[Air-L] Carl J. Couch Student Research Award FINAL CALL

Mark D. Johns mjohns at luther.edu
Fri May 8 17:38:58 PDT 2015


Carl J. Couch Internet Research Award 2015

Sponsored by the Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research

The Carl Couch Center issues an international call for student-authored
papers to be considered for Carl J. Couch Internet Research Award. The
Couch Center welcomes both theoretical and empirical papers that apply
symbolic interactionist approaches to internet studies.

According to basic symbolic interactionist premises, what we understand as
self, identity, relationship, and cultural formations are constructed
dialogically and interactively.  While the works of George H. Mead, Georg
Simmel, Erving Goffman and other leading symbolic interactionists have been
integral to the study of social interaction, Carl Couch was among the first
from this tradition to suggest the importance of engaging in the study of
mediated interaction. It is critical that symbolic interactionists move
boldly forward, beyond Couch's initial suggestion, to study what has become
for many a dominant form of communication in their everyday life.

Whether we research identities, emotion, memory, family, work, career,
presentations of self, deception, love, loss or other areas, the impact of
mediated communication is felt by those interacting within it.  As
internet-related media continue to influence our everyday interactions--not
only with other people but also with technologies, devices, algorithms,
platform parameters, and so forth--it becomes crucial for symbolic
interactionists to attend to the role of these mediating factors in the
interaction process.

We encourage any paper that uses a symbolic interactionist approach in
internet studies. We also encourage papers that explore the interface
between deliberate social interaction and structured (or automated)
interactions sponsored or enacted by various technological features,
exploring not only how identities, relations, and social formations are
negotiated through social interactions, but also how these interactions are
mediated further through the use or capacities of various technologies.

Papers will be evaluated based on the quality of (1) mastery of symbolic
interactionist approaches and concepts, (2) originality, (3) organization,
(4) presentation, and (5) advancement of knowledge. Those contemplating
entering should note that an interactionist approach demands thoughtful
analysis, and not mere description, of social interactions. Evaluation will
be administered by a Review Committee of four:

Mark D. Johns, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa
Jennifer Dunn, Texas Tech University, Lubbock
Camille Johnson-Yale, Lake Forest College, Illinois
Lois Scheidt, Indiana University, Bloomington

Competition is open to graduate or undergraduate students of all
disciplines. Works that are published or accepted for publication are not
eligible for award consideration. Entries should be in English and not
exceed 30 pages (approximately 7500 words) in length, including references
and appendices. Limit of one entry per student per year.

The top paper will receive the Couch Award to be presented at the 2015
meeting of the Association of Internet Researchers (aoir.org) in Phoenix,
Arizona, USA. The top paper will be awarded a certificate and a cash prize
of $300 US and the author will be invited to present their work at a
session of the AoIR conference, October 21-24, 2015 in Phoenix.

Candidates should send a copy of their paper electronically, with
indication of institution and degree being pursued, to Mark Johns at
mjohns at luther.edu Application deadline is May 15, 2015. Notification of
award will be sent by June 15.

Those with questions or comments about Couch Award application, please

Mark D. Johns
Communication Studies
Luther College, Decorah, Iowa
Phone: 563-387-1347
E-mail: mjohns at luther.edu

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