NCA Inside & Out

Western State Communication Association Conference

Regional Communication Association News

January 6, 2017

Western States Communication Association President-Elect Michelle Holling has chosen “Centralizing Marginality/Marginalizing the Center” as the theme for this year’s dynamic conference, to be held February 18-21 in Salt Lake City, UT. 

The convention will begin with pre-conference workshops Saturday morning and afternoon, including teaching the Basic Course, feminist inquiry within the discipline, teaching whiteness in the classroom, and preparing students for careers using a Communication degree. The Undergraduate Scholar’s Research Conference, Graduate Student Workshop, and Graduate Open House are also on Saturday, followed by the Kickoff Event and Welcome Reception. From Sunday through Tuesday, attendees can choose from a wide selection of panels. The annual favorite, the Sock Hop, will be on Sunday evening. A full conference program will be posted online soon at www.westcomm.org.

President-Elect Holling describes the theme as a focus on the enduring tension between the margin(s) and the center. “Multiple and significant strides, as well as setbacks, in society communicate particular rights, groups, or populations moving from the margins to the center of a controversy,” she says. “Similarly, for some of us, the experience of being marginalized, living on the margins, or working on/at the margins are familiar. Those experiences likely produce an array of communicative approaches and tactics of survival, regardless of the settings in which we exist.  Alternatively, our positionalities as teachers, scholars, or (un/documented) citizens likely have us occupy spaces that both centralize or marginalize us. We may (un)knowingly center particular epistemologies in the classroom and in scholarship, adopt ontologies that carry the potential to shift how we study that which we do, and/or embrace pedagogies that require we rethinking how marginality and the center manifest in our classrooms.”

This year’s keynote speaker is Janaya Khan, international ambassador for the #BlackLivesMatter Network and co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto. Khan is a Black, queer, gender-nonconforming activist, staunch Afrofuturist, social-justice educator, and boxer based in Toronto. The keynote will be delivered on Sunday, February 19.