Resilience in Crises and Crisis: SFU School of Communication's Graduate Student Conference 2021

The School of Communication's Graduate Student Caucus is pleased to announce that the call for papers for the 2021 Graduate Student Conference is now open!

The theme of this year's conference is "Resilience in Crises and Crisis".

We want to encourage discussion and debate around the topic of crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic, overdose crisis, crisis of the university, economic crisis, crisis of truth, and the looming threat to life of the Anthropocene have been at the fore this past year. Our aim is to bring student research and art together to facilitate a timely conversation about the field of communication and media studies amid these calamities. We encourage authors and artists to consider resilience in their fields/art, in light of these present moments of crisis, and to question the resilience of crisis itself. Has crisis become ordinary? If so, how do recovery and opportunity present themselves or are possibilities in a state of deferral?


The call for proposals deadline has been extended by 2 weeks, to March 15th, 2021.

You will be notified of your submission status by April 1, 2021.

Accepted panelists may submit their finished work to Stream: Interdisciplinary Journal of Communication by July 9, 2021.


Data and technology studies: One may question how crises justify mass surveillance, interfere with free speech and democratic participation, distribute risk, or reframe transparency in the context of social media platforms, via:
- Big Data
- Cyberwars
- Genomics
- Philosophy of technology
- Algorithmic cultures
- Software Studies
- Science and Technology Studies

Media and culture: One may question how media and cultures react, adapt, respond, and remember crises, or whether crises defer futures, horizons, and possibilities, via:
- Documentary Media Studies and community-based media and art
- Indigenous Media Studies
- Intersectional Feminist & Queer Media Studies
- Memory and Museum Studies
- Asian and Middle Eastern Cultural Studies
- Migration, diaspora, and critical race studies
- Social Media, Gaming and Popular Culture
- Sound Studies and Soundscape Research
- Visual Studies and Sensory media

Political economy: One may question how crises are either received or opposed in political movements, campaigns, and rhetoric; or how they affect regulatory decisions, global flows, risk distribution, and labour markets via:
- Media campaigns
- Social movements and revolutions
- Environmental Communication Studies
- Emergency communication
- Critical Communication Theory
- Political communication, news media and Journalism Studies
- Labour in the Media and Communication Industries

Communication and cultural governance: One may question how multiple crises affect local or international governance decisions in the face of conflicting responsive actions, via:
- International perspectives in Communication Governance
- Communication Policy, Law and Regulation
- Communication Rights
- Platform Governance
- Local to Global Cultural Policies


Paper proposals must include:

- Author’s name, rank/status, and affiliation.
- Paper title. Please be brief (longer titles may be truncated by the online platform).
- Maximum of two topic areas within which your proposal is situated. These topic areas are helpful for organizing single paper submissions into coherent panels.
- An abstract (between 350 and 500 words) outlining: the research object, problem or question; the main argument or inquiry to be developed; the method of analysis and/or theoretical approach used; and the significance of what is proposed in relation to existing scholarship in the field.

Please ensure there is no self-identifying information in the abstract and do not submit a list of bibliographical references. All submissions will be peer-reviewed with the help of the Stream editorial team.

Accepted proposals will be offered further peer-review and publication as full papers/work in progress/extended abstract/artistic works, in the conference proceedings. Please consider that this year’s conference will be conducted virtually via Zoom.

If accepted, you will be asked to prepare a PowerPoint display to accompany you for a maximum 15-minute presentation. Panels will be followed by an open question-and-answer period. Should the conference’s time-zone (Vancouver-PST) be prohibitive, panelists may consider pre-recording their presentations. Panelists will be asked to convey their intention to do so upon acceptance.


This year’s conference will be conducted virtually via Zoom. We encourage the submission of artistic works that may be displayed in a digital format. We intend to incorporate the artist into panels alongside the most closely related paper submissions. We hope this choice will encourage a multi-sensory engagement with the themes of the panels and conference.

Please prepare a maximum 15-minute presentation, with PowerPoint display, relating your work to the conference’s theme. Should the conference’s time-zone (Vancouver PST) be prohibitive, panelists may consider pre-recording their presentations.

Panelists will be asked to convey their intention to do so upon acceptance. Proposal descriptions should be 200 words in length and accompanied by a 100-word length biography and artist’s contact information. Accepted submissions will be offered further peer-review and publication as artistic works, in the conference proceedings.


Please submit all questions and proposals, including either the phrase “CMNS GSC-21 Question” or “CMNS GSC-21 Submission” in the subject-line, to: