Posted By Laura Sawyer, ICA Executive Director ,
Monday, November 21, 2016
As every member knows, the ICA Annual Conference is almost always held over a 5-day span the last weekend of May. These meeting dates generally operate on a Thursday through Monday pattern, with Thursday serving as preconference day with the opening plenary and opening reception that evening. While at one time, ICA only ventured outside North America every third year, ICA now follows a general pattern of meeting outside North America every other year, with those years alternating between Europe and Asia/Oceania.
Below is our history of the past two decades or so of ICA conferences:
Chicago, IL, USA
Washington, D.C., USA
San Juan, PR
Seattle, WA, USA
San Francisco, CA, USA
San Francisco, CA, USA
Phoenix, AZ, USA
New York, NY, USA
Boston, MA, USA
New Orleans, LA, USA
Chicago, IL, USA
San Diego, CA, USA
Albuquerque, NM USA
There are a few overriding concerns that govern our selection of conference venue:
IS THERE ENOUGH SPACE? While ICA is not the largest conference in the association field, averaging about 2,700 attendees, we do have an unusually high number of breakouts making our room requirements sometimes difficult to accommodate, especially in Europe with its intimate hotels. As ICA grows, we are having to consider convention centers as part of our conference model.
IS IT AFFORDABLE TO STAY THERE? Room rates are the number one thing I negotiate for on behalf of our attendees. It is always our goal to keep room rates as low as possible, even at the detriment of the organizational budget itself (in a battle between venues that are affordable for ICA and venues that are affordable for our attendees, we will always choose the option that is most affordable for our attendees, even if it means we pay more for meeting space. To that end, I always also try to get perks for our attendees such as free wi-fi, breakfast included where possible, and other "little things" that help you feel at home. ICA has connections in the top international levels of management for all the major hotel chains, and we use those relationships to help get what our attendees need every year.
IS IT EASY & AFFORDABLE TO GET THERE? We try to pick sites that have good "lift" (convention planner lingo for the number of direct flights in/out), because this not only makes your travel easier and more pleasant, it also keeps your costs low.
CAN WE AFFORD THE FOOD & BEVERAGE & AUDIOVISUAL RATES? These costs escalate quickly not only for ICA as a whole but for our divisions planning receptions, so we always try to negotiate these rates down as much as possible.
IS IT GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT? The International Communication Association supports its mission and values by practicing sustainable, responsible meeting management strategies. The green meeting strategies are a focus of the site selection and include, but are not limited to, air quality, energy efficiency, water conservation, waste management, and environmental purchasing. Preferences are given to sites with the highest number of policies and practices in place.
WILL EVERYONE BE SAFE AND RESPECTED THERE? Our conference RFP states clearly: "It is the policy of the International Communication Association to contract for its meetings in locations where its members would not be subject to discrimination on the basis of age, gender, marital status, national origin, physical ability, race, religion or sexual orientation under country, state or city laws." While we have always made this clear prior to signing, we haven't been able to put clauses in our contracts that allow us to cancel a city if something changes regarding human rights after we've signed the contract. We will change this going forward.
ARE THERE OPPORTUNITIES FOR CULTURAL DIALOGUE & EXCHANGE? I want to make sure we go places you actually want to visit, where you can arrive early or stay late and experience all the local flavor, local customs, and cultural events that make a trip memorable. It's not JUST about the sessions! We know you care about connecting with your ICA community and exploring the culture of a place as well. I solicit input from the Board of Directors on this aspect of decision-making before sending our RFP to various locales. We try to keep it fresh, and as a general rule don't repeat a location more frequently than every ten years. This way, we continue to put the "I" in ICA!
IS THERE A LOCAL CHAMPION? We don't always have a local host, but when we do it makes things so much easier on both us as an organization (finding local officials for the urban session, arranging tours, helping with preconference venues, helping with Visa letters, even translating when needed) and on our members and attendees. Dan Hallin in San Diego, Akira Miyahara in Fukuoka, and Federico Subervi in Puerto Rico have all been amazing local hosts for ICA conferences. When we don't have that seasoned ICA member to be our "person on the ground," we feel the loss.
IS IT SOMEWHERE OUR MEMBERS WANT TO GO?
This is that "x-factor" that is harder to quantify, but has something to do with whether our members' eyes light up when we mention the location. We choose top-tier cities where we can, and places that are on many people's "bucket list." Surfer's Paradise in Australia, for instance, andreally all of Japan qualifies. We also make sure to stay, when we can, in the city center, in a vibrant, walkable neighborhood. It's not always possible to do so, of course, but we strive to make that happen whenever possible.
The Executive Director makes site visits, reports findings, and makes the final recommendation to the ICA Executive Committee, who decide with significant input from the Board of Directors. Every year, we hone our RFP with the information we gained the previous year.
LEARNING FROM OUR PAST:
As we move forward there are a few things I am keeping in mind based on recent past conferences:
Being in an isolated area doesn't work. All future contracts, with the exception of 2018 in Prague which was signed in 2013, are taking this into account. I know you don't like having to take a cab to get a bite to eat. I know you need accommodation close to the main hotel if you're not in it. And we always want to make sure that as many of you as possible are actually in that main building.
The headquarters hotel needs to have as many rooms as possible, and overflow hotels need to be very close (walking distance). Japan was an anomaly in that nonheadquarters hotels refused to give ICA any blocked rooms, so once the main hotel was full our members were scattered throughout the city. This issue was specific to Japan and should not happen again. We know that being in one place is part of what builds community, and that you don't want to spend half your conference in traffic.
You don't prefer to have lunch built in. Trust me: We don't like it either! Again, my goal in all future conferences is to get us in the city center where food and entertainment and cultural options abound. This will not always be possible. In Europe, especially, we will not fit in one hotel, and often the conference center will not be right next to dining options. But where we can, we will give preference to venues that are close to food and culture, right in the heart of the city.
All that said, we sign contracts for our conference about 4 to 6 years out, so there are some conferences already set. The 2018 and 2019 conferences have been booked since long before I arrived, in early 2013.
Since arriving at ICA in January 2016, I have signed contracts for Denver (Colorado, US) in 2021 and Toronto (Canada) in 2023. I am also delighted to announce our latest contract signing: Australia's Gold Coast in May 2020! We will be in the gorgeous Broadbeach area at a beautiful time of year. To whet your appetite, check out the photos at www.visitgoldcoast.com. A good part of that beach area is called "Surfer's Paradise," and for good reason. This bid had the support of numerous universities nearby, so the content should be even better than the views.
For 2022, we are committed to going to Europe, but the exact location is still being negotiated; I can promise you, though, that all the finalists are top notch!
Here's a glimpse of what's in store for the next seven years:
San Diego, CA, USA
Prague, Czech Republic
Washington, D.C., USA
Gold Coast, Australia
Denver, CO, USA
As you can see, we've got some great locations lined up!
But it's important to remember, organizing these conferences isn't just a matter of logistics. My job is not only to create the perfect atmosphere for the conference to take place and keep it all organized, but to provide divisions with the right tools to come up with the best content. Putting together the program and working with divisions to make each conference the best one yet are at the heart of my work as Executive Director and the goal of every staff member here at ICA headquarters in DC. It's not just about the bling! High quality content and the sense of community shared among attendees at ICA are what really set this conference apart.
I look forward to seeing all of you in San Diego, California in May 2017 for what promises to be our most popular ICA yet. For updates, don't forget to follow @icahdq on Twitter and check out our #ICA17 hashtag occasionally to see what your colleagues are buzzing about.
Posted By Paula Gardner, ICA President-Elect, McMaster U,
Monday, November 21, 2016
Greetings from Nairobi, where I am writing this newsletter column from the first ever ICA regional conference in Africa! Like any revolutionary moment, it is made possible by the efforts of a few highly committed people--Professor Sister Anges Lando of Daystar University, her hard-working local organizing team, and efforts begun by Peter Vorderer (U of Mannheim) and finished by Amy Jordan (U of Pennsylvania). In a prescient moment, these individuals realized it was time to rectify the paltry participation of African scholars in ICA's conferences, journals, and networks.
The view from ICA Nairobi is enlightening to Western eyes. Our African colleagues have gracefully schooled us in their struggles to access international audiences for their work and to participate in ICA. The scholarship we witness here is sorely needed by communication scholars. Today alone, we have heard papers critiquing global media reporting on terrorism in Kenya, analysing campaigns promoting alcohol and tobacco to Kenyan children and promotions to enhance breast cancer diagnosis, and numerous reports on innovative uses of mobile technologies to support agriculture, ICT innovation, educational initiatives and more. I find myself engrossed in these presentations that, with precision and vigor, bring deeply needed insights to key social and political problems across Africa. I am invigorated by the energy brought by each delegate and humbled by their perseverance to attain their intellectual and sociopolitical goals. They are teaching us with generosity and showering us with welcomes.
Our African colleagues have requested mentorship from us, in turn. Many editors of ICA journals are here and held a standing room only event on our publishing processes. They reported unusually low publishing rates for African scholars in our journals; African scholars are often rejected due to the use of English and the need for further training in the ICA culture of publishing--for example, the need to cite existing literature, to use citation styles precisely, etc. As part of our contribution, many ICA members have served as mentors in "research escalation" sessions here in Nairobi, where we have provided close editorial readings to junior African scholars seeking to publish their work. These sessions have been deeply gratifying, enabling us to access their unique insights, and giving us a glimpse of the profound work that will come from Africa's future scholarly leaders.
As we continue to develop ICA as a truly international organization, I hope we can be propelled by our learning here, particularly the benefits of dual mentorship practices. Look forward to forthcoming invitations to participate, yourself, as a mentor for interested scholars from Africa and other regions lesser represented in ICA, to assist in the development and dissemination of this scholarship and to obtain broad learning for yourself. Through this work, we can make individual, long-term, sustainable commitments to meet the generosity we have been shown by our African colleagues. Asante, African colleagues, for a remarkable experience in Nairobi!
Posted By Administrator,
Monday, November 21, 2016
Communication Theory Special Issue
"Latin American communication theory today: charting contemporary developments and their global relevance"
Guest Editors: Florencia Enghel (Stockholm U, Sweden) & Martin Becerra (U Nacional de Quilmes, Argentina)
This Special Issue aligns itself with Communication Theory's intention to encourage "authors and editors to highlight the historical, cultural, and political contexts in which theoretical approaches are articulated" (Wilkins, 2016)1. Its goal is to address the paucity of Latin American theorization in the journal2 with a focus on state-of-the-art theoretical contributions beyond the much referred-to "Latin American tradition"3. To this purpose, we invite contributions that provide an update of the outstanding theoretical developments produced by Latin American communication scholars in the past ten years (2005-2015) and examine their relevance to the global field of communication studies.
Contributions from the Global South have been rather absent from communication journals published in English in recent years. Graham, Ojanpera and De Sabbata's (2015) analysis of "the geography of knowledge" reveals that most submissions to SAGE journals in 2014 came from the Global North, and that most countries in the Global South had very low acceptance rates for the small amount of articles submitted4. By presenting the region's recent theoretical production and unpacking its critical relevance to transnational debates, we expect that the Special Issue will contribute to de-westernizing communication studies (Waisbord & Mellado, 2014), and in the process expand Communication Theory's coverage to Latin American countries that have been absent from the journal in terms of their theoretical production and/or the affiliation of contributing authors.
The Special Issue welcomes substantial updates of the Latin American contributions to the theorization of communication and media in recent years combining rich descriptions of conceptual advances well-grounded in the wider sociopolitical contexts in which they have developed, with critical analyses of their significance to global debates.
The Special Issue invites papers that address the following questions:
1. How has communication theory developed in specific Latin American countries in the past ten years (2005-2015)?
2. Which lines of research have been in the foreground, and in which ways is their prominence linked to wider country and/or regional sociopolitical trends and events?
3. To what extent have scholarly agendas been promoted by national research systems, distinct academic units, the private sector, civil society and/or social movements?
4. To what extent have changes in media technologies impacted the development of new concepts and theories?
5. What continuities and discontinuities can be observed in comparison with the region's theoretical production in the late twentieth century?
6. How do theorizations originated in the region in recent years engage with theoretical developments in other parts of the world?
We particularly encourage papers from communication and media scholars based in Latin America, as well as from Latin American scholars affiliated with institutions abroad.
The deadline for submission of full paper proposals is 1 March 2017.
Posted By Jennifer Le, ICA Manager of Conference Services,
Monday, November 21, 2016
Usually around this time, we would have announced the award nominations website availability. But with our website transitioning to a new CMS provider (unrelated to our recent website issues, this is a planned upgrade happening in December, please see JP Gutierrez's article from last month's newsletter), we have decided to delay the awards nominations. We hope to start award nominations in December with an extension of the usual deadline from 31 January to 28 February. A separate announcement will be sent out regarding the new award nomination site.
For now, please feel free to review the guidelines that follow to make an award nomination. Winners will be announced during the awards ceremony and business meeting of the 2017 ICA Annual Conference in San Diego, USA.
Posted By Peng Hwa Ang, ICA President, Nanyang Technological U ,
Monday, November 21, 2016
Lately, I have been thinking about what it means to be a good citizen in the academic world. And I have yet to finish thinking.
Perhaps it is because of my seniority or age; perhaps it is because of my role as president of the ICA. Whatever the reason, I find that when I discuss with junior colleagues on how to get ahead in their career, one area that is often overlooked is that of being a good academic citizen.
Bruce Macfarlane of Hong Kong University says it more elegantly in The Academic Citizen: The Virtue of Service in University Life (2007) when he described academic citizenship as "the glue that keeps academe working." Macfarlane lists the following surprising and long list of service in the citizenship. The list is long when written out; surprisingly, I have many colleagues and friends who do all of them:
supporting junior colleagues
pastoral care and mentoring
organising conferences and seminars
evaluating for funding bodies; serving on editorial boards
participation in committee meetings and appointment panels
writing reference letters
serving on boards of academic associations, and
public engagement and outreach
What struck me about the above list is that we cannot succeed on our own. We do not publish in our own journals. We do not invite ourselves to our own conference. We cannot write our own reference letters for promotion and tenure.1
A larger issue is that an association such as the ICA relies on members stepping up as good citizens.
I will continue my incomplete thoughts in another column. For now, go forth and be a good citizen.
Posted By Jennifer Le, ICA Manager of Conference Services,
Monday, November 21, 2016
Patricia Moy (U of Washington) was elected President-Elect Select by the members of the International Communication Association in the 2016 ICA election. Upon election, Moy automatically became a nonvoting (until inducted as President-Elect) member of the association's Executive Committee. She will serve as Program Chair for the 2018 ICA conference in Prague, Czech Republic, at the conclusion of which she will become President of ICA.
Patricia is the Christy Cressey Professor of Communication and Associate Vice Provost for Academic and Student Affairs at the U of Washington. No stranger to ICA, she became a student member while a graduate student at U of Wisconsin. Since then, she has chaired the Political Communication division and numerous award committees. She is also presently finishing up a 2-year term as president of the World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR).
In other association-wide elections, Sister Agnes Lucy Lando (Daystar U), who also served as the organizer of ICA's recent regional conference in Nairobi, was elected as Board Member-At-Large and Julie Escurignan (U of Roehampton) was elected as Student Board Member. Both will serve a 2-year term and will start their positions at the conclusion of the ICA San Diego conference in 2017.
Two association-wide ICA bylaws changes were approved. Twenty-nine new officers were elected across 21 Divisions and Interest Groups. Four division/IG-level bylaws changes were approved and one division dues amount was increased. Results of the division/interest group elections are listed below:
Nancy Jennings (U of Cincinnati): Vice Chair for the Children, Adolescents, and the Media Division
Lars Lundgren (Sodertorn U): Secretary for the Communication History Division
Sudeshna Roy (Stephen F Austin State U): Vice Chair for the Ethnicity and Race in Communication Division
Ingrid Bachmann (Catholic U of Chile): Vice Chair of the Feminist Scholarship Division
Melinda Sebastian (Drexel U): Secretary-Historian of the Feminist Scholarship Division
Johannes Breuer (U of Cologne): Vice Chair of the Game Studies Division
Radhika Gajjala (Bowling Green State U): Vice Chair of the Global Communication and Social Change Division
Narine Yegiyan (U of California, Davis): Vice Chair of the Information Systems Division
Marjorie M. Buckner (Texas Tech U): Secretary of the Instructional and Developmental Communication Division
Soumia Bardhan (Kansas State U): Vice Chair of the Intercultural Communication Division
Juana Du (Royal Roads U): Secretary of the Intercultural Communication Division
Amanda Holmstrom (Michigan State U): Vice Chair of the Interpersonal Communication Division
Nina Springer (LMU Munich): Secretary of the Journalism Studies Division
Natacha Yazbeck (U of Pennsylvania): Student and Early Career Representative of the Journalism Studies Division
David Boromisza-Habashi (U of Colorado-Boulder): Vice Chair of the Language and Social Interaction Division
Jonathan Cohen (U of Haifa): Vice Chair of the Mass Communication Division
Alanna Peebles (U of Wisconsin-Madison): Student and Early Career Representative of the Mass Communication Division
Rebecca Gill (Massey U): Secretary of the Organizational Communication Division
Jayson Harsin (American U of Paris): Vice Chair of the Philosophy, Theory, and Critique Division
Ido Ramati (Hebrew U of Jerusalem): Student and Early Career Representative of the Philosophy, Theory, and Critique Division
Weiyu (Ivy) Zhang (National U of Singapore): Secretary of the Popular Communication Division
Flora Hung-Baesecke (Massey U): Vice Chair of the Public Relations Division
Phuong Hoan Le (Erasmus U Rotterdam): Student and Early Career Representative of the Public Relations Division
Jelle Mast (Vrije U Brussel): Vice Chair of the Visual Communication Studies Division
Jessica Gasiorek (U of Hawai'i): Vice Chair of the Intergroup Communication Interest Group
Yulia Strekalova (U of Florida): Secretary of the Intergroup Communication Interest Group
Marko Dragojevic (U of Kentucky): Student and Early Career Representative of the Intergroup Communication Interest Group
Lukasz Szulc (U of Antwerp): Early Career Representative for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Studies Interest Group
Rich Ling (Nanyang Technological U): Vice Chair of Mobile Communication Interest Group
The Communication and Technology Division, Game Studies Division, Mobile Communication Interest Group, and Public Relations Division approved new bylaws language and adoptions.
The Game Studies Division approved a dues increase.
Posted By Laura Sawyer, ICA Executive Director,
Monday, November 21, 2016
Late last week, ICA's website and back-end member management system experienced intermittent outages connected to a global cyberattack by hackers on numerous platforms. Twitter, eBay, and numerous other global sites were attacked as well, and many of those experienced full-day outages from which they are still recovering. Those first few attempts last week were fought off by the security systems in place at our website & member management system provider, CCS, and they were able to get all of their association clients' sites (30 associations in addition to ICA) back up and running after a couple of hours.
Phase Two of the Attack
Our provider was attacked again on Wednesday, 26 October, at approximately 5:15pm EST and all client sites were again shut down as a security measure (this protected the information housed within those systems, much like a bank's security system triggering a giant metal door to drop when the alarm is tripped). Attempts continued throughout the night that night-not only against our provider but many other providers around the globe-and into the next day. As a result, the ICA website and back-end were down for over24 hours to protect the integrity of the data as attempted hacks continued to assault the servers. Our provider was able to implement several countermeasures and our site came back on Friday night, 28 October.
Did the Hackers Access Any of Our Information?
No. The site was shut down precisely so that that would not happen. The hackers never gained access to our site (it was not the hackers that took our site down, it was our provider who took our site down in order to insulate it from the hackers). Regardless, we do not store credit card information on our site-credit cards transactions are processed through a third-party system, so that information was never at risk.
When Will This Be Over?
The site appears to be back up for good now. Our provider is working with authorities and their consultants to mitigate any issues and keep things working. Please know that our provider has been with us for over a decade so they know how crucial this timing is for us as an association.
What Is Currently Affected?
All portions of the site are back up and running now. While we did initially have a delay in regaining access to the "forgot my password" function and the ability for chairs to e-mail their division members, those problems have since been resolved. We have now updated the website to reflect the extended deadline and as you can see if you are reading this, we now have the ability to send our newsletter!
What Was Not Affected
E-mail: We were able to expedite moving ICA's staff e-mail accounts over to another provider (already planned for this month, but expedited in case we had another attack) on Friday morning, so you may again reach ICA staff via e-mail as this method of communication is no longer affected.
Social Media: For future reference, please be sure to follow the official ICA Facebook page and our Twitter handle, @icahdq, for updates. These forms of communication remain uninterrupted and they are a good source of information from ICA if our normal channels of communication are down-during this crisis we posted regular updates on both channels for our followers.
All Academic: If you've already put information into the submission site run by All Academic, all of that information was unaffected. All Academic is a different provider from the rest of our site.
How This Affects the 2017 Annual Conference CFP & Submissions Process
We share your frustration that access to the submission system was down because the "handshake" for user authentication was broken. As a result of the downtime during which people were unable to submit their papers, the paper submission deadline for the 2017 ICA Annual Conference in San Diego was extended to Saturday, 5 November, at 11:55 PM UTC (please see www.timeanddate.com to double-check what time this "Coordinated Universal Time" translates to for your time zone).
Why Couldn't We Just Circumvent the ICA Website and Go Straight to All Academic?
We would love to have done this, but unfortunately the way All Academic works is through a complex "handshake" system with our member record management system. Even nonmembers must create a profile, which is simultaneously created within AA and CCS. We cannot break that handshake; AA relies on that information and all of that information shows up in our program.
What's the Plan Moving Forward?
We are monitoring the situation closely and will keep an eye on the site over the next week. Again, while our ability to e-mail our entire membership may be interrupted if the site goes down again, our Twitter (@icahdq) and Facebook accounts will have the latest news.
One Final Thought
While there is no one to blame (hackers being the anonymous, shadowy figures that they are), I certainly have no trouble knowing who to thank. I was so impressed this past week with the teamwork and ingenuity exhibited by the ICA staff, particularly Jennifer Le (Manager of Conference Services) and Kristine Rosa (Member Services Coordinator), who worked tirelessly all week to keep on top of our provider for updates and fixes and to problem-solve themselves while simultaneously answering our all of your calls and e-mails-they manually did several hundred "forgot my password" requests when that function was down-and they kept a great attitude and an heroic amount of patience the entire time. ICA is incredibly lucky to have these two on our team. Thank you, Jen and Kris!
Lastly, thanks very much to you, our members and participants, for your patience as we worked through this issue and resolved it appropriately. ICA is a great community, and we've been heartened to see the support and patience our members and attendees have exhibited during this challenge. We will do our best to keep you informed and keep your stress levels reasonably low as we move forward, and we look forward to seeing everyone by the ocean in beautiful San Diego!