Communication contingent heads to London for ICA Conference

A substantial contingent of USC Annenberg faculty and students are making their mark at the 63rd annual International Communication Association Conference, held this week in London.

More than 70 from USC Annenberg are gathering in the British capital to receive awards, present papers, attend panels, lead panels and network with their peers. The ICA gathering started June 17 and will wrap up June 21.

The international conference accepts paper submissions on topics that are redefining the communication industry from academic institutions around the world. This year, academics from 804 institutions in 61 countries will be present.

“ICA is an exciting conference because it attracts communication scholars from all over the world,” ICA presenter and Communication PhD Candidate Evan Brody said. “There are a lot of sessions, so it is a great chance to hear what other scholars are researching and discussing.”

Based on data visualization by University of Minnesota Doctoral Student Rodrigo Zamith, USC will be the second most represented institution at this year’s conference, with 45 unique authors; University of Texas is sending 48. (According to Zamith, papers can have multiple authors, who are generally ordered by the amount of their contributions. The term “unique author” in most cases refers to the one who led the work.) In terms of all authors, USC ranks fourth with 67.

The cohort of 72 Trojans have a busy schedule planned for their week abroad. Annenberg faculty and students won multiple prestigious awards and will be presenting 60 papers, four of which won Top Paper recognitions.

Communication Professor Sarah Banet-Weiser won the Outstanding Book Award for Authentic: The Politics of Ambivalence in a Brand Culture (2012). The book examines the role of branding in our everyday lives and, according to the award committee, “is a well written and nuanced analysis with great examples and interesting implications.”

In addition to Banet-Weiser’s award, the James W. Carey Media Research Award will be presented to Communication PhD alumna Cara Wallis for her dissertation turned book, Technomobility in China: Young Migrant Women and Mobile Phones.

Six Trojans received top paper distinctions on their submissions.

“This year only 36% of the submitted papers and panels were accepted,” Brody said. “I felt very flattered when I found out my paper was chosen. It is a great honor to be recognized by your peers.”

Brody’s paper, My Gay is Great! The Heteronormative Gaze of Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys, analyzes how gay men are understood and depicted in modern televisual contexts. As his submission was chosen as Top Student Paper in the Gay, Lesbian Bisexual & Transgender Studies division, Brody was  the first of a dozen participants in an extended session titled “Challenging Transitions: Representation, Bodies, Identities and Policy in LGBT Studies” on Tuesday, June 18.

Theo Mazumdar and Laura Alberti, both communication PhD candidates, along with Communication Professor François Bar will present their top paper titled The Viewertariat as News Frame-Builders: Real-Time Twitter Sentiment, News Frames and the Republican “Commander-in-Chief” Debate. The session will highlight the top theme papers in the Challenging Communication Research division on Wednesday, June 19 at 11 a.m.

At 2 p.m. the same day, Communication Professor Mike Ananny will present his paper Imagined Networks: How International Journalism Innovators Negotiatie Authority and Rework News Norms in a session titled “Networks of Journalism: New Linkages and New Actors.” The paper, co-written by Adrienne Russell of the University of Denver, was chosen as one of three top faculty papers.

Communication Professor Dr. Kimberlie Stephens will present her paper The Institutionalization of Genetically Modified Food: A Longitudinal Semantic Network Analysis at the “Top Papers in Organizational Communication” session at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday. Communication Professor Janet Fulk will be the respondent for the session.

In addition to the award winners, Annenberg’s top two administrators are also making the trip.

Dean Ernest J. Wilson III will participate in a preconference sponsored session titled “China and the New Internet World.”

Vice Dean and School of Communication Director Larry Gross served as ICA President from 2011 to 2012. As a current member of the ICA Board of Directors, Gross will attend to welcome new members and participate in strategic meetings throughout the week. In addition to his board member duties, he will participate in a session that marks the 35th anniversary of Harvey Milk’s assassination titled “Harvey Milk’s Queer Inheritance”. The session will be held Friday, June 21 at 10:30 a.m. where he will talk about his paper Harvey Milk and the Crumbling Celluloid Closet. Later that day, Gross will chair a session on Robert T. Craig’s 1999 constitutive metamodel of communication titled “Reconfiguring and Extending the Constitutive Metamodel.”

Gross is far from the only Trojan who has held a leadership position in the ICA.

Communication Professors Kwan Min Lee, Dmitri Williams and Peter Monge will also be in attendance. Lee and Williams serve on the ICA Board of Directors. Lee is the communication & technology division chair and Williams is the game studies IG chair. Monge served as ICA president from 1997 to 1998.

For a full schedule of events and Annenberg participants, click here.