The Intersection of Organizational Communication, Language, and Culture
Dr. Dongjing Kang's research lies in the intersection of organizational communication, language and culture, and dialogue in international contexts. Her forthcoming co-authored essay (as lead author), entitled "The Absence in the Past, the Presence in the Making: The Expanding Territory of Organizational Communication in China," to be published in the Chinese Journal of Communication, proposes a culture-centered perspective to examine the territory of organizational communication in China and calls for scholars to build more local-centered frameworks.
With a culture-centered framework to examine organizing practices, Dr. Kang engages praxis-oriented scholarship to promote social justice. In this increasing globalized world, many ethnic minority languages such as Kham Tibetan languages are facing extinction. UNESCO has reported that those languages will disappear by the end of this century if nothing is done. Languages embody the worldviews that enable us to understand, interpret, and share realities with one another. Preserving ethnic minority languages is crucial to the sustainability of plural human social practices. Using ethnographic methodologies, for the past four summers, Dr. Kang has worked with and studied a group of Tibetans in the Kham region, who have been organizing to preserve their language and culture. The first piece of scholarship to emerge from this project, "How Dialogical Are We Really? Insights Gleaned From (Un)dialogical Moments" is in the revision and resubmission process for the Departures in Critical Qualitative Research. Another two manuscripts are to be presented at the Twelfth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry in May 2016, and the Aspen Conference on Engaged Communication Scholarship in July 2016.
Dr. Kang is also a documentary film director who translates academic writing into visual narratives. Visual narratives have the power to create a more dialogical space with broader audiences, thus creating what communication scholars are now calling "translational research," meaning research-driven projects framed for larger, non-academic audiences. Dr. Kang partnered with film producers from the Shanghai Film Academy and Film Space (of the CCTV Educational Channel) and created short films based on a story called "Rising Interconnections," which was drawn from her four summer's ethnographic research. The first short drama film from this production was nominated for The 8th Xiejin Film Academy Award in January 2016.
At ICB, she organizes the Communication Students Club (COMS Club) with 48 members and works with members to build communication discipline on Beijing campus. Dr. Kang also strives the Department of Communication's Mission Statement in teaching—"to create a more just and humane word." She shares her experience in field research, collaborating with local service NGOs, and film production to students, and encourages them to create social justice oriented course projects.