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CSCA 2024 - Activism, Communication Ethics, and Social Justice (ACES-J) ...Call for Submissions

CSCA 2024: Incoherence

Central States Communication Association (CSCA) 

April 2-April 7

Amway Grand Plaza – Grand Rapids, MI

Activism, Communication Ethics, & Social Justice Interest Group

Call for Submissions 

Submission Deadline: Oct. 7, 2023 11:59pm CDT

You are invited to submit competitive papers, panel discussions, and performance sessions for the Activism, Communication Ethics, and Social Justice (ACES-J) Interest Group for the 93nd Annual Central States Communication Association (CSCA) Convention in Grand Rapids, MI.

Members are encouraged to reflect on the theme of Incoherence. The Oxford English Dictionary defines incoherence as “​the fact of not being able to express yourself clearly, often because of emotion.” In the contemporary moment, incoherence is prevalent as a communicative condition, political reality, and diminishing label. As we navigate the collective trauma of racist, homophobic, gendered, and ethnocentric violence and legislation alongside mass shootings, attacks on educators and knowledges, and disinformation, we often feel incoherent, experience incoherence, or are named incoherent as we attempt to communicate about these entangled traumas. As such, coherence is both an internalized standard that we strive for and a social expectation imposed upon us to demand particular kinds of communication amidst incoherent social and political conditions. As such, we invite you to story your encounters with the demands of coherence, the felt experience of collective and personal trauma, and your resistance to expectations of clear, unemotional expressions in the form of  prose, poetry, performance, photography, and film, as well as through print, sound bites, digital pixels, canvas, and fabrics. We impose no expectation of coherence upon you or your creative process, inviting you to express in ways that meet the demands of the moment.

We are living in a world in which demands for coherence are internalized, politicized, and weaponized to silence marginalized communicators, experiences, and forms of expression. Our interest group seeks submissions that critically and creatively interrogate the boundaries around (in)coherence, activism, social change, and marginalized expression. Recognizing that incoherence is a generative form of expression and often policed to diminish the voices of those who have historically been excluded from or underrepresented in communicative environments, we encourage submissions that explore, but are not limited to:

Submissions that foreground the voices of marginalized groups, underrepresented scholars, non-academic activists, and public intellectuals are especially welcomed.

Paper Submissions

Papers may use any methodological or theoretical perspective (critical, rhetorical, qualitative, quantitative) and any formalized, consistent citation type (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.). Paper submissions (including polished scholarship-in-progress submissions) are limited to 30 double-spaced pages (excluding references, cover page, abstract, and appendices). 

Paper submissions must include a title and a brief abstract. The names of authors and all identifying information should be removed from the paper. Students should include the term “STUDENT” on the upper right-hand corner of the title page. If the paper will be a student debut, please type “DEBUT STUDENT” on the upper-right hand corner. To be considered a graduate student debut paper, the author must be a graduate student, the paper must have single authorship, and the paper must be the author’s first paper to CSCA. The interest group will award the top paper and top student paper.

Equity and Inclusion Scholarship Award

The Equity and Inclusion Scholarship Award is sponsored by the CSCA Equity & Inclusion Committee (EIC).  Its purpose is to highlight the most promising work by scholars in the areas of equity and inclusion. If you would like to be considered for the EIC Award, please clearly articulate, in at least one paragraph, how the respective scholarship explicitly addresses equity and inclusion. Additionally, be sure to select the Equity and Inclusion Scholarship option when you submit your paper. The top qualifying paper from this division will be forward to the Equity and Inclusion Committee and qualifying authors will receive notice that their paper is being considered for the award.

Panel Proposals

Panel proposals should outline a rationale for the panel, provide an overview of the goals of the panel, and describe the panelists. Panel proposals may follow a traditional discussion-based format, may involve performative elements, may involve local community members in a dialogue to understand and address issues of injustice, or may be presented in any other creative format. There will be strong preference given to proposals that include panelists from multiple institutions and contexts. Panel submissions must include the following: (a) title, (b) description (75 words or less), (c) rationale (75 words or less), and (d) a complete list of participants along with their institutional affiliations, contact information, and CSCA membership status. Panels should also include titles and brief abstracts (150 words or less) for each paper or explanation of each participant’s purpose/perspective. 

Creative Works

To facilitate vibrant, generative, and robust dialogues and monologues, we also welcome independent or collaborative (e.g., panel proposals) submissions using creative, performance, artwork, crafts, poetry, or other embodied methods. 

Submission Deadline: Oct. 7, 2023 11:59pm CDT. Send submissions electronically through our online system via the CSCA website.

Any questions can be directed to Brittany Knutson (, the chair for CSCA’s Activism, Communication Ethics, and Social Justice Interest Group.

All media requests must be made at the time of submission. Please only request media if it is essential to your presentation, as media requests will be closely examined before approval. Laptop computers will not be made available for presentations.

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