NCA Annual Convention

NCA 106th Annual Convention: Communication at the Crossroads

New 2020
November 19 - 22, 2020

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I am looking forward to joining you for the 106th Annual Convention of the National Communication Association! This year’s theme, Communication at the Crossroads, was selected to provide special opportunities to examine and discuss future directions for research, teaching, and the Communication discipline itself, with crossroads symbolizing the connection and convergence of scholarship, choice and direction for research and teaching, and choice and direction for the discipline.

In a year marked by isolation, concern, and the unknown, we now have an opportunity to gather as a community, virtually, but still together. We will gather to share, to learn, to create, to observe, and to question. We will gather to support one another and to initiate our future. This year, as we gather together, the value of doing so will be more significant than ever before.

This convention promises to be one like no other, due in large part to its having been planned and now taking place during a global pandemic. In spite of unprecedented and difficult circumstances, thousands of Communication scholars from all types of institutions and all stages and types of careers submitted materials for the convention earlier this year. The number and quality of submissions was truly remarkable. Those efforts were subsequently met by the equally impressive efforts of program planners, who devoted extraordinary amounts of time and energy to developing programming while facing those same unprecedented and difficult circumstances.

The results of these efforts are the tremendous paper sessions, panel discussions, G.I.F.T.S sessions, Short Courses, Preconferences, and other sessions found in the program. These would be impressive in a normal year. They are beyond impressive given the events of this year.

The completely virtual format will likely enable you to take part in more sessions, meetings, and other events than normal. I encourage you to experience as much as possible. Take part in sessions pertaining to your areas of focus and also take part in sessions outside your areas of expertise. You will likely be amazed by the scope and strength of our discipline.

You can also take part in the special Communication at the Crossroads Series, which features sessions that are dedicated to exploring key issues within the discipline, focusing especially on where we have been as a discipline and where we might be heading.

You can also take part in the annual highlights and traditions of the convention. This year’s Opening Session is titled “Mental Health at the Crossroads: Intersections in Health and Society” and will focus on issues of mental health and social justice. This year’s Carroll C. Arnold Distinguished Lecture will be delivered by renowned scholar Dr. Thomas K. Nakayama, whose presentation is titled “The Challenge of Global Whiteness.” The NCA Presidential Address and Awards Presentation will provide an opportunity to honor this year’s winners following NCA President Dr. Kent A. Ono’s Presidential Address, titled “Civic Activism and Social Justice: Leading NCA As/Through Change.” Many additional events and special activities are scheduled for you to enjoy as well.

I am very excited about this year’s convention and hope that you have an enjoyable experience, one that renews you, one that inspires you, one that transforms you, and ultimately one that highlights the benefits of gathering together and considering Communication at the Crossroads.

David T. McMahan, NCA First Vice President, Missouri Western State University