NCA Speaker Series: Developing Ideas for Teaching and Research

In light of NCA’s summer event cancellations due to COVID-19, NCA has developed a special speaker series. This series is aimed at offering faculty and students the opportunity to learn about new directions in Communication research and teaching, and spark ideas about their own research, teaching, and course/program offerings. The series will begin June 1 with speakers presenting a seminar each full week of June. Each seminar will be comprised of five virtual seminars, hosted on the NCA website. Seminar leaders will also provide readings to accompany each seminar.

Seminar leaders will include Scott Myers (West Virginia University), Amy Clark (University of Virginia’s College at Wise), Richard Craig (George Mason University), and Jimmie Manning (University of Nevada, Reno). Seminar topics, descriptions, and dates are as follows:

Scott Myers

Scott A. Myers, Ph.D.
Professor, Chair, and Peggy Rardin McConnell Endowed Teaching Chair
Department of Communication Studies
West Virginia University

Learning the Three C’s: Becoming a Competent Classroom Communicator

The purpose of this seminar is to reflect on, and develop further, our classroom teaching practices and behaviors, with a particular focus on improving the ways in which we communicate with our students and gaining a perspective on how students view us through our classroom communication. This seminar will cover five topics, which are developing a sense of teaching effectiveness, teaching from a student perspective, teaching from a rhetorical perspective, teaching from a relational perspective, and teaching from a presentational traits perspective.

Amy Clark

Amy D. Clark, Ph.D. 
Professor and Chair, Department of Communication Studies 
Co-Director, Center for Appalachian Studies
Director, Appalachian Writing Project
University of Virginia's College at Wise

The Rhetoric of Death in Central Appalachia from Mid-19th Century to Early 20th Century: A Case Study in Teaching and Researching Rhetorical History

The material culture of death, such as gravestones, records, and death photography, may be considered rhetorical memory spaces that were created with the expectation of visual interpretation, a way of interacting with the living. This seminar will explore a complex system of signs inherent in the 19th century gravestones of an enslaved community, as well as those in death photography, records, and other artifacts belonging to the White family who owned the property. The seminar will also include a tour of the site and artifacts used in this study, which offer a cultural understanding of a marginalized community whose histories may be revised by a close reading of symbols left behind. 

Richard Craig

Richard T. Craig, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Communication
Director, Master's Program
George Mason University

"Is That How They See Me?”: Discussing Media Representations of Marginalized Groups

By telling stories to inform or entertain, media have the ability to present images of individuals and groups, as well as ideologies that influence audience understandings of others and self. This seminar will explore how the US media have historically framed marginalized US groups. This seminar will challenge our knowledge and thoughts about how media representations may shape a person's sense of value and belonging dependent upon the media content they regularly consume.

Jimmie Manning

Jimmie Manning, Ph.D.  
Chair and Professor, Communication Studies
School of Social Research & Justice Studies
University of Nevada, Reno

Extending and Expanding Notions of 'Family' in the Interpersonal and Family Communication Classroom

This seminar examines how families are defined and represented in interpersonal and family communication classrooms. Including a mix of classic and hot-off-the-press readings as well as classroom-tested teaching activities, this seminar will consider how they can help students to expand their understanding of what a family is and how communication plays a vital role in that understanding. Importantly, the seminar also focuses on diversity and inclusion in family communication studies, especially in the sense of who is and is not represented in family communication theory.