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2025 CSCA Convention - Activism, Communication Ethics, & Social Justice Interest Group ... Call for Submissions

Activism, Communication Ethics, & Social Justice Interest Group
Call for Submissions for 2025 CSCA Convention

Submission Deadline: Oct. 5, 2024, 11:59pm CDT
Click here for directions for using the online submission system

Widening the Scope
Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza
Cincinnati, Ohio 
April 1st – 6th, 2025

You are invited to submit competitive papers, panel discussions, and performance sessions to the Activism, Communication Ethics, and Social Justice (ACESJ) interest group for the 2025 CSCA Convention in Cincinnati, OH.

This year’s conference theme of Widening the Scope speaks to the essence of the ACESJ Interest Group, stated in our bylaws, “Our group centers on issues regarding inclusivity/exclusivity, voice, power, privilege, and inequality among other related interests.”

Faculty, students, independent scholars, and community members are encouraged to submit and attend the convention. In the spirit of widening the scope – institutional, community, and cross-interest group partnerships are particularly welcome. The ACESJ Interest Group especially invites scholars and activists to propose panels that invite local advocates, activists, and other community members to participate in dialogues around issues of social justice pertinent to Cincinnati or relevant to our interest group’s purpose. For example:

  • Cincinnati’s location on the border between “free” Ohio and slave-state Kentucky made it a pivotal location in the Underground Railroad. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (NURFC) is located downtown, blocks away from the convention.
  • The NURFC is preparing an exhibit on the Negro Motorist Green Book—a travel guide for black people published from 1936 to 1966 that helped travelers safely navigate places like Cincinnati—inviting us to widen the scope on what is considered activism.
  • Activism in minority communities: for example, there has been growing tension around attempts to change zoning laws in Cincinnati that favor large, out of town businesses, over small-scale, many black-owned, local ones.
  • Gentrification and access to affordable housing continues to be an issue in Cincinnati.
  • Physical/environmental erasure of Indigenous lives and conflict (Cincinnati was a stop on the extended Lewis & Clark Trail; Ohio hosted the largest and most consequential battles of The “Northwest Indian War” that resulted in the removal of Indigenous peoples from the area—Fort Washington was located near present-day Cincinnati)
  • Cincinnati has the Black Music Walk of Fame, featuring musicians who dramatically challenged the dominant power structures of music.
  • Cincinnati-area peoples’ lived experiences with social injustice and efforts to address them, in formats such as first-person narratives, music, poetry, or other performative modes.

We recognize that some of the most innovative and impactful work being done by communication scholars transcends traditional means of categorizing and organizing scholarship. This interest group provides a space to share and celebrate exploratory, transdisciplinary, or otherwise non-conformist work that deals with issues of activism, ethics, and social justice from a communication perspective. This can include a variety of work, including but not limited to applied work on professional ethics, explorations of activist endeavors, and/or critical performances.

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 – only papers are eligible for these awards.

Inclusive Scholarship Award

  • The Inclusive 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 this award, please clearly articulate, in at least one paragraph in your abstract, how the respective scholarship explicitly addresses equity and inclusion.
  • Additionally, be sure to select the Inclusive 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)

(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 submissions using creative, performance, artwork, crafts, poetry, or other embodied methods.
  • Create an abstract of sorts: include a title and describe the work you will be presenting or performing in detail as well as how it fits within the mission of the ACESJ interest group.

Other Things to Note

  • Submission Deadline: Oct. 5, 2024 11:59pm CDT.
  • Send submissions electronically through our online system via the CSCA website.
  • All potential submitters are encouraged to create a profile on the CSCA online submission system site. Membership is not required to create a profile. This will make later steps in the process much easier.
  • All technology 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.

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

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