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Annual Conference 2023 of the International and Intercultural Communication Division of the DGPuK in cooperation with the DFG Network Cosmopolitan Communication Studies

Out of the Comfort Zone: Challenges of Communication Studies in the Age of New Global Realities

The world is rapidly developing in a polycentric manner: Western dominance in globalization seems to wane, new wars are challenging the world order, migration and mobility are transforming the cultural foundations of society, and modern media environments add to a seemingly fundamental structural change. Communication and media studies must face these complex developments. Yet, so far its approach to the world has been highly selective, which is problematic given the dynamic reconfigurations of global conditions. For example, Eastern Europe and the Global South are on the agenda today; however, selective interest and oversights of previous research have undermined our understanding of these developments. Therefore, not without reason, communication studies are also struggling for their societal position. In light of the contemporary global challenges, we need to ask whether our discipline risks losing its chance to contribute to the communicative restructuring of the world if it clings to old spatial references or indulges in one-sided media centrism. In which ways does communication research need to change in order to provide answers to global challenges? How can current research help to better integrate the “North“ and “South”? Which approaches need to be adapted to global realities, and how can “universalism” be achieved today? How can we identify, document, and analyze new phenomena in a more international comparative way?

This conference was organized by the International and Intercultural Communication Division of the DGPuK and the DFG-network Cosmopolitan Communication Studies, which engages in a “deep” internationalization of the discipline. Therefore, the conference included different formats: 1) panels with conference papers/presentations, 2) a PhD Workshop, and 3) a public panel debate.

Program (please find the full program including the book of abstracts below)

Thursday - 16 November 2023


Meet and greet


09:30 – 15:30

PhD Workshop: Potentials and Challenges of Comparative Research Projects

By invitation only!

16:00 – 17:30

Internal Meeting DFG Network Kosmo KW

By invitation only!

18:00 – 19:45

Öffentliche Podiumsdiskussion "Globale Herausforderungen und die Relevanz der Kommunikationswissenschaft"

  • Anja Wollenberg, MiCT
  • Jochen Spangenberg, Deutsche Welle Forschung
  • Andrea Pürckhauer, Mediendienst Integration
  • Kai Hafez, Universität Erfurt
  • Moderation: Anne Grüne und Carola Richter

In einer Weltordnung, die von multi-polaren und transkulturellen Dynamiken geprägt ist, braucht es auch eine Kommunikationswissenschaft, die sich globalen Herausforderungen stellen, sie erklären und Überblicks- und Vergleichswissen liefern kann. Eine Analyse des Netzwerks „Kosmopolitische Kommunikationswissenschaft“ ergab, dass sowohl die Strukturen als auch die Wissenskultur innerhalb der Kommunikationswissenschaft in Deutschland (dahingehend) noch mangelhaft sind, um gesellschaftliche Entwicklungen auch jenseits einer isolierten nationalen Perspektive konstruktiv zu begleiten. Dabei haben viele Rückschläge wie Rechtsextremismus, Rassismus und neue Kriege auch mit Defiziten der internationalen Kommunikation zu tun, die in öffentlichen Debatten selten hinreichend erkannt werden. Die Podiumsdiskussion bringt Expert:innen aus relevanten Praxisfeldern wie Medien und Migration, Medienentwicklungszusammenarbeit und digitalem Journalismus zusammen mit Wissenschaftler:innen, die in internationalen Lehr- und Forschungskontexten arbeiten. In der Diskussion sollen Erwartungen an die Kommunikationswissenschaft formuliert werden, Defizite benannt, Entwicklungspotenziale aufgezeigt und (aber) auch best-practice Beispiele für ein fruchtbares Wirken der Kommunikationswissenschaft in die Gesellschaft hinein diskutiert werden.

öffentlich in deutscher Sprache (in German Language)

Friday - 17 November 2023


9:00 – 9:15

Welcome Address / Introduction





Cosmopolitan communication studies: missing links and outlooks for global knowledge production

9:15 – 10:45

Chair: Anna Litvinenko, FU Berlin

Leaving the “comfort zone”: Mediatization research from Latin America and the (missing) links to European research. The undiscovered works of Latin American scholars

Stefanie Averbeck-Lietz
University of Greifswald

Structural, cultural, and individual embeddedness of academic cosmopolitanism


Pauline Gidget Estella, Johanna Radechovsky
TU Ilmenau

The quest for deliberative communication in Europe: From research to identifying best practices, from best practices to policy recommendations

Marcus Kreutler, Susanne Fengler
TU Dortmund

10:45 – 11:15

Coffee break





Global structural change of the communicative world? Conceptual challenges for comparative media and communication studies

11:15 – 12:45

Chair: Anke Fiedler, U Greifswald

Fact-checkers: how to conceptualize these new actors in the public communication model

Regina Cazzamatta

University of Erfurt

Conceptual challenges and adaptions in comparative research: the concept of media accountability revisited

Judith Pies

Universität der Bundeswehr

A Comparative media literacy research in the age of digitalization on Indonesia and Germany

Danny Schmidt, Subekti Priyadharma
University of Erfurt / UNPAD Bandung Padjadjaran Indonesia

12:45 – 13:45

Lunch break





Global and transcultural spaces, old methods? Methodological challenges of global communication research

13:45 – 15:15

Chair: Christine Horz-Ishak, TH Köln

Deconstructing intercultural communication competence: A preliminary research on Indonesian (Elite) migrant workers in Germany

Aang Koswara
LMU München

diversity vs. universalism - The methodological recognition of differences

Mira Keßler
Ruhr-Universität Bochum

How the study of contemporary racism can contribute to the transnationalization of communication studies

Sabrina Schmidt

University of Erfurt

15:15 – 15:45

FG International and Intercultural Communication



15:45 – 16:00





Prof. Dr. Carola Richter
Freie Universität Berlin
Institute for Media and Communication Studies
Garystr. 55
14195 Berlin Germany