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PCA Department Faculty Members Storm NCA Conference In Washington, D.C.

From November 21 through November 24, 2013, PCA faculty will travel to Washington D.C. for the annual National Communication Association (NCA) Convention. Faculty will present work, respond to other scholars, participate in leadership positions in the discipline by serving on boards of association divisions, and represent the department and St. Lawrence University while searching for applicants for the departments’ two new faculty positions. Faculty attending include: Traci Fordam, Kirk Fuoss, Randy Hill, Jessica Prody, and Matt Saltzberg. NCA’s annual convention brings together scholars and practitioners from across the field of communication to exchange ideas, scholarship, and camaraderie. This year’s convention theme “Connections” focuses on bringing together work across the discipline, bridging theory and practice, and uniting various communities. The theme is reflected in the participation of PCA faculty members.

Beginning with pre-conference participation, Matt Saltzberg will work with performance artist, Tim Miller, during a session entitled “Word of Mouth: Making Connections in and with Devised Performance.” Participants will create an ensemble piece, performed as part of the main conference program, that focuses on the connections that emerge in practices of performance studies and the discipline of communication.

Faculty will continue to participate as part of the main conference program by sharing their own research and responding to the work of others. Prody and Fordam organized and will participate on a panel entitled, “Ignoring Human Connections: The Dehumanization of the Academic Job Market,” which will explore the academic job search process and its relation to the communication ethics we advocate in our research and teaching. The panel seeks to highlight the oppressive power dynamics and unethical communication involved in the job search process in order to begin a discussion of how to alter and help current applicants navigate the broken system. Prody will participate as a discussant, while Fordam serves as the panel respondent.

Prody will also present a discussion of pedagogy that asks how we might combine teaching communication practice with critical communication theory on the panel, “Building Connections Between Strategic and Critical Communication Pedagogies.” And Saltzberg will present a paper, “Digital Technologies: Disrupting and Transforming the Ontology of Presence,” as part of a panel, “Creating, Critiquing, Connecting: Pedagogical Performances of Technology.” The paper considers the ways in which the definition of what it means to perform has changed in the digital age. Finally, Prody will respond to a panel, “Environmental Anxieties and Cultural Interruptions,” which explores the ways in which past environmentalist discourse has prevented a reconsideration of the human/nonhuman nature relationship and how nature, media, and pedagogy have all been used to reinforce and challenge an anthropocentric (or human-centered) conception of this relationship.

Fuoss and Hill will round out the conference participation of PCA faculty by representing the department, along with Prody and Fordam, to conference attendees interested in applying to our new positions, a tenure-track Associate Professor in Theater and Visiting Assistant Professor in Rhetoric and Communication.