NCA Inside & Out

NCA Convention

NCA Hosts 105th Annual Convention in Baltimore

December 5, 2019

Last month, some 4,500 communication scholars convened in Baltimore, MD for the NCA 105th Annual Convention. This year’s convention theme was “Communication for Survival.”

The Opening Session, sponsored by the Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society, focused on issues of race and social justice. Panelists included Dottye Burt-Markowitz, co-founder of Baltimore Racial Justice Action; J. David Cisneros, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Rajani Gudlavalleti, Community Organizing Manager for the Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition; Mark C. Hopson, Director of African and African American Studies and Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at George Mason University; and Janelle Wong, Professor of American Studies and a core faculty member in the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Maryland. Kimberly R. Moffitt, Director and Associate Professor in the Language, Literacy and Culture Ph.D. program and Affiliate Associate Professor in the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), served as Chair and Moderator of the session. The panelists discussed race relations in Baltimore and throughout the nation and examined ways in which social justice work seeks to improve issues associated with race, including poverty, violence, wealth attainment, and food access.

Lisa A. Flores, University of Colorado Boulder, served as this year’s Carroll C. Arnold Distinguished Lecturer. Flores addressed the topic of “Mobility, Containment, and the Racialized Spatio-Temporalities of Survival.” The lecture made connections between communication for survival and national discourses about race.

On the final evening of the convention, before presenting this year’s NCA Awards, President Star Muir addressed challenges of this political moment and offered suggestions for how to ease these challenges through education. Among other political trends, Muir noted that political polarization has increased, that populism and ethnic violence are rising worldwide, and that journalism is under attack. Muir reflected on the trends fostered by social media, such as a fragmented and divided public. Muir called on scholars and teachers to practice mindfulness in the classroom and concluded with a discussion of the importance of speech and debate activities at all educational levels.

The convention also featured a Graduate School Open House, Exhibit Hall, NCA Job Fair, and more than 1,200 sessions and business meetings that allowed attendees to share ideas, present new research, and network with colleagues across the discipline.

NCA extends thanks to all who participated in this year’s convention! For more information, visit, and check the #NCA19 hashtag on Twitter to see what attendees were discussing and sharing during the convention. View our photo highlights album on Facebook, and stay tuned for videos and other updates in the coming weeks. And, start planning now to attend next year’s convention, to be held November 19-22, 2020, in Indianapolis, IN.