IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication
Special Issue Focus: Professional Communication In Global Contexts
Deadline for Proposals: December 31, 2009
Guest Editors: Pavel Zemliansky, James Madison University, USA; Constance Kampf, University of Aarhus, Denmark
Most literature in technical communication published in the United States focuses on the state of the discipline in North America. Despite some recent and notable exceptions, such as books, articles, and special issues of professional journals dedicated to intercultural communication and translation studies, the scope of the coverage of our discipline outside of North America remains rather limited.
However, the theory and practice of technical communication in Europe, Asia, South America, and other places deserve closer attention. Substantial differences between the state of the discipline in North America and abroad impact our work in this globalized world, as well as our current students’ future professional practice. For example, technical communication theory and practice in the U.S. typically emerge from Rhetoric and Writing Studies as well as from Communication Studies. Competence in multiple languages is usually not required for obtaining a degree or working in the field. In contrast, in Western Europe, technical communication as a discipline is heavily influenced by the theory and practice of translation and language for specific purposes due to the multilingual and multicultural nature of the space in which technical communicators operate. Similarly, in countries like Ukraine and Russia, instruction in technical communication is often within schools of business or engineering.
As practitioners, teachers, and scholars of technical communication, how can we improve our understanding of our field in a globalized world and beyond the theories and practices which dominate our work in North America? For this special issue, we invite articles that examine the theory, practice, and teaching of technical communication in Canada, Mexico, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and South America. We are particularly interested in the disciplinary and cultural contexts from which Technical Communication research and education is emerging, and the implications of these origins for theory, practice and teaching.