VACAS 2020: Communication and Identity CANCELLED

VACAS 2020, previously moved online, has now been cancelled outright.

Due to the disruptions to daily life caused by COVID-19 we will not be meeting online (as previously announced). The conference has been cancelled.

For our statement on this decision to cancel the conference, please click here.

 This statement includes an opportunity to submit your work to be included in our conference proceedings (essentially a public archive of papers and presentations). Click the link above for more details.

March 27-28, 2020


Doing our part to “flatten the curve”

Identity. The concept has taken on increased significance in the past three years. We build our identities, our complex sense of who we are, through communication and social interaction. In our homes, schools, and neighborhoods we collectively develop a sense of self, and a shared sense of community. We also attribute identities to others, in ways that can be positive and affirming or violent and destructive. Media texts and images can tell stories about identity, stories that build identification and solidarity across difference. Media stories can also stereotype, marginalize, and promote hatred and ill-will. The labels that we affix to one another—in institutions, in everyday life, online on Instagram and Twitter–can shape our lives in profound ways, drawing and re-drawing lines of connection and exclusion. And, lest we forget, the power to define our identities and those of others is not held equally. Powerful institutions—media, government, religion, and education—create categories, like those of “citizen” or “illegal,” “migrant” or “refugee,” and these categories distribute social advantage to some and violence and detention to others. VACAS 2020 therefore calls on students and scholars to examine the relationships between communication, media, and identity both historically and in our contemporary moment.

Note: As always, we welcome submissions that fall outside this theme as well. This conference is open to all papers, posters, and panels related to the field of communication studies, regardless of topic.

About VACAS 2020

VACAS 2020 represents a great opportunity for undergraduate students, graduate students, and communication faculty—especially those based in Virginia—to share their latest work in the field of communication. We encourage submissions across the whole range of the communication field, including, but not limited to: media studies, journalism, political communication and campaigns, film studies, communication and advocacy, public relations, communication theory and rhetorical criticism, critical/cultural studies, science and environmental communication, intercultural communication, interpersonal/small group communication, health and risk communication, and communication education/pedagogy. We welcome submissions from undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty. Panels, papers, and posters can present completed work or work-in-progress.

Undergraduate students (and their faculty advisors) are especially encouraged to submit their work. In short, we envision VACAS 2020 as a positive and supportive venue for undergraduate students to present their exemplary work in communication research and critical analysis.