Theme: Public Engagement in the Smart City 

Publication Date: August 2018

Submission Due Date: Friday, May 4, 2018

About the Journal

The Journal of Civic Media (JCM) seeks submissions for its inaugural edition. JCM is a twice-yearly, graduate student edited, peer-reviewed publication published by the Engagement Lab at Emerson College. The focus of the journal is on the practices of using media and technology to facilitate democratic process, ranging from global digital platforms to community based media initiatives.  The objective of the Journal of Civic Media is to provide a forum for scholars, practitioners, students and the general public to read about and discuss the complex landscape of the field.

Call for Submissions

A discussion about ‘smart cities’ can quickly become an invitation for contemplation, bewilderment, passionate discourse or vehement dismissal. The term has been appropriated by municipalities, consultants, companies (transit, energy, sensor, etc.), and technologists looking to capitalize on hashtag-friendly jargon. Public sector representatives hail smart cities for their increased levels of service, readiness, or ability, but for many members of the public, the term represents surveillance, invasion of privacy, or pricey taxpayer-funded projects. The definition of ‘smart city’ is hotly debated and its potential for staying power demands a critical approach.

For its inaugural issue, the Journal of Civic Media seeks papers that contemplate the value of a smart city as it is or should be determined by the people who live, work, learn or play there. The emerging discussion on public engagement in smart city environments is drawing from critical traditions of Henri Lefebvre, David Harvey, Mark Graham and Joe Shaw. There is need to challenge and develop this thinking so that it is responsive to the particular conditions of the contemporary “smart” city.

The Journal of Civic Media seeks submissions on all aspects related to public engagement in the smart city, including but not limited to:

  • The presence of community voice in smart city activities

  • The contemplation of non-technology smart city interventions

  • The effects (real or imagined) of typical ‘smart city’ activities on privacy and security

  • Meaningful, uncommon or uncontemplated smart city engagement strategies

  • Analog/non-digital approaches to engagement and how they may be applied to smart initiatives

  • Race and class in urban technology projects

We invite graduate students, faculty and practitioners in the civic media field to submit paper proposals.  Papers should be between 1,500 and 2,500 words, including references.

Please review the Journal of Civic Media’s full Editorial Policies prior to submission. Inquiries and submissions should be sent to by 5 p.m. on Friday, May 4, 2018. Selected submissions for the current call will be published in the August 2018 volume of the Journal of Civic Media.