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Christian Fuchs <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 12:08:50 +0100
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Special Issue of the Journal of Communication:
Ferments in the Field: The Past, Present and Futures of Communication 
Editors: Christian Fuchs & Jack Qiu
Call for submission of extended abstracts



In 1983, Journal of Communication (JoC) published the special issue 
“Ferment in the Field” (Volume 33, Issue 3, co-edited by George Gerbner 
and Marsha Siefert). The issue focused on “questions about the role of 
communications scholars and researchers, and of the discipline as a 
whole, in society” (Gerbner & Siefert, 1983, p. 4). The 35 contributions 
reflected “on the state of communications research today; the 
relationship of the researcher to science, society, and policy; the 
goals of research with respect to social issues and social structure; 
and the tactics and strategies for reaching their goals” (ibid). In 
1993, two comparable JoC issues were dedicated to “The Disciplinary 
Status of Communication Research” (Volume 43, Issues 3-4, co-edited by 
Mark Levy and Michael Gurevitch). In 2008, a JoC special issue discussed 
“Epistemological and Disciplinary Intersections” (Volume 58, Issue 4, 
edited by Michael Pfau).

More than three decades after the original Ferment issue, it is again 
time to reflect on disciplinary transformations in communication 
studies. By calling this new special issue Ferments in the Field, we see 
historical continuity in our efforts along JoC’s tradition of inviting 
communication scholarship to reflect upon itself. Meanwhile, we ask 
questions with a special eye on the increasing complexity and diversity 
of the field:

* What does the field of communication research look like?
* What have been the key tendencies and developments in communication(s) 
research and its subfields?
* How has the field developed in the past decades? What have been 
long-term continuities and discontinuities since the 1980s?
* What is the actual and desirable role for communication studies in 
contemporary academe and society?
* What is the status of theory, methods, critique, ethics, and 
interdisciplinarity in our field?
* What is the status of critical research and theories?
* How should the field position itself vis-à-vis key contemporary 
processes and challenges?
* What does the future of communication studies look like?

Contributions to a new edition of “Ferments in the Field” should be 
provocative essays that offer bold ideas with broad implications for the 
field as a whole and areas of specializations. This special issue speaks 
of ferments in the plural in order to spur reflections beyond 
established academic boundaries and stimulate discussions that encourage 
scholars to think beyond comfort zones. From multiple theoretical, 
methodological, and disciplinary perspectives, it asks about the 
continuities and discontinuities in communication research in an attempt 
to initiate a new round of debates about the past, present and futures 
of the field.

The special issue will be published in 2018. The editors are Professor 
Christian Fuchs (University of Westminster) and Professor Jack Qiu 
(Chinese University of Hong Kong).

Authors are welcome to submit extended abstracts to the Editors by 
December 1, 2016. Extended abstracts should have a length of 400-1,000 
words (excluding tables, figures, and references). Abstracts should be 
submitted to [log in to unmask] and [log in to unmask]
For doing so, please complete use the submission form available here:

Subsequently, authors who were asked to submit complete papers will need 
to submit their manuscripts by May 2, 2017. Each manuscript should not 
exceed 4,000 words (including tables, figures, and references).