The stage is set for an exciting set of plenaries and major events at the 69th annual ICA Conference at the Washington Hilton, DC. A number of delegates will be in Washington for preconferences and/or the ICA Executive Board meeting from Thursday 23 May.
The conference proper will commence on Friday 24 May at 6pm with four keynote presentations that will challenge the theme of ‘Communication Beyond Boundaries’, by pointing to the challenges and contradictions presented by transnationality, interdisciplinarity, global inequalities and the digital divide, and the digital turn towards automation, robotics and artificial intelligence. The speakers will be Rania El-Issawi (UNICEF), Yu Hong (Zhejiang U), Steven Livingston (George Washington U) and Gina Neff (Oxford Internet Institute).
We will be trialing a digital Q&A session in 2019, so you are encouraged to download the ICA conference app in advance of the Plenary. The Plenary will be held in a subdivided anteroom of the enormous International Ballroom of the Washington Hilton, and the Opening Reception that follows the Plenary will take place in the central part of the ballroom.
On Saturday 25 May, we are excited to host Naomi Klein, internationally renowned author and activist and the Gloria Steinem Chair in Media, Culture and Feminist Studies at Rutgers U. Naomi Klein will be in conversation with ICA Executive Committee member and ICA Past President Amy Jordan (Rutgers U) about Klein’s new book The Corporate Self, and will be available for book signings in conjunction with the event, which commences at 5pm. A number of receptions are taking place both onsite and offsite that evening, and we recommend checking your program for details. There will also be a special event celebrating Washington DC music, politics and culture at the Bossa Bistro and Lounge, organized by Nikki Usher (George Washington U) and Aram Sinnreich (American U) on behalf of the Urban Communication Issues Committee.
The ICA Annual Awards and Presidential Address will take place at 3:30pm on Sunday, 26 May in the International Ballroom. This is a flagship event of the Association, with the awarding of a number of prestigious honors and the endorsement of new ICA Fellows. It will culminate in a keynote presentation by ICA President Patricia Moy (U of Washington).
A number of receptions will be taking place both onsite and offsite - including at the Omni Hotel – on Monday 27 May. Again, we recommend that you check your conference program for details.
The Closing Plenary of the conference on Tuesday 28 May will focus on the future of news media. Hosted by Conference Theme Planner Hilde van den Bulck, it will involve the editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, Lydia Polgreen and Executive Director of First Draft Claire Wardle in conversation with ICA President-Elect-Select Claes de Vreese (U of Amsterdam) and ICA Past President, Barbie Zelizer (U of Pennsylvania). After a few remaining sessions, the conference will have its official “Closing Toast” with refreshments served outdoors to all remaining attendees, along with the ICA Board and staff, in the Heights Courtyard. Please join us!
For most of you, that will mark the end of the ICA Conference. But there are a great collection of postconferences taking place at various locations around DC on Wednesday, 29 May should you still be around. If you are interested in attending any of those, be sure to advise the event organisers directly from the information that is on the ICA conference website (these events have their own registration fees).
We are very excited to have you here with us for the 69th annual conference of the International Communications Association.