Below are the calls for participants/presenters for the Seminars. A seminar is either a half- or full-day session held on Wednesday, November 7, 2018. Seminars are designed to bring together scholars from a variety of interest areas for the purpose of examining a specific theoretical topic, perspective, question, controversy, or scholarly contribution. There is no registration fee to attend a Seminar, but you do have to apply to participate. For application requirements, please see the Seminar specific requirements below. 

Seminar Calls

Digital data at play: How Media Practitioners Use Big Data Creatively to Build Affinity and Relevance Online
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Salt Palace Convention Center

Presenters: Andrya Allen, University of West Florida

Description: Data intelligence in marketing communications has become a key controversial issue. In 2018, a whistleblower revealed that key data used to inform the Trump campaign strategy was acquired from unethical data acquisition tactics. Industry professionals are facing increasing regulations and restrictions for how data is collected and used. This seminar is designed to provide an overview of leading innovative digital strategies that use big data ethically as a basis for strategic communication choices online. Participants will examine the interplay of ethics and data in the field of marketing to identify ethical gray areas, black-hat marketing techniques and ways to operate with data integrity. In the session, participants will experience live media creation and distribution. The outcome of the session is for attendees to have an applied knowledge and appreciation for the interactive media process.

8:00 am Data ice breaker: What are you willing to share?
8:30 am Leading Data-driven Media Strategies
9:00 am How Practitioners Access Big Data
9:30 am What is microtargeting? How deep does it go?
10:00 am Using Data To Craft Relevant, Innovative Media
11:00 am Interactive Campaign Building: Watch Live as We Craft Targeted Messages
11:30-12:00pm Q&A

Requirements: To indicate your interest in the seminar, please submit your name and email address to Andra Allen ( The deadline for all submissions is October 15th, 2018.

Doing Rhetorical History: Playing with Past, Present, and Future
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Salt Palace Convention Center

Presenters: Kathleen Turner, Davidson College; Jason Black, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Description: Kathleen J. Turner characterized doing rhetorical history as akin to doing a jigsaw puzzle, with three distinct challenges: there is no picture on the box top; the puzzle doesn't have a discrete, complete number of pieces that can only be used in specific ways; and those pieces are "rather more like amoebas, changing shape and significance depending on the context in which they are placed." Thus, the rhetorical historian functions as a detective, pursuing clues and positing scenarios to make sense of what happened. The twentieth anniversary of Doing Rhetorical History offers an opportunity to with rhetorical history as a way of "solving intriguing mysteries and puzzles." Rejecting the "images of musty archives where scholars and the dead commune in a stultifying way that blurs the boundaries between lifeworld and crypt," rhetorical history promises "animated," "richly researched and nuanced" analyses.

Requirements: Applicants should submit a 500-word statement indicating their interest in exploring the past, present, and/or future of rhetorical history as an area of study from theoretical, methods-centered, case-based, and/or context-based perspectives. Those who are selected to join the seminar will be asked to craft a position paper for presentation and discussion focused in one of the three sessions detailed in the seminar description: “Playing with the Past,” “Playing with the Present,” or “Playing with the Future.” Priority will be given to those applicants who connect their statements of interest to issues and ideas included in Doing Rhetorical History: Concepts and Cases (Tuscaloosa: Univ. of Alabama Press, 1998), as this text will serve as inspiration for the seminar. Applications should be submitted to Dr. Jason Edward Black ( no later than October 1, 2018. Those selected to join the seminar will be notified by October 12, 2018. Please direct any questions to Dr. Black.

Playing with Open Educational Resources (OERs): What Communication Faculty Need to Know
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Salt Palace Convention Center

Presenters: Chair: Bradley Serber, University of North Dakota; Andrew Cole, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater; Kristine Clancy, Golden West College; Lora Smith, Indiana University; Stephanie Walker, University of North Dakota

Description: With the rising costs of textbooks and other course materials (software programs, clickers, etc.), some faculty inside and outside of the discipline have begun to adopt or create Open Educational Resources (OERs) in lieu of traditional textbooks and other cost-based classroom resources. OERs are freely available resources in both senses of the word “free.” That is, they are both widespread and available at no cost. The main advantage of OERs is that they are available free of charge to students, but there are many other benefits for faculty who choose to use OERs as well, including but not limited to greater control over content, ease of access, multimodality, and customizability.

Navigating the terrain of OERs can be a bit daunting for those who are new to them. To help communication instructors find their way, this seminar will provide an overview of OERs and Creative Commons Licenses, discuss the implications of using OERs, help participants locate and use existing OERs, and finally give participants tools to create their own OERs—now or in the future. Participants are not required to be working on making their own OERs (yet?) in order to take part in the seminar, though a fair amount of the afternoon session will be devoted to brainstorming how those who are interested in making their own OERs might go about doing so.

Requirements: Those who would like to learn more about what OERs are, where to find them, how to use them, and perhaps how to create them are invited to submit a 150-300 word application by Monday, October 1. The application should discuss participants’ interest in OERs, what they already know about them, what they hope to learn, how they might use OERs in the classroom, and/or what questions they might have for the seminar leaders or other participants. Acceptance notifications will go out by Friday, October 12. Please direct any questions and applications to Bradley Server (

Virtual Food: Edible Matter in the Techno-Playground
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Salt Palace Convention Center

Presenters: Donovan Conley, University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Benjamin Burroughs, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Description: Increasingly, headlines charting the evolution of our food system include strange titles like, "Dinner is Printed" (NYT Sept. 21, 2013), "Silicon Valley Wants to Give Us Eggs Without Chickens, and Meat Without Animals. Do We Want That?" (New Food Economy March 1, 2018), and "Face Electrodes Let You Taste and Chew in Virtual Reality" (New Scientist Nov. 2016). While food discourse has recently entered our disciplinary gatherings, we have yet to tackle the frontier where edible matter meets digital and bio technologies where processing collides with interfacing. Important questions loom, like what are the emerging trends in "food tech"? How will digital systems, automation, and nano processing transform the nature of production and consumption moving forward? What are the ethical implications of "virtual" food for the environment, for animals, and for the social structures that mediate our eating practices? How much of this new horizon is "play" and how much is "doom"? As Metcalf puts it, "what and how we eat have become claims about how the world is and ought to be put together" (Meet Shmeat, 75). Thus we aim to bring together communication scholars with interests ranging from technological innovation to the logistics of food production (and representation) in the hopes of expanding a conversation around "virtual food."

Requirements: Prospective participants are asked to submit--by October 1st, 2018--a one page (single spaced) statement identifying their particular interest in the seminar topic. Please indicate your background and/or specific area(s) of interest, a core question or problem you hope to explore in the seminar, and a reading or video or case study to help advance the discussion.  Statements should be emailed to Donovan Conley ( and Ben Burroughs (

“With Drawn Arms”: Sport, Race, and Politics 50 Years After the Black Power Salute at the 1968 Olympics
8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Salt Palace Convention Center

Presenters: Karen Hartman, Idaho State University

Description: One of the most iconic sporting images comes from the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City when United States track runners Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists to protest racial inequality. Smith and Carlos were immediately sent home and were widely lambasted by media outlets. This seminar seeks to highlight the 50th anniversary of this moment by showing the documentary "With Drawn Arms" followed by panel presentations and roundtable discussions. Panel participants will contextualize the moment in terms of race, social justice, sport, and politics, as well as connect the moment to sport activism today, specifically through Colin Kaepernick's national anthem protest. The seminar will use various theoretical lenses to analyze Smith and Carlos's historical impact and interrogate how the salute serves as a thread to understand race, sport, social justice, and politics today.

Requirements: If you are interested in submitting a proposal to participate, please submit the following to Karen Hartman ( by 11:59 pm EST on Monday October 1, 2018:

  • Name
  • University affiliation
  • A 250-500 word abstract summarizing your panel topic