NCA 100th Annual Convention

The Presence of Our Past(s): A Final Reflection

Awesome! I hope you feel, as I do, that we’ve reaped amazing rewards as a result of all that collective work you put into making the NCA Centennial Convention a memorable and inspiring meeting. Thank you so much for your participation and contributions—papers, performances, discussions, seminars, short courses, G.I.F.T.S, pre-conferences, roundtables, special centennial programs, business meetings, and many many more offerings! Let’s pause to feel, maybe even express, our gratitude to the division, caucus, section, recurrent series, and affiliate organization planners as well as the many readers that spent countless hours last spring reading and reviewing submissions! We all owe thanks to our wonderful national staff—they do all the behind the work scenes so that everything always feels effortless. And let me thank you all for the great privilege of planning this particular convention—unpredictable though a once-ever event was certain to be, you all made it work! I may have been a little nervous at the front end, but y’all (and they say in the South) totally came through!

Kudos to our Opening Session discussants and to our amazing Carroll C. Arnold Distinguished Lecturer—so many things you’ve demanded we consider! And didn’t we have a blast and thinking seriously with Head Time Traveler Kathie Turner in her presidential address?!  Thank you to our generous sponsors—Routledge, Taylor & Francis, McGraw-Hill Education, Bedford/St. Martin’s, Pearson, C-SPAN, and Sage. Special thanks to the Centennial Planning Committee, ably co-chaired by Rich West, Emerson College, and Dawn Braithwaite, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, for helping to make not just the convention, but the entire year a special one for NCA members! I hope a lot of you have sneaked more than end-of-semester glances at the centennial volume, edited by Pat Gehrke, University of South Carolina, and Bill Keith, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. It’s a wonderful gift to all of us! And another special thanks to the NCA Centennial! series planning group, composed of 13 amazing people, including their fab leaders Vanessa Beasley, Vanderbilt University and Kirt Wilson, Penn State University! This convention proved definitively why our areas of intellectual endeavor have lasted for 100+ years and why we so value each other’s work.  It also proved, as it does every year, that we know how to have fun.

I know everyone almost always feels the pain of having to choose one panel over another or even one business meeting over another because of conflicting times or commitments at NCA conventions. I’ve never felt those pangs more strongly than this year. Just selfishly, I hope that you’ll go forward with the projects you took up for the convention so that all of us—even if we couldn’t make your panel—will be able to benefit from your good work in the longer term.  And speaking of the future now, as we prepare to begin NCA’s second century, let’s look forward to “Embracing Opportunities” at the first convention of that next 100 years, next November in Las Vegas! 

2014 Convention: Carole BlairCarole Blair
NCA First Vice President
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill




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