Nicosia 2023 conference

We are excited to announce that the call for papers for the IALIC 2023 conference is out now! The conference will be held at the European University of Cyprus, located in Nicosia, from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd of December 2023. More details can be found in the full CfP here.

Rethinking intercultural communication beyond verbal language: affect, materiality and embodiment in times of ‘crises’

European University Cyprus, 1-3 December, 2023

Western epistemologies have traditionally valued rationality and the verbal above other aspects of discourse and communication (Ahmed 2017, Mignolo and Walsh 2018, Phipps 2019). Verbal language has been primarily seen as the key instrument for developing rationality and the cornerstone of human thought. As a result, these ideas have dominated the field of intercultural communication, often silencing alternative visions of intercultural encounters and their semiotic entanglements, beyond the European male sensorium and a human-centred worldview (Jewitt et al 2016, Pennycook 2018, Thibault 2011).

However, recent social and political developments call for new ways of understanding social and political phenomena, including intercultural communication. Indeed, in the last few years, public and academic arenas have been inundated by discourses of ‘crises’ and threats forcing us to rethink both the notion of interculturality, as well as communication itself. Energy crises, ongoing wars and the (so-called) refugee crisis, climate change and ecological crises, financial crises, and of course, health crises, such as the covid19 pandemic – to name just a few – bring to the foreground notions such as precarity (Phipps 2014), marginality, transition and liminality (e.g. Garcia Sanchez & Figueroa eds 2022) and raise questions such as:  

  • What other ways of communicating (or failing to) do discourses and experiences of threat bring about?
  • How are discourses of crisis and threat semiotically constructed and circulated?
  • What is the role of affect/emotions in times of crises and threats, and what new openings do they create in the study of intercultural communication? (e.g. how are they enregistered as part of crises-discourses and what are their communicative dynamics across and beyond languages and cultures?)
  • What kind of subjectivities do crises and threats produce, and how are these embodied (e.g. the embodiment of fear, the “contaminated” body etc.)?
  • What is the role of technology, and more generally, materiality in intercultural communication in times of crises?

All these call attention to a variety of semiotic repertoires and semiotic resources that are not restricted to language and discourse (Phipps 2014), and which often require working across disciplines. The affective turn, the material turn, and posthumanism in the social sciences and humanities indicate the ongoing efforts to make sense and theorise social reality and communication beyond verbal language. Besides, the increasing use of the notion of (in)securitisation outside the field of security studies is an example of scholarly attempts to capture the ways in which discourses and experiences of threat permeate everyday spaces and interactions (e.g. McDonald & Hunter 2019, McCluskey & Charalambous 2022, Khan 2022, Rampton et al forthcoming), calling for methodological innovation and interdisciplinarity.

Responding to current challenges, and in line with contemporary discursive and academic developments in the social sciences and humanities, this conference aims to foreground different ways of making sense of cultures, languages, social relations and intercultural communication in an anxious and constantly changing world. At the same time, it calls for a critical examination of the notion of ‘crisis’ and its impact on intercultural communication.

We invite proposals for individual papers or panels (up to 4 people and a discussant) around any of the following topics:

Theme 1: Affect/emotions in intercultural communication
Theme 2: Intercultural communication & materiality
Theme 3: Migration trajectories, (re)bordering and place-making
Theme 4: Languaging and language practices in intercultural communication in times of crises
Theme 5: Language, embodiment and multisensoriality
Theme 6: Intercultural communication & (in)securitization
Theme 7: Language education & language policy in moments of crisis and transition
Theme 8: Social and multisensory research approaches and methodologies in times of crises and transition
Theme 9: Disability, agency, and semiotic repertoires
Theme 10: Crisis discourses and their impact on intercultural communication

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS (in alphabetical order):

Prof. Elisabetta Adami, Leeds University, UK

Prof. Zhu Hua, UCL, UK

Prof. Karen Risager, Roskilde University, Denmark

Prof. Michalinos Zembylas, Open University Cyprus


Deadline for abstract submission:  10th June 2023 (Please send your abstract/proposal of max. 300 words to

End of abstract approval process: 20th July 2023

Early bird Registration: From 1st September –10th October 2023


Please see more details in the full CfP here.