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Manuscript deadline
01 February 2021

Cover image - Review of Communication

Review of Communication

Special Issue Editor(s)

Godfried A. Asante, PhD, School of Communication, San Diego State University
[email protected]

Jenna N. Hanchey, PhD, Department of Communication Studies, University of Nevada, Reno
[email protected]

Kathleen McConnell, PhD, Editor, The Review of Communication
[email protected]

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(Re)Theorizing Communication Studies from African Perspectives

Recently, communication studies has found itself at an important crossroads. After the publication of Paula Chakravartty et al.’s “#CommunicationSoWhite” (Journal of Communication, 2018), the Quarterly Journal of Speech forum on #RhetoricSoWhite (2019), the controversy regarding the racialized selection of NCA’s Distinguished Scholars, and the walk-out of the 2019 NCA Organizational Communication Division’s Top Paper Panel, the discipline is finally beginning to recognize its longstanding racial–colonial structures. Communication scholars have turned to theories of anti-Blackness and de/coloniality to understand the ontologies and epistemologies of the modern world system, and how the discipline is ensconced within it. This work attends to how the colonial–modern subject, what Sylvia Wynter terms “Man,” is rendered ontologically human and epistemologically intelligent only by assigning decreasing gradations of humanity and intelligence to racialized and colonized others (“Unsettling the Coloniality of Being/Power/Truth/Freedom,” 2003). In the logics of Man, the lowest rungs are reserved for Africans. Africans are produced by colonial-modernity as non-beings, figures of total erasure against which the white, Western world can assert itself in opposition (Mbembe, On the Postcolony, 2001).

African forms of theorizing and philosophical approaches thus hold a unique position in the work of decolonizing communication studies. In this themed issue, we seek essays that center African continental perspectives, values, beliefs, experiences, and philosophical thought as the grounds for (re)theorizing communication studies, such as the works of Joëlle M. Cruz; Godfried Asante; Jenna N. Hanchey; Kundai Chrindo; Donald S. Taylor, Peter Ogom Nwosu, and Eddah Mutua-Kombo; and many others demonstrate. We welcome essays centering African continental thought, while recognizing that African epistemologies are not geographically bounded by the borders of the continent and may also engage with the cultural dynamics shaping Africanness within the context of diaspora.

Submitted essays may be theoretical in approach, or may use African epistemologies and/or lived experience to undergird qualitative, rhetorical, or quantitative empirical studies. All submissions should focus on African forms of theorizing and philosophical approaches, and how such approaches dialogue with scholarship produced in the communication discipline. We are particularly interested in submissions that address (but are not limited to) the following themes:

  • Rethinking/amending/extending/challenging “canonical” communication theory
  • Knowledges obscured or dismembered by colonialism
  • Rethinking subjectivity and/or identity
  • Approaches to feminism/womanism/nego-feminism
  • Approaches to queerness, non-binarism, and trans* issues
  • (Re)conceptualizations of whiteness, race, and racialization; globalization and migration
  • Africa’s postcolonial/neocolonial/settler colonial condition(s)/decolonial approaches
  • Approaches to and ways of rethinking cultural citizenship; social movements; humanity, personhood, and rights; ecocultural issues and identities; pedagogy
  • Connections between African approaches and other historically marginalized knowledges
  • Cultural dynamics shaping Africanness within the context of the diaspora

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Submission Instructions

Authors should identify which themed call their paper is responding to by selecting the relevant drop-down option in the submission portal.

Manuscripts should be prepared in Microsoft Word using a 12-point common font, double-spaced, no more than 6,000–8,000 words, inclusive of all matter.

Review of Communication follows the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed., endnotes style.  

Review Process: In keeping with the journal’s current practice, submissions will undergo rigorous peer review, including screening by the guest editors and review by at least two anonymous referees.

Please direct questions about submissions to this themed issue to the Guest Editors or the Kathleen McConnell.

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