Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Health Communication

For a Special Issue on

Using Creative and Arts-Based Research Approaches to Expand Equity, Advocacy, and Impact of Health and Disability Communication Research

Manuscript deadline
01 August 2024

Cover image - Health Communication

Special Issue Editor(s)

Angela Cooke-Jackson, PhD, MPH, California State University, Los Angeles - Department of Communication Studies
[email protected]

Laura L. Ellingson, PhD, Santa Clara University - Department of Communication
[email protected]

Angela Palmer-Wackerly, PhD, University of Nebraska-Lincoln - Department of Communication Studies
[email protected]

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Using Creative and Arts-Based Research Approaches to Expand Equity, Advocacy, and Impact of Health and Disability Communication Research

For scholars dedicated to addressing social inequities related to health and disability communication, one of the fundamental questions is how to produce scholarship and research that centers the creative and/or innovative richness of individuals’ voices while also demonstrating the value of alternative approaches to various academic and non-academic audiences. To accomplish these goals, scholars from across a wide variety of disciplines, including health communication, public health, and community-engaged advocacy research, have turned to arts-based research (ABR), or “research that uses the arts, in the broadest sense, to explore, understand, represent and even challenge human action and experience” (Savin-Baden & Wimpenny, 2014, p.1). Recently, in a scoping review of ABR across a wide variety of health conditions and interventions, the World Health Organization reported ABR’s power to transcend language barriers to increase empathy and social connection, decrease social conflict and discrimination, and promote cultural identity and resilience, among other beneficial outcomes, especially for those individuals and communities who experience marginalization (Francourt & Finn, 2019).

Despite ABR’s growing popularity and impact, traditional academic training remains largely focused on historical and normative ways of designing, implementing, analyzing, and presenting academic research. Therefore, regardless of intent, scholars are not often equipped with knowledge, insight, and/or the practice ofproducing more engaging, creative, and impactful modes of scholarship. We see health and disability communication scholars as well situated to showcase the power and potential of ABR to co-create research and mutual trust between participants and researchers, advance adaptive methodologies, and translate that research to multiple audiences to collectively process distressing experiences, understand the diversity of others’ experiences, advocate for equitable policies, and promote health and well-being for all.

This special issue call seeks interdisciplinary health- and disability-communication focused proposals OR abstracts (not to exceed 500 words) which address arts-based research in a variety of forms, including but not limited to:

  • performing arts (e.g., music, dance, theater, film);
  • visual arts and crafts (e.g., collage, design, painting, photography, Photovoice, sculpture, textiles);
  • literature (e.g., reading, writing, poetry);
  • culture (e.g., going to museums, galleries, cultural festivals); and
  • online, digital and electronic arts (e.g., animations, filmmaking, computer graphics)

We draw on the World Health Organization’s (2023) statement on disability: “Disability is part of being human and is integral to the human experience. It results from the interaction between health conditions such as dementia, blindness or spinal cord injury, and a range of environmental and personal factors. An estimated 1.3 billion people – or 16% of the global population – experience a significant disability today. This number is growing because of an increase in noncommunicable diseases and people living longer. Persons with disabilities are a diverse group, and factors such as sex, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, race, ethnicity and their economic situation affect their experiences in life and their health needs. Persons with disabilities die earlier, have poorer health, and experience more limitations in everyday functioning than others.”

In considering your submission, we offer the following selection criteria. In what ways does your research:

  • Center the voice(s) of scholars with disabilities as well as racial/ethnic and gendered minoritized people, groups, or collaborations;
  • Engage interdisciplinary collaborations that reach across programs and/or fields of study (e.g., communication studies, humanities, public health, social work, sociology, anthropology, psychology, theatre, medicine, nursing);
  • Articulate possibilities for artful methodologies to reach diverse audiences beyond the academy and/or illuminate unspeakable embodied experiences;
  • Include global perspectives and/or partnerships?

To ensure a rigorous pool of diverse scholars and articles there will be a series of submission dates. First, author(s) will send proposals or abstracts (not to exceed 500 words) and a short bio sketch to a review committee of guest editors - Angela Cooke-Jackson, Laura Ellingson, and Angela Palmer- Wackerly by August 31, 2023. The guest editors will consider all submissions and send letters of continuance to a selectgroup by October 2, 2023. Next, selected author(s) will be asked to complete a first draft article by April 15, 2024 which will go through an anonymous peer review process. An editorial team with specific content and methodological expertise will select a final pool and notify authors by June 15, 2024. Finally, revise and resubmits will be sent by August 1, 2024 with the goal of a 2025 publication date.

Please send your proposal or abstract (not to exceed 500 words) and short bio as an attached word doc to Angela Cooke-Jackson at [email protected] by August 31, 2023.

Use the subject heading: Arts-Based Research Approaches, Health and Disability Communication Research

Feel free to contact any of the Guest Editors with questions or curiosities:

Angela Cooke-Jackson, PhD, MPH – Professor, Department of Communication Studies, California State University, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA. ([email protected])

Laura L. Ellingson, PhD – Patrick A. Donohoe, S.J. Professor, Department of Communication, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA. ([email protected])

Angela Palmer-Wackerly, PhD – Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE. ([email protected])