NCA 104th Annual Convention: Communication at Play
November 08 - 11, 2018
Salt Lake City, UT
Words cannot express!
The joys of connecting, playing, learning, sharing, growing, seeking opportunities, laughing, arguing, explaining, showing, performing, expressing, creating, wow! I knew we had it in us, but I am nonetheless stunned at the breadth and creativity and energy of the 104th Annual Convention. “Communication at Play” was a theme designed to provide ambiguity for flexible interpretation, a positive space in a scene of dark and disturbing events and forces, and a way of inviting reconsideration of how we interact when at our Annual Convention. Thanks to all of our convention planners and attendees; you succeeded magnificently in fulfilling all of these hopes and on many more never imagined.
Appreciation is due to all of our newcomers, many of whom engaged with various leaders at the Newcomer Reception, and braved a large and at times confusing gathering to join our community. For an interesting conversation about what makes a nation great, thanks are due to our guests from across time: Abraham Lincoln, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Marshall McLuhan, and Sojourner Truth. The welcome reception, a Festival of Memes, featured wonderful performances by magicians and a juggler, along with caricature artists and a meme quiz. Prizes for the quiz went to the top 11 scores, with perfect scores posted by Colin Campbell and Fielding Montgomery. Congratulations to all!
Daring, provocative, and insightful, Dr. Joshua Gunn, University of Texas at Austin, provided a riveting account of the perversion of play that helps to create our gun culture, and stunned us into silence in his refusal to provide easy answers. The evening session on environmental issues featured a rich discussion of Native American struggles in the contested spaces of the American Southwest. Special thanks are due to all of our event sponsors for their generosity and vision for NCA: Kendall Hunt, Routledge, Taylor & Francis; Pearson; the Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society; Purdue University; and Utah schools including Brigham Young University, Utah State University, University of Utah, Utah Valley University, and Weber State University.
Special thanks are also due to the NCA staff and volunteers for making this experience positively memorable. The good work of the convention is thoughtfully supported by the many faculty and students who participate in the Legislative Assembly and the various business meetings. Thank you all for your time, effort, and dedication.
Finally, it is worth highlighting and thanking our experimental programmers, who coordinated some unique experiences for our attendees. The Play Space was fantastic, the Evening Playlist offered engaging community interaction, and the NCA Café and the Collaboratories provided space for the coalescence of teachers and scholars around critical issues that will extend throughout the year.
Thank you all for participating and making this experience a great one! If you attended the convention, take a few moments to fill out our convention evaluation form which was emailed to you last month so that we may improve our offerings. And as we move forward into other convention experiences, please keep that spirit of play and creativity alive!
NCA First Vice President