Visual Communication Division

Submission Deadline Dates:  Mon, 1/11 2021 12:00 AM EST - Thu, 4/1 2021 3:00 AM EST

Visual Communication Division Call for Submissions: NCA 2021

Program Planner: Brent Saindon

Mercy College or

Deadline: WEDNESDAY, March 31, 2021 at 11:59 pm Pacific Time

The Visual Communication Division invites submissions for the 107th Annual National Communication Association Convention in Seattle, Washington on November 18-21, 2021.

The division aims to explore the theories and practices of visual communication, including the use, manipulation, and display of still and moving images, graphic design, symbols, artifacts, visual perception, visual spaces, and material culture. The Visual Communication Division invites submission of individual papers, paper sessions, panel discussions, and performance sessions. Panel and performance formats that encourage audience interaction and conversation are particularly welcome. Questions regarding the submission of alternative format panel ideas for review should be sent to the program planner prior to the submission deadline.

The theme for NCA’s 107th Annual Convention is "Renewal & Transformation." Submissions that develop this theme are highly encouraged, particularly those which explore the convergences and tensions between the two terms through visual communication theory and practice. While the division wishes to promote scholarship that advances insight on the convention theme in a number of its presentation sections, high quality projects and panels that address the theory and practice of visual communication in a substantial way, but do not address directly the convention theme, also are welcome. 

Individuals may present only one paper in the Visual Communication Division, whether submitted as a individual paper or as a part of a paper session. Individuals may serve within the division as chairs, respondents, and/or participants on non-traditional panels in addition to presenting a single paper. However, a single person should not serve more than one role (i.e. chair, respondent, author, performer, or presenter) in the same submission. Paper sessions, panel discussions, and performance sessions that include individuals representing multiple institutions are highly preferred. 

The division presents an award for the top individual paper submitted to the conference call each year (paper sessions, panel discussions, and performance sessions are not considered for this award). Individual paper submissions from students are considered for the Cushman Award for top student paper. 

The division looks forward to receiving submissions from scholars, to reviewing high quality work being done by folks all over the country, to convening in Seattle for engaging discussions with one another, and to celebrating the finest work being produced in the field.



1. All submissions must be submitted electronically via NCA Convention Central. Email submissions are not accepted.

2. All submissions to the division will be peer reviewed using a standardized evaluation form. Those peer reviews will form the basis of acceptance or rejection for programming by the division planner. 

3. Each submission should only be under review to the Visual Communication Division. Submitters should not send the same materials to multiple divisions and/or affiliate groups. 

4. Requests for specific AV equipment or other accommodations must be entered online at the time of submission for paper, session, and discussion proposals. The division will try its best to communicate those requests to the conference planner, but cannot guarantee that all requests will be fulfilled.

5. Submitting a paper, panel, or performance is a commitment to attend the convention if the work is accepted for presentation. All submitters are encouraged to review the Professional Standards for Convention Participants ( prior to submission.

6. Helpful resources, including recorded step-by-step instructions on how to submit, are available in the Convention Resource Library (


Individual papers are original pieces of written research completed by the author(s) prior to the submission deadline that they wish to subject to peer review for the conference. Individual papers should include: a title, an abstract of no more than 350 words, and a main text of no more than 25 pages double-spaced using 12-point type (excluding tables and references). Please identify student submissions of papers by selecting the correct box on the electronic submission form. Please indicate whether you would be willing to present at a Scholar to Scholar session by selecting the Scholar to Scholar box on the submission form.

Note: To ensure blind review, submitters must remove their name from their paper and the paper properties before uploading the document to NCA Convention Central. Author information must be provided in NCA Convention Central's submission digital interface, but that information will be concealed from reviewers.


A paper session consists of a group of presenters who present completed research papers on a specific topic. Papers may be completed prior ot the submission of the panel discussion, but full papers are not required to be submitted to the NCA Convention Central for peer review. However, final papers should be completed, if accepted, prior to the conference on a timeline coordinated with the panel organizer, chair, and respondent. Paper session proposals should include: a title for the session; a session description of no more than 75 words; a rationale for the session of no more than 350 words; title, author(s) information, and abstracts for each paper (350 words maximum for each paper); and session chair/respondent information.


A panel discussion may include roundtable panels as well as other alternative presentation formats. Panel discussion proposals should include: a title for the panel; a panel description of no more than 75 words; a rationale for the panel discussion of no more than 500 words; a list of presenters and their affiliations; and a chair for the panel discussion.


A visual communication performance may be interpreted broadly, but could include scripted monologues, group productions, or visual production projects. Performance session proposals should include: a session title, a session description of no more than 75 words, a session rationale of no more than 500 words; titles and description for each performance (if applicable); a list of presenters and their affiliations; any supplemental supporting documentation that would help peer reviewers and the division planner determine the quality of the proposal (i.e. a video or script); and any chair/respondent information (if applicable).

Note: If you wish to provide a video, please upload a word document with the URL to where the video can be viewed online. Due to file size limitations, submitters cannot upload videos to NCA Convention Central.