Call for Papers: The 2nd International Conference on Communication and the Public

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The 2nd International conference on Communication and the Public: “Body, Lived Space, and Mobile Media”

June 18-19, 2016
Penn Wharton China Center
World Financial Center
West Building, 16F
No. 1 East Third Ring Middle Road
Chaoyang District
Beijing, 100020, China


Today, mobile technologies of all varieties, from smart phones to geo-spatial media and vehicles equipped with sophisticated navigation and surveillance gadgets, increasingly dot the urban space around the world. In many rural areas, more and more village residents use mobile phones to access the Internet and maintain their connections with families and friends in other regions or countries. Ordinary citizens resort to mobile media to communicate with one another about culture, society, economy, politics, entertainment, and other information.

Parallel with the development of mobile media technologies are profound transformations of the physical environment of the human habitat. Rural villages become urbanized while age-old urban streets and enclaves disappear or are transformed.

In the middle of these transformations, however, life’s colorful varieties persevere. People continue to seek and discover meaning from their lived spaces as some embrace while others resist these changes. What cultural and social processes characterize the intersections and interfaces of body, lived space, and mobile media? What new social collectivities, identities, and relationships emerge in these processes? How do they inform the practices of everyday life? How do these techno-social transformations challenge our understandings of publics, publicness, and the public sphere?

This international conference aims to explore these and other questions related to the themes of the journal Communication and the Public. The journal plans to publish a special issue of selected papers from the conference. We welcome original research on and from any regions of the world. Topics of discussion may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Mobile media and the body
  • Mobile media and political expression
  • Mobile media, gender, class, and race
  • Nationalism, cosmopolitanism, and international migration
  • Mobile media and liquid surveillance
  • Mobile publics, publicity, and privacy
  • Mobile media and human relations to their environments
  • Mobile media in lived spaces (e.g., homes, streets, shopping areas)
  • Cultural and media forms in public spaces (e.g. street performances, slogans, billboards, public arts, graffiti)
  • Cultural heritage and media forms

Conference organizers

Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Department of Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

College of Media and International Culture, Zhejiang University, China

Supporting organization

Institute of Journalism and Communication, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China

Manuscript Submission

Please submit unpublished, full papers before March 15, 2016 to: We encourage submissions in English (not exceeding 9,000 words) from around the world, but will consider papers in Chinese (not exceeding 15,000 characters).

Decision emails will be sent by April 15. Authors of accepted papers will be invited to present at the conference “Body, Lived Space, and Mobile Media” to be held at the Penn Wharton China Center in Beijing, on June 18-19, 2016. Conference organizers will cover accommodation and meals.

Manuscript Style

Manuscripts should include a title, abstract, key words, main text, and references. To facilitate anonymous peer review, the main text should not contain any information that may identify the author (s). Please use the APA reference style.


For more information or inquiries, please contact Zhongdang Pan at or Guobin Yang at