NCA 102nd Annual Convention

Communication’s Civic Callings
November 10-13, 2016
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Submissions close March 30, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. 

The 102nd Annual Convention of the National Communication Association will advance “Communication’s Civic Callings.” Meeting in downtown Philadelphia, just a short walk from Independence Hall and many of the other founding locations of American democracy, Communication scholars will address questions about the complicated pasts, compelling presents, and coming possibilities of our civic life.

Ideally, the theme of “Communication’s Civic Callings” will spark conversations about our possible roles as teachers, scholars, and public servants situated within multiple communities. For example, with struggling education systems under increasing scrutiny, what are the civic callings of teachers and scholars to advocate for sound public education? With policing and violence issues grabbing headlines, threats of pandemics proliferating, environmental degradation accelerating, and questions of equality and equity fueling protests nationally and internationally, what are the civic callings of communication experts who research, teach, and engage these and other current crises? In an age of digital saturation marked by an alleged decline in civility, what are the civic callings of those teachers, scholars, and advocates who work on and in the media? As these questions indicate, the theme of “Communication’s Civic Callings” points to the intersections of teaching, research, and service, where our communication theories and practices rub up against the messy and joyous realities of daily life.

The notion of “civic callings” encompasses overlapping layers of communication in action, including our many roles as members of educational communities; our interactions with local and national governments; our commitments to NGOs and other organizations; our collaborations with colleagues from across the globe; and, increasingly, our involvements with issues that transcend nation-states.

Given questions raised in ongoing discussions about Communication pedagogies and curriculums—What is the role of the foundational course? How do we teach public speaking? How do race, class, gender and sexuality, religion, and nationalism influence our teaching and our departments?—the notion of “civic callings” invites scholars to imagine our teaching, departmental structures, research, and public lives as political, as important aspects of the collective fabric of our communities.

Thus, with the theme of “Communication’s Civic Callings,” we invite provocative papers and panel submissions that create opportunities for thinking about Communication as a form of civic action that can have powerful effects on students and colleagues, multiple national communities, and global constituencies. Submissions open Monday, January 18, 2016.

2016 HartnettStephen John Hartnett
NCA First Vice President
University of Colorado Denver