Call for "Projects in Focus" Proposals

The conference organizers are currently welcoming proposals for “Projects in Process” presentations. This is a call for two-page proposals from scholars describing engaged work that is recently completed or in progress. The term “engaged work” is meant to be inclusive of all types of projects and methodologies. The selection committee will prioritize those proposals that most closely align to the conference theme. Take special note of the questions that animate this year's theme:

  • What kinds of communicative practices invite and sustain polarization within organizations and communities?

  • How can we intervene into polarized conversations and facilitate health and well-being within organizations and communities?

  • How can institutions be created that help bridge divisions within organizations and communities? 

At the Conference, selected projects will be presented in a highly interactive discussion format in small table settings with a variety of senior scholars who support engaged work. These proposals should raise problems, questions, dilemmas, and tensions that we can wrestle with together, and need not be presentations of completed work. In previous conferences, the most interesting conversations have seemed to center on problems that people have encountered or are encountering in their work. The two-page proposals should be submitted by April 15, 2019. We expect to notify submitters in the first weeks of May.

Thank you for your interest in attending the 2018 Aspen Conference at the Gant Hotel in Aspen, CO.

Gant Hotel: 800.345.1471 The conference hotel, The Gant, is offering a 40% reduction on their rates for conference attendees who register by May 15, 2018 and a 30% reduction for those who register by June 15, 2018. Gant condos are ideal for sharing. Register by phone or at their registration portal

Conference participants have in the past also stayed offsite at the Annabelle Inn, the Aspen Mountain Lodge, and the Molly Gibson Lodge. Aspen is pedestrian friendly. Conference participants have also stayed in nearby Snowmass, which is approximately 25 minutes away. 

Most participants fly directly into Aspen (ASE). Those interested in the beautiful, mountainous, four-hour drive can also fly into Denver (DEN), but be advised that the mountain roads can back up during times of high traffic.

Hotel Share and Carpooling Program

To help participants manage the costs of the conference, we have a clearing house for those who would like to share a hotel room in Aspen and/or carpool for those who plan to fly into Denver. If you would like to participate, please contact us by July 1, 2017. We will connect people as soon as they submit, so please consider letting us know of your interest as soon as possible.

Facilitating Dialogue between Theories and Practices of Constitution

The Aspen Conference on Engaged Scholarship

The Gant Aspen Hotel

July 28-30, 2018


Saturday, July 28, 2018

12:30-1:00 pm             Check in

1:00-2:00 pm             Welcome and Orientation

2:00-2:15 pm              Break

2:15-4:00 pm              Constituting Engagement and Relationality in Communication Research, Karen Ashcraft and Tim Kuhn (University of Colorado, Boulder)

4:00-4:15 pm              Break

4:15-5:30 pm              Research Spotlights (NOTE: two 30-minute rounds; participants visit with two presenters for a deep dive into their research; in each round, presenters share a 10-minute tour of their paper and then all discuss the issues raised by this work for the conference theme for 20 minutes)

  • “Crisis Alerts and the Communicative Construction of a Crisis,” Elizabeth Carlson (Central Michigan University)
  • “The Year of the Silence Breakers: How Resistance to Sexual Harassment Challenges Engaged Communication Scholarship,” Jessica Ford (Baylor University)
  • “Drawing Constitution: Practicing Human-Centered Design with Non-Human Agents,” Abigail Selzer King (Texas Tech University) & Michael Brennen (Civilla)
  • “Constituting “Emergency”: Forecaster Teams’ Decision Making Communication,” Arden C. McCormack, William T. Howe, & Ryan S. Bisel (University of Oklahoma)
  • “Constructive Disruption:  Exploring Participatory-Based Approaches for Prosocial Change within Organizations and the Development of Multidisciplinary Research Teams,” Jessica Wendorf Muhamad (Florida State University)
  • “Listening as Constitutive Discourse:  Organizational Well-Being and Ethical Identity Construction, Elizabeth S. Parks (Colorado State University)

5:30 pm-7:30 pm        Cocktail Reception, The Gant Aspen Hotel

Sunday, July 29, 2018

8:00 am                       Breakfast on your own

8:30 am-10:15 am      Case Study Presentation

10:15 am-10:30 am    Break

10:30 am-12:00 pm    Keynote Facilitation, Martín Carcasson (Colorado State University)

12:00 pm-1:15 pm      Lunch

1:15 pm-2:30 pm        Debriefing: Interaction Design and Constitution of Engagement in Keynote Facilitation, Martín Carcasson (Colorado State University)

2:30 pm-2:45 pm        Break

2:45 pm-4:00 pm        Projects-in-Focus (developing projects: three 20-minute rounds; in each round, presenters provide a 5-7 minute explanation of their work in progress and highlight particular questions or concerns; participants provide ideas, questions, and references to help take the work to the next level)

  • “Applying a Constitutive Communication Lens to the Study and Practice of Implementation in Human Services Organizing: Theoretical and Practical Implications,” Joanne Esch (University of Colorado, Boulder)
  • “The Military Veteran Divide: Examining the Experiences of Military Veterans that Challenge the Conceptualization of Phasic Socialization,” William T. Howe & Maria Shpeer (University of Oklahoma)
  • “Ghosts in the Halls,” Cary Lopez (Arizona State University)
  • “The Membership Negotiation, Self-Structuring, and Activity Coordination Tensions Concerning ‘Super Volunteers,’” Lacy McNamee (Baylor University)
  • “Constituting Authoritative Texts in Forestry Management: An Ethnography of Dialogue and Translation Performed by an Indigenous Peoples’ Organization,” Ricardo Munoz (University of Colorado, Boulder)
  • “High-tech SMEs and CCO,” Bridget Reynolds Sheffer (University of Waikato  and Brigham Young University)
  • “Navigating Institutional Forces in Entrepreneurial Ecosystems: A Ventriloqual Analysis of Pragmatic Paradoxes Experienced by Women Business Owners,” Ziyu Long (Colorado State University)

4:00 pm-4:15 pm        Break

4:15-5:30                     Panel Reflection: Constituting Engagement in Communication Research, Mark Aakhus (Rutgers University), Kate Lockwood Harris (University of Minnesota), and Jennifer Peaks Mease (James Madison University)

Enjoy Aspen!  Dinner on your own.

Monday, July 31, 2017

8:00 am-8:30 am        Breakfast

8:30 am – 9:45 am     Questions-in-Focus (three 20-minute rounds; in plenary before the rounds, presenters share in a minute or less the question raised by their work; in each round, presenters lead a discussion about the important question(s) raised by their work for the conference theme)

  • “Diversity Programs as Discursive Constructions in Corporations,” Emily Beach (San Diego State University)
  • “Constituting Discourses of Inclusion and Change,” Leila Brammer (Gustavus Adolphus College)
  • “Career Mobility as a Communicative Competency,” Jacob S. Ford (Baylor University)
  • “Constituting Contemporary Social Movement Organizing: Engaged Research with Indivisible, Avigail McClelland-Cohen (University of California, Santa Barbara)
  • “Mindfulness Practice¨ Sensegiving¨ and the Communicative Constitution of Organizational Leadership,” Sophia Town (Arizona State University)
  • “Constituting Difference: A View from Philosophical Inquiry,” Wayne D. Woodward (University of Michigan-Dearborn)

9:45 am-10:00 am      Coffee Break

10:00 am-11:00 am    Plenary Session

What can engaged scholarship look like in the future? The morning session will explore possible future areas for development regarding engaged scholarship. The focus will be on articulating potential resources, projects, collaborations, and events that will move engaged work further in organizational communication.



The purpose of this format is to develop projects still in progress. The Project-in-Focus format situates presenters at different tables. During each round of discussion, each presenter has 5-7 minutes to present followed by a table discussion with the participants. Participants will then rotate as an intact group from table to table. 

Research Spotlight

The purpose of this session is longer engagement with fewer projects that are completed or nearly so. The Research Spotlight format focuses in depth on engaged research endeavors. In each round, participants will select one of the Spotlight talks and join the presenters for a thirty-minute-deep dive into their research.


The purpose of this format is to discussion questions related to the conference raised by more philosophically leaning submissions. The Questions-in-Focus format invites presenters to describe the key questions raised in their work in plenary in 1-2 minutes followed by rounds of discussion. In each round, participants will rotate among tables to discuss these questions in the broader context of the conference theme. The session concludes with reflection by presenters in plenary.




Pamela Shockley-Zalabak, The University of Colorado Colorado Springs

Amy Way, Villanova University

Anna Wiederhold Wolfe, Texas A&M University

Elizabeth Williams, Colorado State University

Joshua Barbour, The University of Texas at Austin

Kathy Krone, The University of Nebraska Lincoln

Kevin Barge, Texas A&M University

Kirsten Foot, The University of Washington

Kristen Okamoto, Clemson University

Lacy McNamee, Baylor University