RCA 2023 Annual Conference | Call for Papers and Proposals


Deadline for Submissions: Wednesday, March 29, 2023, 11:59 p.m. Pacific

RCA Program Planner: Andre E. Johnson, ajohnsn6@memphis.edu


RCA welcomes submissions for the National Communication Association 2023 Annual Convention, November 16-19, 2023, in National Harbor, Maryland. RCA opens its portion of the event on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, with its annual First-Day Conference one day before the NCA meeting officially begins on Thursday.

RCA is a 501(c)(3) academic society independent from NCA. As an affiliate organization, RCA proudly showcases religious communication scholarship during the NCA meeting and its separate one-day program before the NCA convention begins. Submissions to Convention Central will be considered simultaneously for NCA panels and inclusion in RCA's First-Day Conference programming on November 15, 2023. Submission to the NCA review process for programming indicates your agreement to attend the preceding RCA Conference should your paper be programmed there.

The standards for acceptance for NCA and RCA are equally stringent. NCA allows multiple program sessions to RCA. This relationship and arrangement allow RCA to strengthen scholarly inquiry and foster meaningful dialogue among colleagues with increased presentation opportunities.

The 109th Annual Convention theme of the National Communication Association is “Freedom.” Our NCA First Vice President, Marnel Niles Goins, suggests that as “communication scholars, our voices must continue to address and parse out the nuances of what freedom was, is, and can be. Further, she writes that “engaging with the concept of freedom allows us to challenge assumptions of what freedom means and offer solutions for individuals, groups, organizations, and societies to attain freedom.” Inspired by this call, she encourages us to ask:

  • What does it mean to be free?
  • Is freedom simply the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved?
  • Where do we find freedom, and how do we get there?
  • Are we free now?
  • Has freedom been reached in the past?
  • Is freedom a goal of the future?
  • Who is free?


RCA celebrates and embraces the Convention theme. As religious communication scholars, the theme “Freedom” inspires us to not only wrestle with those questions but also inspires us to think about and (re) examine ways in which “freedom” exists within religious discourses. For instance, while we are interested in submissions examining the role of religious freedom in the public square, we are also interested in how religion shapes our notions and understanding of freedom. This would also mean examining our concepts of “freedom of religion” and “freedom from religion.”

Moreover, while we invite submissions on a wide variety of topics related to the convention’s theme, we are especially interested in proposals that challenge us to “free” ourselves by expanding our understanding of religious communication and how religious discourses function in society. We especially welcome submissions incorporating how race/racism functions in our convention theme and our knowledge of religious communication.

RCA is also particularly interested in cross-sponsoring with other NCA units and affiliates. In your submission, please indicate if your paper/session/panel proposal involves potential inter-divisional cooperation within RCA or between RCA and other NCA divisions or affiliate groups.

The Religious Communication Association accepts submissions in various formats: competitive individual papers, paper sessions, and panel discussions.

Individual Papers should include an uploaded abstract and are limited to 25 double-spaced pages, excluding notes. Only completed papers will be considered. Individual paper uploads should not contain identifying information (author name, university affiliation, etc.). Note that the same paper may not be submitted to more than one division or planning unit, but there are no limits on the number of unique papers one individual may submit to NCA.

Student Papers should be marked as such to be eligible for the RCA Student Paper of the Year Award and the Donald P. Cushman Award for the top student paper at the NCA convention. For multi-authored works to be eligible for these awards, all authors must be students. INDICATE if the paper is a STUDENT PAPER (undergraduate or graduate) by checking the appropriate box on the NCA Convention Central form.

Review the “Scholar-to-Scholar” description below and indicate your willingness to present your paper as part of this Scholar-to-Scholar exchange if you think this is an appropriate venue for your scholarship. Choosing this option does not exclude your paper from consideration as a competitive paper. This option is an ADDITIONAL consideration and increases your chances for presentation acceptance at NCA.

Paper Sessions are theme-based submissions and should include (1) a session title, (2) a list of presenters with their institutional affiliations (multiple institutions must be represented), (3) titles and full abstracts for each individual presentation, (4) a detailed session description for the online convention program, and (5) a thoroughly developed rationale arguing for the significance and relevance of the session. A session chair is required and should not present a paper during the session. A respondent is optional. In your rationale, please indicate if your paper/session/panel proposal involves potential inter-divisional cooperation within RCA or between RCA and other NCA divisions or affiliate groups.

Panel Discussions should include (1) a panel title, (2) a list of presenters and their institutional affiliations (multiple institutions must be represented), (3) a detailed session description for the online convention program, and (4) a thoroughly developed rationale describing the format of the discussion and arguing for the significance and relevance of the panel. Proposals for panel discussions are encouraged to demonstrate creative adaptation of the discussion format. A session chair is required. In your rationale, please indicate if your paper/session/panel proposal involves potential inter-divisional cooperation within RCA or between RCA and other NCA divisions or affiliate groups.

Scholar-to-Scholar Sessions are a one-on-one interactive format for communication and discussion will be employed. Individual papers are submitted for public display in dedicated sessions with engagement by selected “wandering scholars” (experts in the field). This format is appropriate for presentations such as videos, interactive media, slide shows, experiential activities, and posters. Please check the appropriate approval box on the electronic submission form if you want to be considered for Scholar-to-Scholar. Choosing this option does not exclude your paper from consideration as a competitive paper. Selecting this option is an ADDITIONAL consideration and increases your chances for presentation acceptance at NCA.

Submit ALL papers/sessions/panels to RCA online via NCA’s Convention Central site. Audio-visual requests must be made at the time of submission. Due to the excessive number of requests, late requests WILL NOT be accommodated. All participants should review the “Professional Standards for Convention Participants,” which will further clarify expectations. The “Professional Standards for Convention Participants” site includes live and recorded step-by-step instructions on submitting and is available in the NCA Convention Library (www.natcom.org/conventionresources ).

If you have any questions, please get in touch with the RCA program planner, Andre E. Johnson, at ajohnsn6@memphis.edu.

 

Religious Communication Association

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Each November, RCA holds its Annual Conference in conjunction with the annual convention of the National Communication Association. Scholars are invited to submit competitive papers and panel proposals for consideration. Instructions and guidelines are specified in the annual RCA call for papers.


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