Call for Book Chapters: Networked China: Global Dynamics of Digital Media and Civic Engagement

Friday, March 1, 2013 (All day)


********************* CALL FOR BOOK CHAPTERS********************* 


Networked China: Global Dynamics of Digital Media and Civic Engagement

for the New Agendas in Communication Series



Wenhong Chen, Assistant Professor, Department of Radio-TV-Film

Stephen D. Reese, Professor, School of Journalism

College of Communication, the University of Texas at Austin


Aim and Scope:

The Internet and digital media have become conduits and locales where millions of Chinese share information and engage in creative expression and social participation. The Arab Spring and the relative lack of comparable social upheaval in China highlight once again the importance of understanding the implications of digital media and technologies for civic life in the social and historical context. 

Yet, compared to their growing prevalence and significance, research on the contingent, non-linear, and sometimes paradoxical impacts of digital media and technologies in Chinese societies remain theoretically underdeveloped and empirically understudied. Departing from previous studies centered on censorship or online activism, the proposed volume aims to cast a wider net and explores how people navigate, negotiate, and transform social landscapes rooted in the Chinese context, revealing both the power and limitations of the Internet and other new communication technologies.

Chapter authors are encouraged to update prevailing theoretical frameworks and revisit the prosumption of digital media and their implications for globalization, transnational networks and public life. In calling for theory-driven empirical research with scholarly and policy relevance, we welcome chapters engaging with diverse theoretical and methodological approaches, especially interdisciplinary and comparative research. Chapters will be organized around three interrelated themes: digital media access and use, transnational/global networks, and civic engagement. 

1. Mapping the Terrain / Digital Media Practices: What are the patterns of digital media access and use in China? What are the impacts of persistent censorship and aggressive marketization? 

2. Exploring Glocalized Transnational Networks: What are the patterns of glocalized, transnational networks straddling boundaries of geography, identities, and issues? How do digital technologies and media allow local actors to form these networks in the cloud and on the ground? How does access to and memberships in such networks vary by class, gender, generation, urban-rural location, as well as differential digital media skills and literacy? How does this restructuring work to subvert and transcend traditional social and official hierarchies? 

3. Understanding Civic Engagement Online and Offline: How do digital mediated communication and interactions contribute to an informed, connected, and engaged public in China? To what extent do digital media and technologies facilitate transparency and enhance the visibility of oppressed groups, particularly compared with print and broadcast media under tighter government control? To what extent do glocalized transnational networks affect access to and mobilization of resources for social development and changes?



The New Agendas in Communication Series is a conference and publication initiative of the College of Communication, the University of Texas at Austin. It aims to call attention to important emerging new areas of study, stimulate needed forms of intellectual inquiry, accelerate the research careers of the conference participants, build community across disciplinary divides for an important young cohort, and produce edited volumes appealing to a broad audience. 

Contributors should be junior scholars, including recently tenured associate professors, assistant professors, and advanced doctoral students. Single-authored work is preferable, but co-authorship is acceptable as long as all are junior scholars.

Selected authors will be invited to participate in the "Networked China: New Agendas" conference at the University of Texas at Austin to present and help strengthen each other's work for publication.  As such, a full draft chapter submission is required from participants prior to the conference.  Travel and lodging expenses will be supported.


Logistics and timeline: 

. The book will be published in the New Agendas in Communication Series (Routledge) in 2014, 250-300 pages, with 8-12 chapters. 

. A 300-500 word abstract should be sent to by March 1, 2013. Initial screening decisions will be made by April 1, 2013. 

. Authors of accepted abstracts will be expected to submit a full chapter two weeks prior to the conference, to be held in Austin in the third week of October 2013.


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