I spent a recent weekend in Washington, DC laying out the conference programme and working with our ICA staff to avoid double-booking any of you (overcommitted!) people at our May conference. This is dizzying work, as you might imagine, but the payoff came on Saturday morning when the computer programme assured us that all conference events were booked into rooms—without conflicts! We can now see the May schedule clearly and it, too, is dizzying in its scope.
The programming that our Divisions have created is diverse, challenging, and affirms the logic in ICA’s efforts to become more international and to encourage cross-divisional scholarship. The conference theme organizers—thank you Adrienne Shaw (Temple U) and Travers Scott (Clemson U)!—have put together an engaging array of scholars, topics, and approaches to our conference theme of “Interventions: Communication Research and Practice.” You will not want to miss any of these theme-based panels! For the first time, ICA is hosting a Making and Doing exhibition of art, media, design, and research creation work in our field; the exhibition has been organized by Lisa Henderson (U of Massachusetts – Amherst) and a team of hard-working referees. They had the difficult task of sorting through over 75 proposals and curating this 2-hour opening night event. The exhibition features an expansive range of mediums, topics, and presentation formats ranging from performances to interactive work from students, junior, and senior internationally representative scholars. It will open alongside our opening reception—so be prepared to meander these mediated communications as you enjoy your beverage of choice and connect with old friends and colleagues on Thursday night!
Finally, members of our Games Studies Division (Jaime Banks (West Virginia U), Robby Ratan, and Allison Eden (Michigan State U)), along with Andy Opel (Florida State U) and myself, have been having a lot of fun creating our first ever ICA conference game. We don’t want to give too much away... but if you choose to play, be prepared to adjust your usual conference flow. The gameplay will take place through the ICA conference app and the objective is to encourage members to step out of their divisional comfort zones. You will get points for attending cross-divisional events, such as the Making and Doing session or the “Intervention” theme sessions.
There is much more but we can’t reveal it — just yet. Stay tuned!