WFI Symposia and Events

One of the ways that we enact the WFI’s mission — communication as central to the creation of positive social change — is through the annual sponsorship of symposia, lectures, workshops, conferences, and events. Although these events differ in specific theme, they all aim to create and strengthen a global network of Communication scholars and professionals, and to generate new conversations about communication, social change, and social justice.

Current WFI-Sponsored Events

JUST ANNOUNCED! The 2016-17 WFI Symposium: The Just Transition Conference: Communicating Power in an Age of Climactic Change. Cosponsored by the Waterhouse Family Institute & BoulderTalks, this conference will be held April 7-9, 2017 at Villanova University--and proposals will be accepted starting on May 1, 2016, with a final deadline of August 8, 2016! To access the full description and call for papers, please download the CFP on the right. Also, please visit the official conference page for more details on the speakers, workshops, and submission information!

About The Just Transition Conference: In these times, our only guarantee is that nothing is going to remain the same. This may give pause for feelings of pre-loss, fear, and anxiety about our own ecological precarity, as well as anger about how crises often are mobilized to exacerbate already existing patterns of political inequity. It also might inspire us to imagine how we can re-energize new power relations, create opportunities for political revolutions, and imagine a future worth striving towards. “Just transition” is a term developed by labor and climate justice movements to advocate the idea that the major transformation we are undergoing from a global fossil fuel carbon-based economy to a renewable energy economy should incorporate ecological and social justice. Advocates imagine this conjuncture not just as a retreat from a whole way of life, but also an opportunity to reassess and re-energize local and global cultural regimes of value. We welcome any and all submissions that will address these pressing and vital issues of social justice. More information? Please consult our CFP, visit the official conference page, and/or contact the WFI Director.

Past WFI Symposia

  • The 2015-16 WFI Symposium--Cross-Cultural Communication and Ethics: U.S. and Chinese Perspectives on Theory and Practice--was held on Villanova's campus on Saturday October 3rd, 2015. The WFI proudly hosted an interdisciplinary, international conversation regarding the complexity of ethics in intercultural engagement between the U.S. and China. Symposium sessions with scholars and professionals from the US and China addressed significant cultural, practical, and ethical dimensions of this complex issue. The events of the Symposium culminated with a scintillating lecture from renowned intercultural communication scholar, Dr. Stella Ting-Toomey. Her keynote was entitled: "Developing Intercultural Communication Competence: Ethical Issues to Ponder."
  • The 2014-15 WFI Symposium: Communication, Postcoloniality, and Social Justice: Decolonizing Imaginations. From March 26-29, 2015, the WFI proudly hosted an exciting and innovative four-day event, a conference bringing together scholars from across the globe to chart some possible pathways for the future of Communication and Media Studies. This was the first event of its kind in the US, focusing on communication through the lens of postcoloniality. Check out our list of keynote and plenary speakers by visiting the Conference website.
  • The 2013-14 Symposium: On July 16, 2014, the WFI presented the one-day event, “Diversity Through Dialogue: Living Diversity, Communicating Justice.” The daylong event was designed for faculty and staff interested in issues of diversity and inclusion, Diversity Directors/Officers, School Directors, Diversity Programmers at Independent and Religious Schools and Colleges. As K-12 schools, colleges and universities move past the first stage of diversity work—acquiring compositional diversity—it is important that we are ready to move on and think in holistic and meaningful ways about how we use the diversity we have to meet specific and current educational goals and outcomes. The WFI was proud to host an energetic and intellectually stimulating dialogue on these issues, headlined by a keynote from renowned Communication scholar, Dr. Brenda J. Allen.

The 2012-13 Symposium: On October 26-27, 2012, the WFI presented a two-day event, “Truth, Fact, & Communication in Complex Information Environments.” The conference began with an evening keynote address, "Deception and Distraction in the 2012 Presidential Election," delivered by renowned political communication scholar, Kathleen Hall Jamieson. The next day brought together a collection of leading Communication scholars and professionals from across the country, engaging the challenges of grappling with communication, advocacy, and social justice issues within the context of higher education institutions.

  • The 2011-12 Symposium: On October 22, 2011, the WFI hosted a one-day event, “The Challenge of Communicating Truth.” This event, inspired by the work of the late pioneering communication theorist Barnett Pearce, brought together scholars and practitioners from across the country to engage in conversation about the nature and complexity of truth.
  • The 2010-11 Symposium: our WFI Inaugural Symposium. On October 1st and 2nd, 2010, the WFI was officially launched! The program began at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, and continued the next day on Villanova's campus, in a symposium connecting communication students, scholars, and professionals from around the country.
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2017 WFI Symposium
* 2017_WFI_JustTransitionConference_CFP_3.pdf
NEW! Download the Call for Papers for the 2017 WFI Symposium: The Just Transition Conference here! Submissions for this conference, co-sponsored by BoulderTalks, will be accepted starting on May 1, 2016, with a final deadline of August 8, 2016!