Passions:Promises and Perils Conference call for abstracts; extended deadline JUNE 29

full name / name of organization: 
Graduate Program in Communication, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Passions: Promises and Perils

Conference hosted by the Graduate Program in Communication
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Date: October 16-17, 2009
E-mail: to contact organizers

Deadline to submit abstracts has been extended to Monday, June 29, 2009.

Abstracts need not explicitly engage "passions." The conference theme is used to organize panel discussions of the scholarly investments that inform our work. While this is the organizing theme, we use it to signify broadly the social, cultural, and economic investments that organize the things we study, and how we study them,


Commitments and investments in the world emerge from passions. These passions form the basis for promise and peril, peace and violence, oppression and liberation. Yet why is it that passions can contradict self-interest? How are passions constructed and manipulated to various ends? How are they both "natural" and naturalized? Where are passions enacted, to what ends, and
for whose benefit?

Passions inform and mediate communication in both limiting and enabling ways.
Passion(s) viewed as a cultural performance is/are bounded, identified, and interpreted variously depending on locations of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. They influence patterns of consumer culture and behavior in both material and virtual worlds. Passions mobilize policy decisions. They prevent and promote intercultural dialogue. The communicative lives of fantasy,imitation, play, sport, and representation begin and end in passions.

We invite submissions that examine and/or demonstrate such significant commitments and investments from a variety of perspectives and areas of communication study including but not limited to: film, media, and cultural studies; critical theory and philosophy; social interaction; intercultural communication and ethnography of communication; race, gender, and sexuality;
cultural policy and political economy; rhetorical studies; critical pedagogy; and performance studies. As a conference we are concerned with the place of passion(s) both inside and outside of the academy. That is, we focus on passions not only "out there," but "in here" as well, and the benefits and
limitations of our academic investments. With passions as our theme we hope to foster fresh responses to concerns with theory, method, culture, and politics facing communication scholars today.


This conference treats Passions as an organizing theme. Small panels will be structured with the objective of stimulating mutually informing dialogue.

The deadline to submit abstracts of 250 words maximum is Monday, June 29, 2009.
Submissions should be e-mailed to:
***The conference is open to BOTH STUDENTS AND FACULTY.

Invited participants will be asked to submit short position papers on an issue related to the subject of their abstract. Position papers will be made available to attendees on our conference website, requiring each participant to
present only a brief summary of their paper at the conference. Panel time will be devoted to guided discussion among panel members and the audience.

We are also soliciting submissions of alternative format research presentations and creative works, including but not limited to: performance, multimedia installation, and film and video work dealing directly with social themes (such as social documentary, ethnography and auto-ethnography, and experimental audio-visual works which encode social, cultural, political, and economic issues).
Abstracts describing the presentations are due on Monday, June 29, 2009.

Submission Deadlines

• Abstracts due: Monday, June 29, 2009
• Notice of acceptance sent: Monday, July 2009
• Invited position papers due: Friday, September 18, 2009

Example Panel Topics

The following are examples of topics around which panels may be organized. But submissions are not required to conform to any of these topics.

Dis/locating Passions: Spaces Where Passion is Expected, Assumed, or Not
Discourses of Agency and Structure
Discourses of Social Movements & Social Justice
Discourses in Race, Racism, and Inequality
Future of the Field of Communication
Passion and Discourses of Gender, Sex, and Sexuality
Passion and Excess (of Body, Knowledge, etc.)
Passion in Film, Media, and Technology
Passions in Cultural Consumption
Pedagogy & Communication
Performing and Rethinking Communication