13th Annual Discerning Diverse Voices Research Symposium on Diversity

Theme: “Media Platforms as the Message: Creating Meaningful Diversity in the 21st Century”

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Online and Free Registration

The College of Communication and Information Sciences is committed to promoting an environment that harbors and promotes diversity and inclusion and is proud to host the annual Discerning Diverse Voices Symposium on Diversity each Spring. Started in 2009 by Dr. Caryl Cooper, this symposium is a forum for the sharing of ideas from researchers, faculty, staff, alumni, and students, as well as diversity thought leaders from around the country.

Call for Proposals:

The Call for Proposals is now open. All proposals are due January 7, 2022. The theme for 2022, “Media Platforms as the Message: Creating Meaningful Diversity in the 21st Century,” addresses communication and information needs of diverse populations. Read the complete Call for Proposals here.

The DDVS is free and online in 2022. Submissions related to a wide range of diversity topics are welcome from researchers, instructors, students, and professionals from all academic institutions as well as organizations involved in the communication or information sciences fields.

Submit your paper or panel abstracts here by January 7, 2022. The Committee will finalize all program acceptances in early February.

For more information, contact the 2022 Symposium co-chairs, Dr. Miriam Sweeney (mesweeney1@ua.edu) or Dr. Kristen Warner (kwarner@ua.edu).

Keynote Presenter:

The keynote speaker is Dr. André Brock, Associate Professor of School of Literature, Media, and Communication, Georgia Institute of Technology, and author of “Distributed blackness: African American cybercultures.” Dr. Brock is one of the preeminent scholars of Black Cyberculture with an interdisciplinary background (M.A. in English and Rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon University; Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). His work bridges Science and Technology Studies and Critical Discourse Analysis, showing how the communicative affordances of online media align with those of Black communication practices.

His scholarship includes published articles on racial representations in videogames, black women and weblogs, whiteness, blackness, and digital technoculture, as well as groundbreaking research on Black Twitter. Dr. Brock’s article, “From the Blackhand Side: Twitter as a Cultural Conversation,” challenged social science and communication research to confront the ways in which the field preserved “a color-blind perspective on online endeavors by normalizing Whiteness and othering everyone else.” His research has sparked a conversation that continues to evolve, just as Twitter and other social media platforms continue to evolve as well.

Selected works:

  1. Brock, A. (2020). Distributed blackness: African American cybercultures. New York: New York University Press.
  2. Brock, A. (2018). Critical technocultural discourse analysis. New Media & Society 20 (3), 1012-1030
  3. Brock, A. (2012). From the blackhand side: Twitter as a cultural conversation. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 56(4), 529-549.

Dr. Brock’s website

Dr. Brock’s Twitter account

Dr. Brock’s Google Scholar page

Previous Symposia Programs:



2020 Pre-Symposium Panel








2013 Pre-Symposium Film Screening

Previous Symposia Recordings:

2021 Keynote Presentation by Dr. Kimberley Mangun

2021 Keynote Presentation Q&A

2021 Sponsor Panel

2020 Keynote Presentation by Dr. Mia Moody-Ramirez