Call for Proposals:
Special Issue on "Legal Issues in Global Contexts"
_Technical Communication_, the journal of the Society for
Technical Communication (STC), is soliciting article proposals
for an upcoming special issue that will examine how factors
of law and of culture affect how technical communicators
work in international and cross-cultural contexts. This special
issue will be published in November 2010, and the guest
editors are Kirk St.Amant of East Carolina University and
Martine Courant Rife of Lansing Community College.
SPECIAL ISSUE DESCRIPTION
Legal issues are increasingly affecting the work we do as
industry practitioners, academic researchers, university and
college educators, and independent entrepreneurs in technical
communication. In some cases, these legal issues involve notions
of ownership, copyright, and trade secrets. In other instances,
legal concerns related to privacy, disclosure, and free speech
affect how technical communicators perform different activities.
These legal issues are further complicated by different cultural
perspectives related to working in global environments and to
addressing the informational needs of different cultural groups
within our own nations. Very few individuals in technical
communication, however, are lawyers or have formal training
in issues of law and its intersection with different cultural
communication expectations and assumptions. This special issue
of _Technical Communication_ will examine the legal issues
affecting technical communication practices related to designing
materials for or to working with individuals from other nations
POSSIBLE TOPICS FOR THIS SPECIAL ISSUE
The guest editors invite proposals for papers on applied research
or theory, case histories/studies, tutorials, and/or annotated
bibliographies that address the following issues:
. Why should technical communicators attend to global/
international legal issues? Why not?
. What kind of training should technical communicators have
to address issues of law and culture effectively in international
and domestic contexts?
. How are legal issues or requirements related to language and
translation affecting technical communication practices?
. How should technical communicators working in international
organizations approach legal issues? Should these issues be turned
over to the "legal department"? Should technical communicators
have input on organization policies with respect to implementing
Should they be seen as experts in this area? Why or why not?
. What developments in international law, treaties, or
global-context legal conversations may impact the work of
technical communicators (e.g., the EU Data Protection Directive,
TRIPS [Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual
Property Rights], conversations on appropriation of traditional
knowledge)? What recommendations might be
developed to work within or challenge these new developments?
. How do legal issues affect communication practices in globally
distributed virtual teams?
. What kinds of legal issues do international practices such as
off shoring raise for technical communicators? How do these
issues affect technical communication practices or provide
new opportunities for technical communicators to contribute
value to their organizations?
. How have legal issues in global contexts become more
immediate with regard to the continual growth of and use of
online media in international contexts?
. In what ways can our history of examining issues of
intercultural communication contribute to how we approach
legal issues in global contexts?
. How do cultural differences related to intellectual property
and copyright affect technical communication practices -
particularly practices involving globally distributed teams?
. How do issues of government surveillance and data mining
affect the ways in which technical communicators interact
in globally distributed workplaces or use online media to
present information and exchange ideas across cultures?
. How can aligning global legal issues and local legal issues help -
or complicate how we work and conduct research as technical
. What kinds of theories or research methods from the field of
technical communication might inform our ability to
understand legal issues in global contexts?
. In what ways can/should technical communicators enter
into public discussions about global-legal issues?
Proposals should be no more than 400 words in length.
All proposals should include submitter name, affiliation, and
email address as well
as a working title for the proposed article.
The schedule for the special issue is as follows:
1 June 2009 -- 400-word proposals due
15 June 2009 - Guest editors return proposal decisions to submitters
1 October 2009 - Draft manuscripts of accepted proposals due
15 February 2010 -- Final manuscripts due
November 2010 -- Publication date of special issue
Completed proposals or questions about either proposal topics or this
special issue should be sent to Kirk St.Amant and Martine Courant Rife
Martine Courant Rife, JD, PhD
Professor, Writing Program
Lansing Community College Communication Department
Arts & Sciences Building, 211G, 517/4839906
firstname.lastname@example.org //AIM martine785
José Antonio Frías