Ka mua, ka muri: Bridging communication pasts and futures

The Māori whakataukī (proverb) “Ka mua, ka muri” centres a Māori perspective on time where the past is in front of us and can be observed and interpreted as we walk back into an uncertain future.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that subjectivity is increasingly experienced within a global entanglement of digitalisation, post-truth politics, ecological crisis and the ongoing rise of the far right. Within this conjuncture, digital technologies and social media help to both foster and combat mis- and disinformation campaigns, communicate public health measures to disparate publics, and provide constant updates about the state of the world. While restrictions on space and movement isolated some, they provoked others to think laterally about the issues of our time. The pandemic has forced us to ask old questions in a new context, particularly about the role that communication has to play in new wars for truth and knowledge.

Key topic areas include the following:

Using the “Ka mua, ka muri” whakataukī as a prompt, ANZCA 2023 will reflect on how challenges in recent years can inform our thinking about communication in the future. Attendees are encouraged to interpret the theme as they understand it.

  • Communication in an era of post-truth politics, the impact of mis- and disinformation on political processes such as elections, activism and protest
  • Shifts in the social and digital media landscape including the new emergence of platforms (e.g. Mastodon, TikTok, Parlor) and the changing dynamics of established ones (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube)
  • Communication in global power dynamics, international communication, public diplomacy, communication for development 
  • The implications of automation and AI for communication practices
  • The influence of polarization, echo chambers and filter bubbles on journalism, news media and the public sphere
  • Gatekeeping and agenda-setting in an era of hybrid media and politics
  • Intercultural communication in an age of increased connectivity and global diversity
  • Indigenous perspectives on communication challenges, protest communication and activism
  • The role of visual media and public media in the context of the proliferation of streaming services and video sharing platforms
  • The mediation of war, terror, and violence
  • Mediating the climate crisis and communicating scientific research on climate change
  • Marketing, public relations and business communication in an increasingly fragmented media landscape
  • The ongoing dynamics of change in the cultural industries
  • Restructuring of organisational communication after the normalising of working remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Emotion, affect, popular culture and populism in communication
  • ‘The role of community media in social cohesion and connection, particularly for Indigenous peoples, migrants, LGBTBQI+ communities
  • Creative communication about the arts, community projects and social movements 
  • ‘Post-pandemic’ public and interpersonal communication on health and wellbeing practices

Key Dates

  • Abstract submissions close 7 July 
  • Full paper submissions close 18 August
  • Acceptance notifications sent September (Specific dates to be confirmed)
  • Early bird registration opens 18 September (including PG/ECR Day)
  • Early bird registration closes 13 October
  • Registration closes 15 November

Register via the link below to stay up-to-date on the conference dates, speakers and programme.