Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University is one of six universities that hosts the Global Fusion conference in rotation, and the conference will return to Philadelphia on October 14-16, 2022. As the first Global Fusion conference to be held in person since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is no surprise that the theme this year is "(Re)Connecting." The call for papers has been extended through July 1, 2022.

Klein College's conference planning committee consists of Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Studies Patrick Murphy, Journalism Professor Fabienne Darling-Wolf (they/them) and Assistant Journalism Professor Soomin Seo (she/her), as well as rising third-year PhD student Lucy March (she/her).

The conference began in 2000, and is entirely dedicated to the field of global media. Darling-Wolf noted that Global Fusion gives Klein College faculty and graduate students a chance to really shine because of our high concentration of global media scholars. 

Another unique quality to the Global Fusion conference is the way it encourages engagement between graduate students, early-career and later-career researchers, Darling-Wolf said. 

"Historically, this conference has been very much oriented toward grad students and early career scholars because it's a smaller conference," they said. "It's very nurturing; it's one place where you can have conversations with people whose work you cite in your research in a much more informal and, I think, much more nurturing setting than the big conferences."

One way this connection is to be facilitated in particular this year will be the pre-conference session Darling-Wolf is planning with March, the conference's PhD co-organizer. The session is set to take a more informal approach than those of major media conferences, incorporating multimedia submissions, personal narratives and more. The theme for this panel is East Asian Media and Nostalgia, so incorporating personal stories was a natural choice.

However, nostalgia will certainly not be the only theme of the conference. "This year, since the theme is '(Re)Connecting,' I suspect we might see quite a few papers about the COVID-19 pandemic, and sort of a lot of the divisions and disruptions that have resulted from that," March said. She said she is also interested to see how scholars are adapting to and making sense of the past two years.

Yet what will truly determine the outcome of the conference will be the submissions and the attendees. Co-organizer Seo noted that, "Global Fusion is one of the rare conferences where scholars passionate about global communication come together to have deep, engaged conversations." She said, "It's the attendees who make the difference - an awesome group of top-notch scholars who care deeply about each other and the world."

Abstract submissions will be accepted until July 1, 2022.