Call for Abstracts: Researching Climate Change Communication: Methodological Challenges and Opportunities in the Digital Era (Deadline: 31.05.2021)

February 15, 2021   Language And Communication Studies Department

Over the years, communication scholars have used multiple methods to research and analyse climate change discourses. In the advent of new media technologies, climate change communication and discourses have spanned from the traditional modes of communication such as the radio, print and television to emerging platforms including the social media. This has transformed the ways audiences encode and interpret issues revolving around climate change. In addition, the emergence of social media technologies allows researchers to analyse data on the dynamics of climate change debates with unprecedented breadth and scale. These platforms have expanded the research areas for studying changing patterns in interpersonal and institutional communication on climate change. At the same time this development has brought new methodological challenges and opportunities for studying content, context and climate change representations. This session is aimed at stimulating innovative investigations into the conceptual and methodological challenges and or opportunities of climate change communication research in the emergent new media digital technologies and directions for future researchers from an African perspective. Keywords: climate change; communication; research; digital research. We invite cutting-edge scholarly papers reflecting innovative theoretical constructs, empirically based studies and other critical forms of scholarship that should be around but not limited to: 


  • comparing methods for analysing climate change discourses
  • methods for analysing the spatial dimension of land use in African social-political environments
  • epistemological challenges and ethical dilemmas in researching climate change communication in the digital era
  • climate change in the press, visual/textual analyses
  • semiotics and climate change communication
  • media framing, agenda-setting and climate change
  • qualitative/quantitative studies of climate change perception among African communities
  • media portrayal of climate change: longitudinal or case studies
  • social media use and climate change protests
  • climate change engagement in the digital era
  • corpus studies on climate change communication
  • meta-discourses on climate change communication
  •  new media climate change discourses.

Submission of Papers If you want to present a paper, please submit your abstract via the official conference website: until 31st May 2021. You will be informed by 31st July 2021, if your proposed paper has been accepted for presentation at the conference. For further information, please see the conference website or contact the session organizers, Anthony M. Gunde, Victor Chikaipa and Jimmy Kainja (;;

About the Conference

The “Global Center of Spatial Methods for Urban Sustainability” (GCSMUS) together with the Research Committee on “Logic and Methodology in Sociology” (RC33) of the “International Sociology Association” (ISA) and the Research Network “Quantitative Methods” (RN21) of the European Sociology Association” (ESA) will organize a “1st International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Spatial Methods” (“SMUS Conference”) which will at the same time be the “1st RC33 Regional Conference – Africa: Botswana” from Thursday 23.09 – Sunday 26.09.2021, hosted by the University of Botswana in Gaborone, Botswana. Given the current challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference will convene entirely online. The conference aims at promoting a global dialogue on methods and should attract methodologists from all over the world and all social and spatial sciences (e.g. area studies, architecture, communication studies, educational sciences, geography, historical sciences, humanities, landscape planning, philosophy, psychology, sociology, urban design, urban planning, traffic planning and environmental planning). Thus, the conference will enable scholars to get in contact with methodologists from various disciplines all over the world and to deepen discussions with researchers from various methodological angles. Scholars of all social and spatial sciences and other scholars who are interested in methodological discussions are invited to submit a paper to any sessions of the conference. All papers have to address a methodological problem.

Please find more information on the above institutions on the following websites:

  •  “Global Center of Spatial Methods for Urban Sustainability” (GCSMUS): and
  • ISA RC33:
  • ESA RN21:
  •  University of Botswana in Gaborone:

If you are interested in getting further information on the conference and other GCSMUS activities, please subscribe to the GCSMUS newsletter by registering via the following website:

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