The Role of Computer-Mediated Communication in Promoting Activism and Revolutionary Work Around the World

kimberly  harper 's picture
Call for Papers
December 30, 2016
North Carolina, United States
Subject Fields: 
Communication, Composition & Rhetoric, Environmental History / Studies, Ethnic History / Studies, Social Sciences

The Role of Computer-Mediated Communication in Promoting Activism and Revolutionary Work Around the World   Issue 5(2) • December 2017

Guest Editors: 

  • Kimberly C. Harper North Carolina A&T State University, GCB A-440, Greensboro, NC, 27411.
  • Samaa Gamie Lincoln University, University Hall 301, Lincoln University, PA 19352. 
  • Moe Folk Kutztown University, 132 Lytle Hall, PO Box 730, Kutztown, PA 19530.

This special issue of connexions • international professional communication journal will discuss the potential role of social networking and Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) in promoting activism and revolutionary work. The special edition will include a collection of articles that record and examine the uses of CMC for community organizing in countries where revolutionary action and social and political activism remain hidden in underground cyber cells or remain confined in limited digital or real spaces. This special edition also welcomes articles that examine how CMC is used in the workplace or in civic activities (both sanctioned and unsanctioned) to inform, expose, and engage people in activism at the local, national, and international level. The collection will also look at how traditionally marginalized groups use CMC to bring awareness to the needs of their community. This special issue aims to probe, through the lens of theory and praxis, the multifarious mechanisms through which cyber space and CMC provide opportunities for the realization of and/or hinder revolutionary ground work in real communities or in classrooms as discursive and rhetorical settings. The collection’s aim is to explore means of subverting the limitations of the virtual domain and uncover opportunities for extending democracy and activism to the physical domain of people’s real communities, while being cognizant of the limitations imposed upon such democracy in the virtual and physical spaces activists, revolutionaries, and others occupy in electronic networked communication.

The collection encourages works that explore theorizations of the frameworks through which CMC (instant messaging, email, chat rooms, online forums, and social network services) can or does produce settled and fluid social spaces that can allow for opportunities for social transformation. The rewards for social transformation lie in the shifting of social spaces from “here” to “there” –from the present to the future spaces of transformation of which we dream (Robinson 2000, p. 286). The collection will further examine whether in rare “revolutionary times” substantial opportunities for shifts in power relations emerge (Cocks 1988) that enable the subversion of cultural and social norms. The interest in studying social transformation and social change arises from the need to understand the processes by which social change can be materialized within the spatiality of social life and to study how spaces of imagining and theorizing can/do shape or displace the future(s) of oppressive power relations and to erase the categories of oppressor and oppressed.

For this special issue we seek articles, commentaries, teaching cases, and reviews focusing on Computer Mediated Communication and activism. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  1. The intersections of globalization, social media, activism, and their associated challenges
  2. The privacy and ethics of cyberspace activists
  3. The creation of unique rhetorical constructions and deployments of digital ethos in activist social media
  4. The relationship between CMC and traditional journalism outlets for reporting movement activities
  5. Documenting agency and voice when creating and sustaining a movement via CMC
  6. Pedagogy perspectives in teaching youth how to use CMC as tools for leadership and change  
  7. The use of CMC in domestic and international movements. Topics may include, but are NOT limited to:
  • The Black Lives Matter Movement
  • The Arab Spring Movement 
  • The Nigerian Bring Our Girls Back Movement 
  • Female Genital Mutilation Movement(s) from various regions of the world 
  • The Push to Stop Child Marriages 
  • Water Wars 
  • Occupy Wall Street
  • The Syrian Refugee Crisis 
  • The Flint, MI Water Crisis


Cocks, J. (1989). The oppositional imagination: Feminism, critique, and political theory. London and New York: Routledge.

Robinson, J. (2000). Feminism and the spaces of transformation. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 25, 285-301. doi:10.1111/j.0020-2754.2000. 00285.x


  • Submission deadline of manuscript abstracts: December 30, 2016
  • Notification of acceptance of manuscript abstracts: January 30, 2017 
  • Submission deadline for full manuscript review: June 15, 2017 
  • Expected date of publication for accepted full manuscripts: Nov. 30, 2017

Submission Procedures

  • Submit 500-word abstracts for original research articles, review articles, and teaching cases; or 250-word abstracts for focused commentary and industry perspectives.
  • Prepare a cover page for your abstract with 1.5-line spacing and Georgia, 12- point font. 
  • Save the cover page and abstract in doc, docx, or rtf format. 
  • Include in your cover page author(s) names, institutional affiliations, email addresses, and whether you are submitting a research article, a review article, a teaching case, a focused commentary, or an industry perspective. 
  • Submit your abstract via email to Kimberly Harper, Samaa Gamie, and Moe Folk at

Upon acceptance of your proposal, you will be invited to submit a full-length manuscript. All manuscripts that meet the journal’s standards and requirements will be, without exception, submitted to double-blind peer review.

Abstracts to Be Developed Into

  • Original research articles of 5,000 to 7,000 words 
  • Review articles of 3,000 to 5,000 words 
  • Teaching cases of 3,000 to 5,000 words 
  • Focused commentary and industry perspectives articles of 500 to 3,000 words

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