The School of Journalism and Communication hosted the 14th annual Communication Graduate Caucus (CGC) Conference last week, a two-day event that attracted over a hundred communications students from across the country to Carleton University. The annual conference showcased cutting-edge research by the next generation of Communication and Media Studies scholars, and provided a space for graduate students to meet and network with other students.

First-year Communication MA students, from left to right: Madeleine Le Jeune, Olivia Faria, Erika Christiansen and Anna Hum. 

The theme for the 2019 conference was INSIDIOUS, signaling the CGC’s interest in profiling research on the subtle, surreptitious and often harmful effects of media and communication technologies, processes and practices on our lives. Panels and roundtable discussions addressed a broad range of issues, such as data policy and data collection practices, net neutrality, risk communication, environmental sustainability initiatives, micro-targeting in political campaigns, and cybersecurity, among others. Students presented research papers and networked with peers and faculty members, socialized, and took part in thought-provoking conversations about the future of communications. 

Once again, the CGC Conference also featured a panel of presentations by some of the top undergraduate students from the Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies program. Organized and coordinated by Dr. Ira Wagman, undergraduate presentations touched on media coverage of abortion, China’s anthropocene, hate politics online, and the use of open data in affordable housing policy.

The undergraduate panel from day one of the conference. From left to right: Zach Voth, Katherine Couture, Vera Zhou, Micha Johanis-Bell, Amy McMahon, Zijing Jia and Yuetong Men, and Dr. Ira Wagman (panel chair).

Dr. Benjamin Woo, the Communication program’s faculty liaison to the CGC, was thrilled with the success of the event: “I had a front-row seat to the hard work that conference co-chairs, Xiaofei Han, Shaunel London, and Carla McCutchin, and the Communications Graduate Caucus executive and volunteers put into making the event a success. I was also delighted to present this year’s Canadian Journal of Communication Prize to our own Sarah MacLean for her paper on personal digital health technologies.” 

Highlights of the conference included an opening lecture by Carleton professor Dr. Hannah Dick about the myth of secularization and the persistence of Christian hegemony, and the keynote lecture delivered by Dr. Mél Hogan from University of Calgary. Dr. Hogan’s talk, “Genomic Media at the End of the World,” explored shifting practices in data storage, from server farms to synthetic DNA, and addressed the explosion of genomics and how its undergirding logics and infrastructure have enabled us to imagine these shifts. 

Congratulations to the organizers of the event, and to all the students who worked so hard to be a part of this annual conference.

Thursday, March 28, 2019 in ,
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