Call for Papers, Janie Harden Fritz

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Call for Papers, Janie Harden Fritz

Janie Harden Fritz,

Call for Papers

108th Annual ECA Convention
Boston, Massachusetts
March 29–April 2, 2017

Theory & Methodology Interest Group

Freedom To … Freedom From

No city in the United States is associated more with the tensions inherent in the concept of <freedom> than Boston, the site of our 2017 convention.

Although the “Freedom Trail” that passes only twenty feet from the door of our convention hotel tells a story that Boston – and the United States – seeks simple <freedom>, its two endpoints show that <freedom> is no simple thing.

The Massachusetts State House on the southern end negotiates daily the tension between governmental regulation and individual liberties. The USS Constitution on the northern end embodies the nation’s history desire for freedom from foreign aggression through its freedom to use military force. The Boston Common was used as a grazing ground, where there was freedom from livestock fees, but also freedom to enact the tragedy of the commons. Boston was home to the first Liberty Tree, an elm near Boston Common that was a site where everyday people sought freedom from the Stamp Act in 1765 and where British soldiers enacted their freedom to make this tree an object of ridicule and a site of punishment. Samuel Adams preached revolutionary freedom from British taxes, even while his cousin John Adams argued that even British soldiers have the freedom to demand a fair trial. Boston’s Justice William Cushing ruled in 1781, that “all men are born free and equal” to demand that Bostonians of African descent be released from slavery, even as slaveholders and legislators sustained laws that that allowed the freedom to hold slaves until the end of the Civil War. Throughout the Civil War, the first Red Scare of the 1920s, the busing and desegregation struggles of the 1970s and 80s, and to today in dozens of other examples, Boston has been a place where <freedom> has been a contested ground.

Our presence in Boston invites the Theory & Methodology interest group to consider how the tensions in <freedom> are also present in our discipline.

What does communication give us the <freedom> to do? What does it give us <freedom> from? What are the uses and abuses of free communication? When have others used their freedom to communicate to prevent freedom from other forces? And, when have we used the freedom to communicate to gain freedom from these forces?

Program Categories

Program ideas for all submissions can be of several types and some are identified below. Creativity is encouraged when designing program proposals. All submissions should be labeled with a title from one of the following categories:

Individual Paper: a completed paper reporting original research, an extensive literature review, or other form of scholarship. Papers are grouped by interest group planners to create panels. Each panel must have a chair to introduce each paper and moderate the discussion; respondents should be provided as necessary.

Panel: a program where three to four speakers present individual papers on a specific topic area. Each panel will have a chair to introduce each paper and moderate the presentation of papers and any discussion; a respondent should also be provided as deemed by the panel members.

Workshop Session: a program led by two or three experts on a particular topic, with audience involvement and participation.

Round Table Discussion: a program featuring 5-8 presenters who briefly share a position paper or summary of recent research on a focused topic moderated by a chair with “on-the-spot” interaction and discussion by participants and audience.

Symposium: a program where three to five invited speakers present a predetermined section of specific topic introduced by a chair who initiates audience participation through questions and answers or in an open forum.

Debate: a traditional debate on an announced topic, with pro and con statements and rebuttals.

Open Forum: a semi-structured public discussion of a predetermined topic of interest introduced and moderated by a chair. The goal of such a program is to share information, ideas, concerns, and special interests

Community Program: a structured program inviting the public to attend. It may take the form of a town hall meeting for open public discourse concerning a selected topic (perhaps related to the convention theme), or even a performance-related program that engages communication scholarship and community interests.

Above all, panels should not be composed of participants from the same institution. Chairs and respondents should not also serve as panelists.

Submission of Completed Papers

Individual submissions of complete papers should include the following elements:

1.    A detachable title page with the title of the paper and the author’s affiliation, mailing address, telephone number, and email address. **

2.    The word “Debut” marked on all papers written by authors who have not presented previously at a regional or national convention.

3.    A one-page abstract on the second page.

4.    A statement of professional responsibility on the second page.

** If the paper has multiple authors, please indicate who will be presenting at the convention.

Submission of Program/Panel Proposals

Submission of program/panel proposals should include the following elements:

1.    A thematic title for the program.

2.    Names of the chair and respondents (if any). Chairs should not also be designated as respondents.

3.    Names, mailing addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, and institutional affiliations of all participants.

4.    Titles and abstracts for each paper or presentation.

5.    A program copy (no more than a 75-word description) as it should appear in the final program.

6.    A detailed rationale for the program/panel.

7.    A statement of professional responsibility (see wording below).

Please send your submissions and/or inquiries to Janie Harden Fritz ( ). All submissions should be submitted as either a .doc/.docx, .odt, or .pdf file. Remember, the deadline for submissions is October 15, 2016.


J. M. H. Fritz, Theory & Methodology Interest Group Vice-Chair

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