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International Conference COMSEN2023: "Information and Communication Sciences..."

International Conference COMSEN2023

"Information and Communication Sciences: Perspectives from Elsewhere, Perspectives from Africa"

November 22, 23, and 24, 2023

Dakar & Saint-Louis (Senegal)


1. Argumentation


The lack of visibility of African scientific work in the field of Information and Communication Sciences (ICS) poses a serious obstacle to the institutionalization of the discipline on the continent. It is therefore necessary to create spaces for exchange that facilitate knowledge and experiences sharing in order to address this situation. It is in this context that the Communication Senegal Conference (COMSEN) was conceived.


This first multisite edition of the COMSEN Conference will be jointly hosted by the Center for Information Sciences and Technology (CESTI) at Cheikh Anta Diop University (Dakar, Senegal) and the Unit of Training and Research on Civilizations, Religions, Arts and Communication (UFR CRAC) at Gaston Berger University (Saint-Louis, Senegal), two important centers for Francophone training, research, and scientific production in communication on the African continent. Titled "Information and Communication Sciences: Perspectives from Elsewhere, Perspectives from Africa," the conference will be held simultaneously in Dakar and Saint-Louis on November 22, 23, and 24, 2023.


The COMSEN Conference aims to become a key event in the research agenda of the social sciences, particularly in the field of ICS on an international scale. It seeks to bring together researchers in Information and Communication Sciences, as well as those working in related disciplines of the humanities and social sciences, who are interested in the study of communication phenomena. The conference will also be open to artists, communication and information practitioners, and the general audience. The goal is to engage in broad discussions on the informational and communicational challenges that are central to contemporary societies, while giving ample space to African perspectives and realities. This unprecedented event provides an opportunity for interactions that showcase the richness and uniqueness of ICS and allows for the convergence of knowledge, visions, and perspectives in order to adequately understand the multiple dynamics (technological, legal, cultural, economic, etc.) of communication in today's societies.


2. General objective


The main objective of the conference is to showcase the diversity of Information and Communication Sciences (ICS) in the Senegalese context, particularly by promoting research rooted in African contexts and fostering dialogue with works from other contexts and different fields of study. The aim is to facilitate sustained exchanges around important disciplinary themes, allowing for cross-pollination of perspectives, subjects, fields, and epistemologies.


3. The conference's focus


Given the interdisciplinary nature of Information and Communication Sciences (ICS), proposals in the field of communication or more broadly rooted in the social sciences and humanities are welcome, as long as they address information and communication phenomena and processes in their various dimensions. Therefore, the conference is structured around seven thematic reflection axes.


3.1 The contribution of social sciences and humanities to communication studies

The process of rethinking the communicative object extends beyond the realm of information and communication sciences and is particularly relevant within the context of social sciences. Within this axis, the goal is to further explore the extensive discussions (Laflamme, 2002) surrounding the interconnectedness of disciplinary cross-fertilization between the study of communicative phenomena and the research traditions of the social sciences.


3.2 Fields, theories, methods, objects

This axis aims to shed light on how different forms of knowledge (including science and traditional knowledge) manage to structure themselves and interact with each other. In other words, it seeks to complicate the relationships to the world by avoiding the conception of traditional knowledge as deficient, but rather as forms of knowledge capable of providing equally valid, albeit different, insights into the world, its functioning, and the meaning attributed to it by social actors (Mudimbe, 1982; Hountondji, 1990; Diagne, 2013).


3.3 Reflecting on the information-communication object through professional practices.

This axis challenges researchers and practitioners who are confronted with the reality of connections between theoretical reflection, conceptual work, and professional action in their organizational environments. It notably involves considering the continuities and changes that affect practice environments from the perspectives of both actors and institutions. Technological, legal, ethical, economic, and other issues can be addressed in terms of their implications for professional practices, particularly in journalism and the media sector.


3.4 Communication and ecological challenges

The United Nations has recognized the right to a healthy and sustainable environment as a fundamental human right. However, obstacles to ecological awareness and behavior change face numerous challenges (such as psychological, cultural, economic, etc.). This axis focuses on the communication challenges related to environmental issues (governance, risks, stakeholders, strategies, challenges, best practices, etc.) at all levels of intervention.


3.5 What the digital era does to communication (and vice versa)

In a media and social environment that is undergoing significant transformations, to the extent that we now speak of a "general digitization of society" (Selim, 2012; George, 2019), communication needs to be examined to gain a better understanding of the new dynamics that affect contemporary societies for better or for worse. This axis therefore invites contributions that explore these dimensions or certain related aspects.


3.6 Communication and international development

This axis focuses on the conceptual junction between communication and development, which dates back to the famous Truman's State of the Union speech on January 20, 1949, marking the beginning of communication for development. The aim is to problematize the new questions and challenges that arise from technological and societal changes specific to the information society and economic globalization.


3.7 Media, Human Rights, and Democracy

Media and democracy maintain a close relationship, as it is difficult to envision pluralism of opinions without a free and independent press (Gingras, 1999). If the press serves as the barometer of democracy in a country, it must be acknowledged that the emergence of social media has contributed to the proliferation of platforms for expression, further challenging the role of journalists, key actors in the realization and consolidation of the democratic ideal (Wolton, 2000). The rise of digital communication thus brings significant issues related to the virality of content, the reliability of information, and more broadly, the issues of misinformation and disinformation. The widespread use of the term "fake news" in the constant pursuit of reliable and quality information is evidence of this. Within this axis, considerations related to media literacy can be addressed, as well as normative issues concerning democracy, human rights, social justice, and freedom of expression in various contexts.


4. Proposals submission Guidelines


Please submit your communication proposals in Word format, including the following information:

  1. Name and institutional affiliation

  2. The axis to which the proposal is related

  3. A title

  4. An abstract of approximately 350 words

  5. 3 to 5 keywords

  6. A brief bibliography.

Proposals should be sent no later than Monday, July 31, 2023, to the following email address:Comsen2023@gmail.com


Important dates

§ Call for Communications Launch: Tuesday, May 23, 2023

§ Proposal Submission Deadline: Monday, July 31, 2023

§Announcement of Results: Monday, August 21, 2023

§ Conference Dates: November 22-24, 2023


5. Bibliography


CASILLI, Antonio, 2010, Digital Connections: Towards a New Sociability?, Paris, Seuil.

CASTELLS, Manuel, 2001, The Network Society, 3 volumes, Paris, Fayard.

CRAIG, Robert T., 1993, "Why Are There So Many Communication Theories?", Journal of Communication, Volume 43, No 3, 26–33.

DIAGNE, Mamoussé, 2005, Critique of Oral Reason: Discursive Practices in Black Africa, Paris, Karthala. DIAGNE, Souleymane B., 2013, The Ink of Scholars: Reflections on Philosophy in Africa, Paris, Présence africaine.

DIAGNE, Souleymane B., 2022, From Language to Language: The Hospitality of Translation, Paris, Albin Michel. DIOP, Amadou Sarr., 2020, Towards the Liberation of African Studies: Rethinking Postcolonial Africanism, Dakar, Harmattan.

GEORGE, Éric (ed.), 2019, Digitization of Society and Sociopolitical Issues, 2 volumes, ISTE Editions. GOODY, Jack, 1994, Between Orality and Literacy, Paris, PUF.

HOUNTONDJI, Paulin J., 1990, "Towards a Sociology of Collective Representations", in Horton et al. Hybrid Thought: African Beliefs and Western Rationality in Question, Paris/Geneva, PUF/IUED Papers, pp. 187-192.

MOTTIN-SYLLA, Marie-Hélène, 2005, Gender Digital Divide in Francophone Africa: A Worrisome Reality, Dakar, ENDA Tiers-Monde.

MUDIMBE, Valentin. Y. 1982, The Smell of the Father: Essay on the Limits of Science and Life in Black Africa, Paris, Présence africaine.

SELIM, Monique. (2012). "The Digital Production of Reality: Anthropological Perspectives". Variations. International Journal of Critical Theory, 16. https://doi.org/10.4000/variations.148

THIOUNE, Ramata Molo (ed.), 2003, Information and Communication Technologies for Development in Africa: Potentialities and Challenges for Community Development, Dakar, IDRC.

TRAORÉ, Djénéba, 2007, "Integration of ICT in Education in Mali: State of Affairs, Issues, and Evaluation", Distances et savoirs, 5(1), 67-82.


6. Scientific committee


Ahmed AL-RAWI, Simon Fraser University (Canada)

Abderrahmane AMSIDDER, Ibn Zohr University (Morocco)

Isaac BAZIÉ, Université du Québec à Montréal (Canada)

Anouk BÉLANGER, Université du Québec à Montréal (Canada)

Jean-Jacques BOGUI, Félix Houphouët-Boigny University (Côte d'Ivoire)

Farrah BÉRUBÉ, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (Canada)

Fabien BONNET, University of Burgundy (Burgundy, France)

Hélène BOURDELOIE, Sorbonne Paris Nord University (France)

Fathallah DAGHMI, University of Poitiers (France)

Alioune DIENG, Cheikh Anta Diop University (Senegal)

Giovandro Marcus FERREIRA, Federal University of Bahia (Brazil)

Mahamat Foudda DJOURAB, University of N'Djamena (Chad)

Éric GEORGE, Université du Québec à Montréal (Canada)

Romain HUËT, Rennes 2 University (France)

Alain KIYINDOU, Bordeaux Montaigne University (France)

Aurélie LABORDE, Bordeaux Montaigne University (France)

Julien Atchoua NGUESSAN, Houphouët Boigny University (Côte d'Ivoire)

Anne PIPONNIER, University of Lorraine (France)

Carmen RICO, Université du Québec à Montréal (Canada)

Mouhamed SAKHO-JIMBIRA, University of Lorraine (France)

Kalidou Seydou SY, Gaston Berger University (Saint-Louis, Senegal)

El Hadj Malick SY CAMARA, Cheikh Anta Diop University (Senegal)

Cheick Oumar TRAORÉ, Malian Society of Transmission and Broadcasting (Mali)

Anne WIMEZ, Bordeaux Montaigne University (France)

Namoin YAO-BAGLO, University of Lomé (Lomé, Togo)


7. The organizing committee


Aimé-Jules BIZIMANA, Department of Social Sciences, Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO) (Quebec, Canada)

Mouminy CAMARA, Center for the Study of Information Sciences and Technologies (CESTI), Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD) (Dakar, Senegal)

Patrice CORREA, Communication Department, UFR of Civilizations, Religions, Arts, and Communication (CRAC), Gaston Berger University (Saint-Louis, Senegal)

Yacine DIAGNE, Center for the Study of Information Sciences and Technologies (CESTI), Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD) (Dakar, Senegal)

Mamadou Diouma DIALLO, Communication Department, UFR of Civilizations, Religions, Arts, and Communication (CRAC), Gaston Berger University (Saint-Louis, Senegal)

Papa DIENG, Center for the Study of Information Sciences and Technologies (CESTI), Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD) (Dakar, Senegal)

Mor FAYE, Communication Department, UFR of Civilizations, Religions, Arts, and Communication (CRAC), Gaston Berger University (Saint-Louis, Senegal)

Sahite GAYE, Center for the Study of Information Sciences and Technologies (CESTI), Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD) (Dakar, Senegal)

Oumar KANE, Department of Social and Public Communication (DCSP), Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) (Quebec, Canada)

Ndiaga LOUM, Department of Social Sciences, Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO) (Quebec, Canada)

Mamadou NDIAYE, Center for the Study of Information Sciences and Technologies (CESTI), Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD) (Dakar, Senegal)

Marième Pollèle NDIAYE, Communication Department, UFR of Civilizations, Religions, Arts, and Communication (CRAC), Gaston Berger University (Saint-Louis, Senegal)

Moustapha SAMB, Center for the Study of Information Sciences and Technologies (CESTI), Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD) (Dakar, Senegal)

Seydou Nourou SALL, Communication Department, UFR of Civilizations, Religions, Arts, and Communication (CRAC), Gaston Berger University (Saint-Louis, Senegal)

Sokhna Fatou SECK SARR, Communication Department, UFR of Civilizations, Religions, Arts, and Communication (CRAC), Gaston Berger University (Saint-Louis, Senegal)

Ibrahima SARR, Center for the Study of Information Sciences and Technologies (CESTI), Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD) (Dakar, Senegal)

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