About the Conference

In the past two decades, postcolonial theory has become increasingly influential in various spaces in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Recent communication and media scholarship has also shown some interest in postcolonial frameworks. However, there has not been a focused and sustained conversation in Communication/Media Studies in the United States and we think, even outside, that has engaged the ways in which communication and media studies, and postcolonial studies can mutually inform each other in the advancement of social justice projects. The conference emerges from the recognition that diverse logics, networks, and trajectories of communication and media today (as well as in the past) play a significant role in the production of colonial power relations in contemporary globality. The organizers of Communication, Postcoloniality and Social Justice: Decolonizing Imaginations thus invite proposals from scholars who employ postcolonial frameworks to study various communication and media phenomena—including their embedded-ness in various logics of transnationality. We are interested in exploring how communication/media scholarship, with its varied rich perspectives, may make contributions to broad field of postcolonial studies by foregrounding the importance of communication/media frameworks for understanding colonial cultures, and transnational relations. At the same time we recognize that many of the core concepts and assumptions in the fields of Communication and Media Studies are rooted in Western/Northern exclusionary intellectual frameworks. Thus, we wish to explore how postcolonial analytical frameworks may productively enrich our understandings of various communication and media phenomena and enable us to decolonize normative frameworks in the field so as to be responsive to various struggles engendered by contemporary (and past) post/colonial logics. The conference aims to provide a productive space that can facilitate dialogue and interconnections amongst scholars conducting postcolonial scholarship in communication and media studies. We also hope that this conference can provide a space for building intellectual solidarities amongst scholars in Media and Communication who are concerned with the politics of colonialisms (including their varied transnational logics) as they inform our research and influence our social, economic, cultural, and academic practices.

About the Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society:

Founded in 2010, the WFI’s mission is to foreground the centrality of communication scholars, activists, and professionals to the study of and advocacy for social justice. To that end, the WFI is dedicated to creating opportunities for the productive and collaborative exploration of these issues in ways that cross sedimented boundaries, whether they be academic, methodological, or national. The WFI annually sponsors research grants for scholars whose projects embody and extend its mission (typically awarding a total of $40,000 to scholars across the globe), and supports projects that highlight communication scholars’ abilities to advocate for social change. Since its inaugural launch in October 2010, the WFI has sponsored events, lectures, and symposia creatively engaging the essential link between communication/media and social justice. Past symposia have addressed the communicative production and contestation of truth (2011-12), the clash between institutional values and social justice advocacy (2012-13), and dialogic approaches to diversity in secondary and higher education (2013-14). Continuing the social justice focus, the WFI is very pleased to announce the conference on “Communication, Postcoloniality, and Social Justice: Decolonizing Imaginations,” and hopes that this important scholarly event will chart some possible pathways for Communication research (broadly conceived) in the 21stcentury. To learn more, please visit our website: http://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/artsci/communication/wfi/about.html

To learn more about the Department of Communication at Villanova University, please visit: http://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/artsci/communication.html

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