NCA Inside & Out

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NCA Advancing the Discipline Grant Supports Ethnography of Communication Conference

September 1, 2017

In June, Ethnography of Communication students and scholars from around the world gathered at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York, for the “New Horizons in the Ethnography of Communication” conference. The conference was supported by an NCA Advancing the Discipline Grant, a grant from the College of Mount Saint Vincent (CMSV), and a grant from the CMSV Communication Department. Nine of the conference attendees were graduate students, who received partial funding for the conference from the NCA Advancing the Discipline Grant.

Conference attendees

The conference was co-organized by Michelle Scollo, Associate Professor of Communication, College of Mount Saint Vincent, and  Trudy Milburn, Assistant Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Purchase College, SUNY. Attendees shared the latest in Ethnography of Communication (EC) research, pedagogy, and practice, and collaborated toward advancing EC and the Communication discipline. The conference also honored NCA Distinguished Scholar Donal Carbaugh upon the 20th anniversary of the first publication of his major theory in EC, Cultural Discourse Theory, as well as for his overall contributions to the discipline.

The conference featured a mix of paper panels, pedagogy panels, working sessions, and data sessions. Participants from colleges and universities across the United States and from the United Kingdom, China, Finland, and Latvia presented research on communication practices in a variety of cultures and communities, including African American, Asian American, British, Bulgarian, Chinese, Egyptian, Finnish, Hungarian, Israeli, Japanese, Latvian, Mexican, Native American, Singaporean, and Turkish. Topics included education, environmental communication, ESL, health communication, identity, immigration, intercultural and interpersonal communication, language revitalization, mass media, new communication technologies, organizational communication, public discourse, participation and policy, and social justice. Carbaugh delivered the keynote address, “Sacred Grounds and New Horizons: Mixed Emotions at the Death of bin Laden,” which focused on new trajectories in advancing EC and the Communication discipline. 

The conference was highly productive, successful, and enjoyable for all. Participants gained new research insights, forged new collegial relationships and strengthened extant ones, and established new directions for EC research, pedagogy, and practice. Special thanks to NCA for the Advancing the Discipline Grant, and its support in advancing EC and the Communication discipline.