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News & Press: Conventions

2020 Annual Convention: Communication, Agitation, and Justice

Monday, June 24, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Maria Blevins
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By Marnel Niles Goins, President Elect and Program Planner


Human communication plays a critical role in our understanding of and participation in social life. Communication has the power to agitate and justify, changing norms and destabilizing what we view as unacceptable or acceptable societal constructs. As pleas for inclusion and justice increase, so do calls for and against continued agitation. This conference theme invites us to consider the communicative process(es) of agitation, as well as the communication of and response to agitators.

Justice is an important goal for agitators. while communication scholars have contrasting definitions of justice, the conference theme invites further examination of how we analyze and prioritize within the discipline, and who benefits from it. Taken together, the theme of Communication, Agitation, and Justice raises questions about when agitation is productive or counter-productive, and if and how it can lead to a more just society.


Call for Competitive Papers, Program Proposals, Pre-Conference Workshop Proposals, Undergraduate Scholars’ Research Conference (USRC), and Graduate Students Workshop & Graduate Programs Open House

  1. Competitive Papers (deadline: received by 9/1/19) Submit online at, Conventions, 2020 Submissions, select appropriate Interest Group (see below)
  2. Panel Session Proposals (deadline: received by 9/1/19) Submit online at, Conventions, 2020 Submissions, select appropriate Interest Group (see below)
  3. Pre-Conference Workshop Proposals (deadline: received by 9/1/19) – Submit online at, Conventions, 2020 Submissions, select Pre-Conference Workshop
  4. Undergraduate Scholars' Research Conference (USRC deadline: received by 12/1/19) Submit online at, Conventions, 2020 Submissions.

Specific information about submitting to interest groups is available in our online submission program.


Authors are encouraged to submit papers to the interest groups for competitive selection. Papers may employ any humanistic, scientific, and/or other methodology(ies) and may address theoretical developments, critical analyses, disciplinary issues, pedagogical issues, and/or research advancements.

You should submit your paper to one interest group. (NOTE: Not all interest groups sponsor competitive papers, so be sure to review the interest group's online call for papers prior to submission. Submitted papers should not include information that identifies the author(s).

Competitive paper submissions must be submitted using the Attendee Interactive system no later than Sunday, September 1, 2019. Specific information about submitting to interest groups will be in the WSCA News.

Research in Progress: Some interest groups sponsor "Research in Progress" programs. Papers submitted to these programs should not exceed ten pages in length. Be sure that the interest group to which you want to send you paper accepts "Research in Progress" programs before submission.

Debut Award: The WSCA Executives Club Debut Award is made to the author (or co-authors) of a paper presented at the convention "who have not presented a paper at a state, regional, national or international convention, or published in any academic journal." Papers presented at student-only conferences are exempt from this requirement. All authors of a co-authored paper must meet these eligibility requirements for a paper to be considered a Debut Paper. Papers eligible for the Debut Award should select "debut" in the Attendee Interactive online submission system. Some interest groups also sponsor debut programs; papers need not be presented on a debut panel session to be eligible for the Executives Club Debut Award.

Competitive papers must be submitted online using the Attendee Interactive system no later than Sunday,September 1, 2019. Please address any competitive paper questions, comments, or concerns to the Interest Group Planner or the Primary Program Planner, Marnel Niles Goins.


Panel session proposals should focus on a unifying theme relevant to research, theory, or instruction in the area of the sponsoring interest group. Panel sessions may consist of a chair, individual presenters, and a critic/respondent in a traditional conference format. However, we encourage proposals for a debate, a round table discussion, a performance activity, or innovative program that provides opportunities for interaction among participants and attendees. We welcome programs co-sponsored with other interest groups. We intensely solicit programs that relate to the 2020 convention theme, “Communication, Agitation, and Justice.” 

  1. Panel session proposals must contain the following:
    1. Thematic title of the program;
    2. Names and affiliations of all participants;
    3. Title and brief description of each presentation;
    4. Abstract -- 50-75 words for the convention program that identifies the content and purpose of the panel. Additional explanations or details should be in a separate panel leaflet or handout made available at the panel presentation;
    5. Equipment needed for the program. Equipment availability is extremely limited and expensive. Note that an AV request is not a guarantee that AV will be available. If your submission is accepted, your interest group planner should inform you whether or not you will have AV. See the WSCA policy on Audio-Visual Equipment at Conventions in the Policies and Procedures Manual.

Panel session proposals must be submitted online using the Attendee Interactive system no later than Sunday, September 1, 2019. Please address any session proposal questions, comments, or concerns to the Interest Group Planner or Primary Program Planner, Marnel Niles Goins.



A workshop is intended as a training or informational short course that can be presented in a three-hour or six-hour time block. A workshop topic may concern the presentation of teaching innovations, as area of research, a new theoretical perspective, the application of a body of knowledge, skill development, or another clearly focused topic. Workshop leaders are encourage to advertise their workshops and solicit participation.

Workshops are scheduled the day of the kick-off, as a pre-conference activity, Friday, February 21, 2020. Participants pay a modest registration fee. The fee is intended to cover only the direct costs (photocopying, materials, AV, etc.) incurred in conducting the workshop.

Pre-conference workshop proposals should include the following:

  1. Title of the workshop;
  2. Names and affiliations of all presenters;
  3. A detailed rationale that outlines the workshop's goals;
  4. A brief (50-75 word) description of the workshop activities for potential inclusion in the conference program;
  5. Room size and configuration requested (e.g. theater seating, tables of eight, etc.);
  6. Equipment needed for the pre-conference. Equipment availability is extremely limited. Noe that AV costs are the workshop planner's (submitter's) responsibility. You will either have to pay for it directly, bring it with you (if the hotel contract allows), or put it in the cost of the workshop and pass the fees on to the participants);
  7. Maximum enrollment number;
  8. Fee amount set in accordance with WSCA policy (see below);
  9. Time-block requested (i.e. three hours or six hours)

Guide to setting fees for workshop leaders: WSCA has set $5.00 as the base fee for any workshop. The first $5.00 of each registrant’s fee is designed to cover the association’s administrative costs. Any fees above $5.00 should be set at such a level as to provide reimbursement to the workshop leader(s) only for the cost of materials, equipment, and any out-of-the-ordinary expenses. Costs for audio-visual and other equipment rental and costs of producing materials for participants must be covered within the overall fee that is specified. WSCA cannot reimburse more money to a workshop leader than it receives from participant fees. If a part or all of a fee is proposed as covering an individual’s expenses or as an honorarium, Rodney Reynolds, current WSCA President, must approve it prior to any commitment to the individual.


Workshop proposals should be submitted online using the Attendee Interactive system no later than Sunday, September 1, 2019. Please address any workshop proposal questions, comments, or concerns to the President Elect, Marnel Niles Goins.

V. Undergraduate Scholars Research Conference

USRC submission must be submitted online using the Attendee Interactive system no later than Sunday, December 1, 2019. For the USRC, all authors of the submitted papers must be undergraduate students at the time of submission. Please address any questions, comments, or concerns to the WSCA Second Vice-President, Shinsuke EguchiClick on this link for the USRC Call for Papers.

VI. Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Authors must disclose whether they have obtained Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, organizational approval, or other necessary permissions for any convention submission involving the collection of data on human participants. If no approval was obtained, the reason should be stated.

For example, if authors have not obtained IRB approval because their institutions do not have IRBs, that fact should be stated. The IRB disclosure statement should be included in a footnote, author note, or submission text.

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