized over the past couple of years (e.g. in the form of hate speech), with Latinx and Latin American communities and diasporas often being singled out as part of the conjunctural causes for national maladies. How has political communication been reflected in diverse media and communication practices? How have these trends been heightened in recent elections and affected the practices of representation by and about Latinx and Latin American communities and diasporas?
  • Advertising, branding, and public relations have thrived globally as industries due to the prominence of international trade and new technologies, bringing people together from all corners of the world. What are the key aspects that explain the consolidation of these industries in Latin America? In what manner have the strategic communication efforts led by public institutions, private companies, and non-profit organizations connect diasporic Latinx communities outside of the region with publics in Latin America? What are the contributions of fields such as Latinx Studies and Latin American Studies to public relations and advertising theories?
  • Social movements to fight gender-based violence, racial discrimination, systemic racism, and worker’s rights, such as #NiUnaMenos, #UnVioladorEnTuCamino and #Vidasnegrasimportam(n), have embraced the potential of digital media to self-organize and have their voices heard. What has been the role of social media in the organization of these events? How have publics engaged? How do their practices and results compare to those of other social movements within and outside of Latinx and Latin American communities and diasporas? How has colorism been made salient by media practices around recent protests against ongoing forms of systemic racism?
  • The ongoing migration of large swaths of Latin American populations has favored the adoption of peer-to-peer networks, such as WhatsApp, and social media platforms, such as Twitter or Facebook, to maintain and actualize familial relationships and, more generally, a sense of belonging to the countries of origin in Latin America. How do these practices redefine social dynamics, both in the country of origin and in the country of destination? How are challenges and opportunities articulated in the use of digital media among Latinx and Latin American migrants?
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on Latinxs in the United States and in Latin America in general. It has also sharpened differences and contradictions in political discourse, transnational cooperation, media environments, and misinformation flows. How has COVID-19 impacted digital media coverage, consumption and/or production in Latinx and Latin American contexts and among their diasporas? How can scholars address inequities in digital media use and access, across the Americas and among Latinx and Latin American diasporas globally?
  • Half of the children and adolescents in Latin America are unconnected to the internet at home (UNICEF, 2021). What are the implications of this “digital canyon” for education, well-being and participation during the pandemic and beyond? How does the lack of connectivity in the region coexist with subjective experiences of fatigue and anxiety that seem to emerge from an apparent “excess” of mobile communication opportunities, condensed, for instance, in platforms such as WhatsApp? How are discourses of voluntary digital disconnection from mobile communication technologies and social media, as well as of so-called “digital wellbeing,” being produced, circulated and consumed across Global Latinidades?
  • Representation in the media of Latinx and historically marginalized peoples in Latin America continues to be a pressing issue. How do digital media intervene in representation? With the expansion of digital streaming platforms in Latinx and Latin American markets, are new opportunities afforded? Or are old patterns being repeated? How are indigenous and Afro-Latinx communities using digital media to speak about their own experiences?
  • Recently there have been legislative proposals in Mexico and Brazil around topics like disinformation, net neutrality, and content moderation, which affect journalism and freedom of expression. How have these conversations taken place? How are they different from the ones in the Global North?

We invite submissions of extended abstracts that engage with the questions presented above, as well as those that address issues of importance about Latinx and Latin American experiences globally.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Isabel Molina-Guzmán, professor in Latina/Latino Studies and Communication, and associate dean of Diversity and Inclusion in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Information about submissions:

  • Authors should submit an extended abstract of no more than 500 words (excluding references) no later than 23:59 GMT, January 24th, 2022 through this submission form.
  • The deadline for submissions is January 24th, 2022, 23:59 GMT
  • Authors will be notified about whether their respective abstract has been accepted by February 8th, 2022.
  • Attendance to the preconference has a general USD 10.00 fee and a USD 5.00 student fee.
  • Potential participants are invited to submit their abstracts in English, Spanish or Portuguese, noting in which of these languages they feel more comfortable presenting. While we recognize the historical, cultural, and social importance of the multiple indigenous languages spoken throughout Latin America and by Latinx and Latin American diasporas, limited resources for interpretation and peer review force us to restrict language selection to English, Spanish and Portuguese, as these are currently the three most commonly spoken languages among Latinx and Latin American communities.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please email us.

Divisions Affiliation: Communication and Technology; Ethnicity and Race in Communication; Global Communication and Social Change; Intercultural Communication; Journalism Studies; Political Communication; Popular Media and Culture; Public Relations


This preconference is possible in part due to generous support from the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and Northwestern University in Qatar.