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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Counterpublic spheres

Tomorrow, November 13, I'm presenting a conference paper on "Counterpublic Spheres in Global Politics: The Anti-War Movement and Iraq." It's a revised version of a paper I gave at the 2006 International Studies Association annual meeting.

Louisville is hosting the 2008 annual conference of the International Association for Intercultural Communication Studies. My panel is at 1:45 pm in the downtown Marriott Hotel. So far as I know, anyone can attend the presentations.

Here's the abstract:
On February 15, 2003, millions of people from around the world participated in anti-war protests in anticipation of a war on Iraq that would not begin until March 19 of that year. The BBC estimated that 6 to 10 million people rallied in approximately 800 cities in nearly 60 countries. Yet, research on United States media coverage of the buildup to the Iraq war suggests that war advocates, especially within the Bush administration, were able to construct a successful (and predominant) narrative about Iraq threats that precluded significant public opposition to the attack. The public discourse was dominated by war proponents who successfully framed the proposed attack as an integral part of the ongoing "war on terror." This paper explores the narratives offered by the transnational "counterpublic sphere" that opposed the war. By definition, so-called "counterpublics" create and circulate discourses in opposition to those featured in the mainstream. Counterpublic spheres potentially make the predominant public sphere more inclusive and open to dissent. This paper explores apparent linkages between the anti-war narratives that emerged from a variety of voices from around the globe and the eventual U.S. public opposition to the Iraq war.
Hopefully, I'll receive some useful feedback so I can submit this paper for publication in a journal.

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