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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Communication Studies

For a Special Issue on
Expanding Upon Critical Methodologies and Perspectives in Communication Studies

Manuscript deadline
06 October 2023

Cover image - Communication Studies

Special Issue Editor(s)

Amy N. Heuman, Texas Tech University
[email protected]

Anjana Mudambi, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
[email protected]

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Expanding Upon Critical Methodologies and Perspectives in Communication Studies

Within this special issue, we turn our attention to critical perspectives within communication, which attend to influences of power and hierarchy across social identities in our communication practices for the purposes of challenging systems of power and pursuing social justice. This is an intentional move to reflect the breadth of perspectives present within the discipline and to highlight our efforts to welcome a range of socio-psychological, interpretive, and critical perspectives into the Communication Studies journal. Many scholars who are foundational to critical approaches have resided within CSCA and Communication Studies-affiliated academic institutions, including Raymie McKerrow (1989) with Critical Rhetoric, Dwight Conquergood (1991) in Performance Studies and Critical Ethnography, Mark Orbe’s Co-Cultural Theory (1998) in Intercultural Communication, and Radhika Parameswaran in Postcolonial Media Studies (2001). Their critical ideas have meaningfully shaped rhetorical, performance, intercultural, and media studies within the greater discipline. As such, critical approaches have been broadly integrated into these areas and, more recently, into other fields such as instructional, interpersonal, family, organizational, and health communication where the critical turn is being embraced as well. Yet, Chakravartty et al. (2018) astutely point out the ghettoization of scholarship by or about people of color that is often associated with critical perspectives both in terms of conference panels and journal publications. This means that critical approaches do not always occupy prominent spaces within our scholarship. Recognizing that the work being done in this regard is vital to our discipline and deserves to be fully integrated within our journals, this special issue seeks to illuminate such work.

We also recognize that critical research methodologies continue to be associated more so with rhetorical and discursive approaches to analyzing text and to a lesser extent with qualitative fieldwork (see Lawless & Chen, 2019). Moreover, the requisite objectivity of quantitative research is largely perceived to be at odds with critical perspectives. Yet, Scharrer and Ramasubramanian (2021) argue for the advancement of quantitative criticalism “not to reveal some universal ‘truth’ but rather to expose injustices and inequalities and bring data to bear on the structures and forces that help explain those injustices and inequalities” (p. 11). Given each of these tendencies, this special issue aims to demonstrate that the critical paradigm in communication is not necessarily tied to any area of communication or any methodology or approach but rather may be utilized in varied ways within research that is grounded by the goal(s) of evaluation, reform, and/or emancipation.

For this special issue of Communication Studies, we invite authors to submit proposals for studies that engage critical perspectives for communication research. We are particularly interested in studies that apply existing heuristic and critical methodologies towards identifying the current moment in critical scholarship and/or those that extend such methodologies in innovative ways aimed at propelling our discipline forward. Proposals should clearly delineate the critical methodology to be used, how it meets one or both of these criteria, and the original research project that will showcase the method. We encourage proposals from a variety of scholarly areas (e.g., intercultural, political, interpersonal, health, intergroup, media, organizational, performance, technology, etc.) and all critical approaches, as well as from both established and emerging scholars.

Submission Instructions

Important Deadlines: 

Abstract Deadline: Tuesday, January 10th by 11:59pm CST 

For the proposal, authors should submit an extended abstract no later than January 10th, 2023. Extended abstracts should consist of no more than 1,500 words (not including references).

After final decisions on the extended abstracts are made (no later than February 15, 2023), authors invited to proceed with full papers will need to submit final manuscripts by June 10, 2023. We anticipate the special issue to be published in Volume 75 of Communication Studies in the first quarter of 2024.

Submission Process: 

Please note that final manuscripts will undergo anonymous peer review, and hence acceptance of an abstract is not a guarantee of publication. Page limits and other parameters for the complete paper will be allocated at time of invitation but will generally fall in line with the parameters of the Communication Studies journal.

Submissions must be submitted to the Communication Studies online portal (https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/rcst), indicating it is for the special issue on "Expanding Upon Critical Methodologies and Perspectives in Communication Studies." Select "special issue title” when submitting your paper to ScholarOne.

Inquiries: 

For questions, please contact Dr. Amy N. Heuman ([email protected]) and Dr. Anjana Mudambi ([email protected]). Proposal submissions (i.e., extended abstracts) should be submitted to Dr. Heuman by January 10th, 2023.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article

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