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2019 ICA Mobile Pre-conference

Boundary conditions in mobile communication

16th annual ICA Mobile Pre-conference 2019


Deadline for workshop proposals: Friday, December 31, 2018 

Date & Time of the pre-conference: May 23, 2019 from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Tentative venue: The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum.



The theme of borders (national, political, social, personal) and transiting them, has become a central issue in society. Borders as the theme of his year’s ICA conference is a timely issue. The personal nature of mobile communication means that this form of mediation is increasingly central to these transitions. Migrants use mobile phones to orient themselves in transit and after they settle in new countries. Political movements use mobile communication to, in some cases break down and in other cases to develop borders. Mobile communication allows us to reach across social boundaries. Thus, there is an obvious connection between borders and our use of mobile communication to deal with them.  


At the 16th 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 at the 16th annual Mobile Communication Pre-Conference. 


The pre-conference will be organized around several interactive Blue-Sky workshop sessions where we invite scholars to present ideas that are at various levels of gestation. Research ideas that are just being formed, ideas for mobile pedagogy, 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, 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. 


Workshop proposals are particularly welcomed from mobile-oriented scholars in the early stages of their careers. We also welcome established scholars to partner with younger colleagues in the development of proposals. 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 involved, and

4. the participants 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, the 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 in January 2019. 

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