Call: Human-Machine Communication at International Communication Association 2020

Call for Papers

Human-Machine Communication Interest Group
International Communication Association
70th annual conference – ICA 2020
Gold Coast, Australia
21-25 May 2020

Submission deadline: 1 November 2019 at 16:00 UTC

The Human-Machine Communication (HMC) Interest Group supports and promotes scholarship regarding communication between people and technologies designed to enact the role of communicator. Such technologies include, but are not limited to, artificial intelligence (AI) software and devices, robots, digital and home assistants, automated-writing software, smart toys, and Internet of Things (IOT) devices. HMC research focuses on the meaning-making that unfolds when people engage directly with technology as a communicative subject rather than as an object used to communicate with other people. HMC encompasses the aspects of Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), Human-Agent Interaction (HAI), and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) pertaining to technologies that function as communicators. It also includes the philosophical and critical examination of these technologies and their integration into daily life.

The HMC Interest Group welcomes submissions focused on the many aspects of the creation of meaning between humans and technologies designed to enact the role of communicator and the implications of people’s interactions with these technologies for individuals, organizations, and society. Relevant topics also include the study of the development and design of technologies as communicative subjects; the integration of these technologies into media-related industries (e.g., automated journalism); the augmentation of the body with technology (e.g., human augmentics); cultural discourse surrounding technologies that function as communicators; and the historical, philosophical, theoretical, and methodological development of HMC as a distinct subfield of communication. Papers regarding topics not specified here but directly related to the focus of the Interest Group are also welcome. Authors are encouraged, but not required, to engage with the conference theme of “Open Communication.”

Submissions are welcome from the various theoretical and methodological approaches to communication research. Authors are encouraged to clearly state the aims/goals of the paper and how they will be achieved; to articulate how their work relates and contributes to HMC and communication research; and to clearly and completely explain theoretical and methodological aspects of their work. Authors should select specific keywords that describe the type of manuscript being submitted, the subject of the manuscript, and the approach and method used. To ensure papers are reviewed by a diverse pool of qualified reviewers, all authors submitting to the conference who have a PhD or have advanced to the rank of PhD candidate are highly encouraged to sign up to review.


Authors should review ICA’s General Guidelines for All Submissions and Ethical Considerations found within the General Call for Papers. We would like to underscore several guidelines:

  2. Each paper/proposal may be submitted to only one Division or Interest Group, OR to the theme sessions. Submission of the same paper/proposal to more than one section is not permitted, and will disqualify the paper for presentation. You are welcome, however, to submit different papers or proposals to the same or different sections.
  3. If material in your presentation has been published, presented, or accepted for publication or presentation, this must be disclosed in your paper or proposal. For the HMC Interest Group: Papers cannot be under consideration for publication or presentation or have been accepted for publication or presentation at the time of their submission to the ICA conference.


PAPERS: Maximum length is 8,000 words excluding tables and references. Use APA 6th edition format for all elements of the paper. All papers must be properly anonymized. This includes removing all author names and affiliations from the manuscript (including title pages and headers) and from the name of the file and metadata. Authors also should be careful that in-text and reference citations do not disclose aspects of author identity (particularly references to works “in print” or “in review”). Author citations and references should be anonymized unless doing so would make the author’s identity more conspicuous. Failure to adequately anonymize a manuscript will disqualify the submission.

Paper awards: The Interest Group will present awards to the Top Student Paper and to the Top Paper. To be considered for the Top Student Paper Award 1) all authors must be students and 2) the paper must be designated as a student paper within the submission system. Students also are eligible to win the Top Paper Award.

INTERACTIVE POSTERS: Authors who think their research is better presented in an interactive visual format are encouraged to note this when submitting their manuscript. Submissions should follow guidelines for Papers. Note: Some papers may be selected for presentation as posters.

Poster award: The Interest Group will present one award to the Top Poster.

EXTENDED ABSTRACTS: The extended abstract format is intended for works in progress. Submissions should clearly state the focus of the research, provide a general sense of the literature and theories informing the scholarship and its contributions to HMC, explain the key aspects of the approach and method (when appropriate), highlight any preliminary findings or provide a preview of a theoretical argument or critique, and clearly state what aspects of the research still have to be completed. Maximum length is 2,250 words, excluding tables and references. Include the words EXTENDED ABSTRACT on the title page. Use APA 6th edition format for all elements of the abstract. Abstracts should be fully anonymized (see instructions under Paper submissions). Extended abstracts will be presented as part of high-density sessions and/or the poster session but are NOT eligible for paper or poster awards.


Please direct any questions to: Chad Edwards, Inaugural Vice-Chair HMC Interest Group,


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