President's Welcome

Stohl

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the International Communication Association (ICA). ICA is an academic association for scholars interested in the study, teaching and application of all aspects of human and mediated communication. ICA began more than 60 years ago as a small association of U.S. researchers and is now a truly international association with more than 4500 members in over 80 countries. Since 2003, ICA has been officially associated with the United Nations as a nongovernmental association (NGO).

The centrality and broad impact of communication technologies offers an exciting and critically important moment for communication scholars. With the digital revolution far from over and new inventions repeatedly challenging assumptions that were themselves formed only yesterday, communication studies emerge more than ever before as central to the mission and focus of the academic universe. Communication studies can rightfully claim a central role not only in the basic general education of an informed citizenry, but also in understanding and clarifying many of the central challenges of our rapidly changing world. Communication scholars have the opportunity to draw upon a wealth of disparate theoretical and empirical strands in order to clarify questions of real societal import, illuminate complex realities and help explore solutions to pressing problems as well as long standing intellectual mysteries. By asking relevant questions and conducting academically sound research to find their solutions, communication scholars and ICA as their premier academic association are uniquely poised to provide answers that will enhance our understanding of that environment.

ICA's know-how and expertise are available to everyone, and its diverse structure ensures the association's relevance to a multitude of interests. ICA includes 25 Divisions and Interest Groups, each representing a special subfield in the study of communication. Despite special interests, we view our field as a coherent discipline in which all different aspects of communication are linked by common processes, structures, theories, and methods.

ICA communicates within the association and with others interested in our field through various channels. The association publishes five major, peer-reviewed journals: Journal of Communication, Communication Theory, Human Communication Research, the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, and Communication, Culture, and Critique; as well as the Communication Yearbook. Members receive a monthly electronic newsletter. ICA holds an annual conference (the next scheduled for Seattle, US, in May 2014) at which hundreds of research papers will be presented and over 2,000 scholars from all over the world will participate. We recognize outstanding contributions to the field through awards and fellowship programs.

The members-only section of our website provides a searchable worldwide membership directory, full archives of ICA journals, and of the ICA Newsletter, and other information of particular interest to our members. ICA Executive Director Michael Haley and other members of the ICA staff will be happy to answer your inquiries and help you in any way they can. If you would like to contact me personally, you can e-mail me at Université libre de Bruxelles (Brussels, Belgium): francois.heinderyckx@ulb.ac.be.

Thank you for your interest in ICA and all the best.

François Heinderyckx, President
U libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

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