Call for Papers: Theorizing in Intercultural Communication: Past, Present, and Future

Over the last few decades, the field of intercultural communication has been committed to promoting knowledge and understanding of intercultural, international, and cross-cultural communication research across many contexts, including interpersonal, organizational, health, and many more. Scholars across disciplines, including communication, psychology, and education, have developed theories and models to describe, explain, and predict how individuals, groups, and cultures communicate within and between one another. Recent socio-cultural, technological, and environmental developments have brought new changes and challenges regarding the use and application of such theories as guiding frameworks. As communication scholars have been adapting and embracing these new dimensions, we found it fitting to dedicate a special issue to current theorizing in the field of intercultural communication. Given the rich yet fragmented nature of intercultural communication research, we seek to go beyond the legacy of foundational theories and explore new opportunities for theorizing and applying such knowledge in the field of intercultural communication research.

This special issue offers a platform to discuss theories that have shaped the field of intercultural communication and consider how they may need to be adapted to reflect major contemporary issues. Authors are invited to submit original manuscripts that focus on the development of intercultural communication theorizing that contribute to our understanding of individual-level and societal-level phenomena at the international, intercultural, or cross-cultural level. We encourage manuscripts from a wide range of scholarly areas and welcome all methodological approaches. Both empirical research reports and theoretical or conceptual essays are welcomed. In addition to our emphasis on methodological pluralism, we encourage submissions that reflect global, underrepresented, and/or marginalized experiences.

Goals and Scope of the Issue: 

We leave it up to contributors to identify what they see as key theories, in order to gather a wide range of perspectives on what is perceived as central theoretical developments in intercultural communication. Topics could include (but are not limited to) empirical inquiries or theoretical essays on (a) the development of intercultural communication as a flourishing area of inquiry; (b) the evolution and/or refinement of foundational theories in light of recent social, technological, and environmental changes; (c) the role of intercultural communication theorizing in applied settings (e.g., academic, organizational, health contexts); (d) the replication (and comparison) of previous studies in contemporary settings; or (e) the intersection of intercultural communication theorizing, power, and ideology as agents and catalysts for change. Specifically, we invite articles engaging with the following questions and areas of inquiry:

  • How have theories in intercultural communication contributed to delineating the conceptual and methodological scope of the discipline and positioned it within the global academic community?
  • How do key theories in intercultural communication resonate in today’s world and what revisions might be necessary to move these theories and the field forward?
  • How have key theories in intercultural communication been applied to empirical contexts and how can these findings contribute to current theorizing in the field?
  • What theories in intercultural communication have remained at the periphery and at what costs? How can these marginalized forms of knowledge be reclaimed today and applied to clarify contemporary challenges?
  • What gaps can still be identified and addressed to reflect major contemporary technological, cultural, and social issues?