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Call for Papers: ICA Preconference 2019

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This one-day International Communication Association preconference on May 24, 2019 aims to bring together leading and emerging scholars around the world to register this shift in communication in North Korea create constructive dialogue.

North Korea has been an under-explored area in communication research. Limitations on movement and communication, as well as physical isolation of the country in the global arena, has made it difficult for scholars to produce meaningful research about North Korea. In recent years, however, there have been major developments in the communication infrastructure, with the introduction of cellular phones to the general public, resulting in over 70% of Pyongyang citizens having access. Foreign correspondents from the US, Europe and South Korea have been allowed to set up permanent foreign bureaus. In 2018, the North Korean leader has engaged in fast-paced diplomacy with the US, South Korea and China. Taken together, these changes are leading to a new era in communication about, within and around North Korea.

Considering the historical and geopolitical significance of such developments, it is therefore crucial for scholars to pursue theoretically and methodologically sound research on North Korea. This one-day ICA preconference, supported by the Political Communication and Journalism Studies divisions, aims to bring together leading and emerging scholars around the world to register this shift and examine causes, components and civic consequences of a uniquely isolated – but rapidly changing – country.

The pre-conference also aims to bring scholars together with practitioners including diplomats, journalists, policy makers and those from international organizations, NGOs, and business sectors for constructive dialogue. We encourage submissions from scholars from other disciplines such as political science, international relations, sociology and East Asian studies. Discussions are currently underway to publish presented works in a journal or edited volume.

While we are open-ended about potential topics, we would welcome research in the following areas:

• Works conceptualizing and theorizing changes in the media in and about North Korea in both historical and contemporary contexts

• Works exploring the roles of communication and rhetoric, looking factors related to media (new or traditional), messages (symbolism, keywords), context, or speakers or audiences in a changing North Korea

• Works analyzing emerging norms, practices and routines with regards to the production and consumption of new and traditional media, as well as formal/underground media

• Works looking into Hallyu and popular culture in North Korea

• Works related to intercultural communication and migration

• Works seeking to understand changes in journalism impacting diverse communities — regional, class, gender — within North Korea and its neighbors

Submission Process

We invite scholars to submit abstracts (maximum 500 words) of theoretical and empirical research papers.

The submission should be emailed to the pre-conference organizers at no later than January 30, 2019.

Authors will be informed of acceptance/rejection decisions no later than February 15, 2019.

Accepted abstracts will be posted to the pre-conference website in advance of the event.


All speakers and attendees must register and pay the pre-conference fee. Participation fee (including coffee break and lunch buffet) is $50 for presenters and non-presenters.

To register for this pre-conference, participants need to go to and register online as part of their main ICA conference registration, or as a stand-alone registration.


Seungahn Nah (University of Oregon), Soomin Seo (Temple University), Yong-Chan Kim (Yonsei University), Dal Yong Jin (Simon Fraser University). The pre-conference is co-sponsored by the Political Communication and Journalism divisions of the International Communication Association.

Published: Monday, January 14, 2019