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Communication Research and Practice


Edited By Adrienne Shaw and D. Travers Scott

This volume brings together a range of papers that fruitfully engage with the theme of the 2017 Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, held in San Diego, California: Interventions. Here "intervention" points to a range of communication practices that engage with a political event, social phenomena, industrial or socio-cultural practice, in order to alter and disrupt events and the norms and practices that contribute to their occurrence.  Interventions prohibit events from proceeding in a "normal" course. Interventions approach or critique practices and phenomenon resulting from tensions or absences occurring in: events, structures, (institutional governmental, media industry), discourses, and socio-cultural and subcultural events. Intervention presents the opportunity to explore boundaries, assumptions and strategies that appear to be different or irreconcilable, viewing them instead as possibilities for productive engagements. Communication interventions—in both research and practice—insert insights from diverse voices, marginal positions, emerging organizational practices and digital technologies, to broaden and enrich dialogue. Interventions bring complex reframings to events and phenomenon. Interventions seek to alter a course and effect changed practices in a range of spheres: governmental and social institutions, cultural and nongovernmental groups; industry and organizational life, new media and digital spaces, socio-cultural environments, subcultural groups, health environments, affective and behavioral life, and in everyday life.

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14. Climate on Campus: Intersectional Interventions in Contemporary Struggles (Mel Stanfill / Khadijah Costley White / Chris Gurrie / Jenny Ungbha Korn / Jason M. Martin)


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14. Climate on Campus: Intersectional Interventions in Contemporary Struggles


Recent years have seen proliferating conversations about climate on university campuses in the United States, such as protests over perceived university failure to address sexual assault at Columbia University in 2014, arguments about whether students should be encouraged not to use minoritized cultures as Halloween costumes at Yale University in 2015, and contestation over whether or not to give white supremacists space to speak at places such as Texas A&M University in 2017. Our session at ICA 2017, “Climate on Campus: Intersectional Interventions in Contemporary Struggles,” was an interactive conversation about these issues between the panelists and the audience. To preserve that spirit, we have used a similar format for this chapter. What follows are four questions that our in-person discussion in San Diego raised, and our dialogic responses.

To contextualize the discussion, we begin with a brief description of the type of campuses on which we teach. Mel Stanfill currently teaches at the University of Central Florida, a very large research-focused university in the southeast United States, but previously taught for eight years at research-focused universities in the U.S. Midwest. The students at these campuses have been diverse in terms of race and ethnicity, gender, and political orientation, thus providing challenges for classroom and campus climate, in terms of both potential...

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