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Journal of International and Intercultural Communication

For a Special Issue on

The continuing relevance of the Global South (and where to find it)

Abstract deadline
01 July 2024

Manuscript deadline
15 December 2024

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Special Issue Editor(s)

Rochelle R Davidson Mhonde, George Mason University
[email protected]

Zhuo Ban, University of Cincinnati
[email protected]

Last Moyo, Xian-Jiaotong Liverpool University
[email protected]

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The continuing relevance of the Global South (and where to find it)

There is a long scholarly history in the study of international and intercultural communication to pay attention to the special relevance of the Global South in critical theorizing and application. The concept of the Global South (and the imaginary) offers a geo-political context to the study of inherently power-ridden communication practices across national borders and cultures (Bardhan, 2016; Dutta and Pal, 2020; Shome, 2019). It serves as a synecdoche to represent the particular set of problematics of critical theories that pivots around issues of oppression. More importantly, the issues are deeply rooted in capitalist and imperial history. In the field of international and intercultural communication, these critical problematics pertain to a wide range of communication issues in the context of an exploitative global division of labor, enslavement, and impoverishment of marginalized populations, epistemic violence, stereotypical media representations, and dehumanizing experiences of communities under the intersection of multiple systems of subjugation, among others (Bachmann and Proust, 2019; Ban, 2016; Dutta et al. , 2021; Moyo, 2020).

In arguing for the continuing relevance of the Global South in communication studies, we acknowledge that the Global South, as a geopolitical concept, seems to have lost its cachet in recent years. There is a growing trend among critical scholars to focus more on the stark inequality inside a country/region rather than the imbalance between them. While constructing this call for papers, social media platforms in the US are flooded with stories of the lavish pre-wedding celebrations of an ultrawealthy Indian family that got Rihanna to perform for the guests. Stories like this obfuscate the fact that global wealth and poverty are still geopolitically located–the United Nations 2023 global multidimensional poverty index report shows that over a third of impoverished people continue to live in South Asia. Also, in the Global North, the widening disparities and discriminatory policies have increased the socio-economic impoverishment of ethnic minorities, women, LGBTQ+ and trans individuals, and immigrant communities. Indeed, there is a growing need for critical interrogation of the trend in popular and elite discourses suggesting a post-Global South, post-geo-political world, even as the COVID pandemic, trade wars, and cold-war-like antagonism have made geopolitics ever more relevant and visible, in the contemporary arenas of international and intercultural communication.

In this special issue, authors are invited to submit proposals that address the theoretical expansion and translatability of critical theoretical frameworks and models across the communication discipline, emphasizing international contexts and intercultural conceptualizations. We encourage proposals that shed light on the continuing relevance of the Global South concept influenced by a diverse array of critical perspectives and geopolitically located vantage points (e.g., being “from” the Global South while living in the North). We welcome critical approaches including (but are not limited to) critical race theory, intersectionality, culture-centered approach, decolonial, subaltern studies, queer theory, and indigeneity, among others. Topics could include, for instance, communication issues and problematics emerging from the context of (a) immigrant labor in the new global economic structure, (b) new models of geo-political alliance and colonization, (c) global solidarity of struggles across race, gender, class among other social identities, (d) global discursive field in the age of social media, AI, and digital surveillance, and (e) the challenges in addressing global health disparities and inequities through intercultural health communication and promotion.

We consider critical reflection on the researcher's positionality an integral part of critical engagement with the topic, even in empirical reports. For critical reflection, we seek explicit discussions on some of the following questions: Whose interests are served by critical theory? What role can critical theory play in the projects of liberation, emancipation, and social transformation? What are the possibilities and challenges of critical theory? How is critical theorizing work carried out? How does power politics influence the knowledge-creation process? What are the roles of critical theorists? How do the colonial history and West-centered disciplinary roots influence contemporary critical theorizing? While these questions do not have to be a major part of the scholarly investigation, these issues must be acknowledged and addressed in the proposal.

Submission Instructions

For the proposal, authors should submit an extended abstract no later than July 1, 2024. Extended abstracts should consist of no more than 1,000 words (not including references). Authors should submit an extended abstract to the guest editors via email: Dr. Rochelle Davidson Mhonde ([email protected]), Dr. Zhuo Ban ([email protected]), and Dr. Last Moyo ([email protected]). Both empirical research reports and theoretical or conceptual essays are welcome. After extended abstracts are reviewed, selected authors will be invited to complete a final manuscript. Final manuscripts will undergo peer review.

For quantitative and qualitative empirical research papers, the extended abstract should highlight the theoretical rationale and focus of the proposed project, as well as how the findings will contribute to the focus of the special issue. For theoretical or conceptual essays, the extended abstract should clearly state the topic of inquiry and elaborate on the proposed essay's conceptual, theoretical, and applied contribution. In addition, we welcome submissions that include performative experiences and analysis, including poetry and visual art. For the extended abstract for performative pieces, please submit lyrics, poems, or digitized formats of artwork of such submissions.

For questions, please contact the guest editors. All manuscripts will have to follow the journal submission guidelines.

The proposed timeline for the publication process is as follows:

7/1/2024: Deadline for submitting extended abstracts
8/1/2024: Notification sent to authors about accepted abstracts and invitations for full manuscripts
12/15/2024: Deadline for submitting full manuscripts
2/15/2025: First round of peer review/editorial decisions sent to authors for revisions
9/1/2025: Final copy of special issue sent for production
November, 2025: Special issue published

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