June 5-9 2023

Many Voices, One planet: Accounting for the past and narrating sustainable futures

The International Environmental Communication Association (IECA) cordially invites you to the 17th biennial Conference on Communication and Environment (COCE 2023).

The conference is being hosted by the School of Communication Studies at James Madison University, located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley in Harrisonburg, VA, USA. The conference venue offers stunning views of the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains, access to Shenandoah National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Appalachian Trail, the George Washington National Forest, the Shenandoah River, local vineyards and breweries, and a variety of historic sites commemorating the rich and tragic history of the area.

We welcome submissions of all kinds of environmental communication work, whether it is related to the theme or not.

This year’s conference theme is “Many Voices, One Planet: Accounting for the Past and Narrating Sustainable Futures.” This theme offers a platform for environmental communication research, practice, arts, and activism dealing with the diversity of voices that raise concerns about our planet. Addressing questions of diversity and inclusion, the theme emphasizes the need to reconcile the many injustices of the past and present in order to move forward and create narratives about just and sustainable futures.

The theme refers to the many voices vying to lead, as well as those struggling to be heard in discussions about the future of our planet. How are these many voices strengthened and enabled by storytelling, strategic communication, and public memory (and forgetting)? How are tensions with the past addressed in the search for future narratives? This theme brings together and bridges the diverse voices and perspectives from academia and practice that are represented in our field.

To read more about the theme, please see the Call for Submissions.

Conference Committee: Anke Wonneberger (Chair), Pete Bsumek (Local Host), Mark Meisner, Emma Bloomfield (Programme Co-Chair), Pieter Maeseele (Programme Co-Chair), Cate Bruns, Stephen Depoe, Yvonne Love, Gabi Mocatta, Franzisca Weder, Barb Willard.

About COCE

Since 1991, COCE has been the leading global conference on environmental communication. Our conferences always have a theme, but we also welcome non-thematic submissions in all areas of environmental communication research and practice. Moreover, COCE is not a typical academic conference. The IECA exists to promote stronger collaboration between researchers, practitioners and artists working in environmental communication and COCE is one of our key forums for fostering such connections.

COCE has been hybrid since 2013 (except for 2021 which was all online). Most participants join us in-person, but remote participation is an option. COCE 2023 will include a number of attractive features that have been hallmarks of COCEs past, and will also be responsive to contemporary options for interaction (face-to-face and virtual). Specifically, COCE 2023 will include:

  • A maximum of four concurrent sessions at any given time.
  • A mix of academic and practitioner-oriented panels and workshops, as well as a graduate student pre-conference.
  • An art exhibition and possibly performances.
  • A poster session running throughout the conference.
  • Plenary sessions to bring everyone together for keynote speakers and panels.
  • Audio and/or video recordings of all sessions available to in-person and virtual participants.
  • Online spaces that facilitate interaction between in-person and virtual participants.
  • Plenty of time for informal interactions, eating together, playing together, socializing and networking.
  • Organized excursions that take advantage of the wonderful variety of historical locations in the Harrisonburg area.
  • Affordable lodging options including on-campus residence rooms and a new on-campus hotel.

COCE is larger than when it started, but it has remained a casual and friendly event where you will meet new colleagues and re-connect with those you already know. Many people count COCE as their favourite conference.

Important Dates

Dates are subject to change.

  • June 15, 2022 – Theme announced and call for submissions distributed
  • September 5, 2022 – Online conference submission system available
  • October 3, 2022 – Deadline for all submissions
  • December 5 2022 – Acceptance notification
  • December 5, 2022 – Registration opens
  • December 12, 2022 – Draft programme available
  • December 12, 2022 to March 27 2023 – Programme revisions and corrections
  • January 30, 2023 – Presenters must be members of IECA
  • April 3, 2023 – Early-bird registration closes
  • April 10, 2023 – Presenters must be registered
  • May 8, 2023 – Papers and posters should be uploaded to the COCE website
  • May 8, 2023 – Programme finalized
  • June 5, 2023 – Pre-conference events (optional)
  • June 5, 2023 – Conference begins
  • June 9, 2023 – Conference ends

Contact Information

Web: https://theieca.org/coce2023
Twitter: @TheIECA #coce2023
Email: coce2023 at theieca dot org

If you are not an IECA member and you would like to receive news about the conference, please join our mailing list. Otherwise, keep checking back here for updates.


  • School of Communication Studies at James Madison University



    • The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University


    • University of Queensland Center for Communication and Social Change


    Hybrid event

    James Madison University

    Contact us

    For any questions about the event, please contact coce2023@theieca.org

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