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2020 ICA Mobile Pre-conference

Mobile communication and Opportunities
for Open Science


18th Annual ICA Mobile Pre-conference 2020

Deadline for workshop proposals: Friday, December 6, 2019 (Decisions will be shared by early January so you can make travel arrangements)

Date & Time: Wed. May 20, 2020 from 9:00 to 1600 with dinner to follow

Venue: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane. 

Cost:  $50USD (we will lower this if we get enough sponsorship) Breakfast and Lunch on May 20th is included in this cost.


Transportation:  You might consider flying into Brisbane. We are working with ICA and hope to use the shuttle service between Brisbane and Gold Coast for transportation to the main conference on Thursday, May 21st.  

Organizers: Chair: Keri K. Stephens, The University of Texas at Austin (

Vice Chair(s):  Rich Ling, Larissa Hjorth, Heather Horst, Caitlin McGrane, Katy Pearce, Colin Agur,  Mariek Vanden Abeele, Scott Campbell, Gerard Goggin, Ragan Glover

Open Science, as the theme of his year’s ICA conference, is a timely issue for Mobile Communication Scholars.  In many ways, our community is deeply entrenched in open science debates, and we value transparency, as well as interdisciplinary collaboration.  This preconference provides us an opportunity to reinforce things we do well, while also pushing thinking around how to share knowledge of our varied research processes, and how to use our science to create public goods. 

In the spirit of this topic, we want to invite scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds to join us as we explore the opportunities for open science in research surrounding mobile communication.  At the 18th annual ICA Mobile pre-conference, we invite younger scholars (PhDs, postdocs and junior faculty), scholars from the Global South, along with their more established colleagues, to consider these issues in an open, conversational setting.   

The pre-conference will be organized around several interactive Blue-Sky workshop sessions where we invite teams of scholars to present ideas that are at various levels of gestation. Research ideas that are just being formed, ideas for mobile pedagogy, unearthing myriad research processes, and notions of mobile applications used by practitioners in the field are welcome. This forum is designed to cultivate a supportive and integrated community of thinkers.  

Workshop themes can focus on any of the dimensions of mobile communication ranging from mobiles and social cohesion, mobile theory/methods, mobile communication and the news, mobile learning, entertainment, mobiles and disasters, gaming and/or photography. They can look into mobile communication in organizations, mobile communication and development, mobile communication for social good, and mobile communication as a means for threats to privacy, cyberbullying and/or robotification. Workshops could look into mobile romance, parenting mobiles, locative gaming, mHealth, and the relationships of mobile technologies to the elderly or children. They could focus on mobile communication in the Global South, mobile communication and migration, mobile journalism, etc. In short, we are open to a wide variety of themes associated with the use of mobile communication and mobile media in society, especially ideas that embody notions of open science. 

Each workshop will be allocated a time slot of approximately 90 minutes. We are particularly interested to see proposals that include “hands-on” or interactive types of interaction. The workshop sessions should focus on the discussion of new ideas, theory and empirical results, but can also be more practical or industry oriented. A workshop will typically be organized around a consortium of four or five main participants who present and discuss their work but will also engage the audience. Pre-conference attendees can attend multiple workshops.

Submissions should include a workshop summary of 500-800 words (excluding title and references). This summary should describe:

  1. the topic and its relation to the pre-conference theme,

  2. the goal of the workshop,

  3. the scheduled activity, detailing how participants and audience members will be actively involved, and

  4. the presenters and their relationship/contribution to the workshop.

Proposals can be submitted via email to The workshop summaries will be published online and in the printed program. Submissions will be reviewed by a committee of scholars. Proposals will be selected based on criteria of relevance, originality, composition of the group, theoretical/practical contribution, degree of interactivity with the audience, clarity of presentation, as well as fit with the conference theme. The review will be non-blind due to the interactive workshop nature. Notifications of acceptance will be emailed to contributors by early January 2020. 

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