NCA Presidential Address and Awards Presentation

Sponsor: NCA National Office
Sat, 11/16: 5:00 PM  - 6:30 PM 
Room: Holiday Ballroom 6 (Second Floor) 
NCA President Star A. Muir, George Mason University, will present his Presidential Address followed by the presentation of the NCA Awards.

Thank you to Routledge, Taylor & Francis for their sponsorship of this session.


Trevor Parry-Giles, National Communication Association  - Contact Me


NCA National Office


The Coming Dark Age and the Future of Scholarly Associations

5:00 PM - 6:15 PM 
Politically, socially, environmentally, even academically, we live in times of strife, with institutional foundations shifting, traditions crumbling, and an informational scene that betrays many of our core values as citizens. The specter of a democratic society that is plagued by chaos, division, and unwillingness to reason through tough choices goes beyond any single political leader, and poses special challenges to scholarly associations as they nurture their disciplinary areas and educate students and faculty to help solve the problems of their time. This address explores three areas of concern-distraction, discourse, and the professoriate-and then offers suggestions about how scholarly associations might reconsider the "value proposition" of their membership. First, Greenfield's analysis of the impacts of technology suggests that the rising "mind change" is as important to the future of humanity as climate change. Indeed, Gazzaley and Rosen's scientific work on distraction yields relatively clear conclusions about the impact of our new media ecology on attention and executive functioning, and journalists Carr and Jackson offer investigative support about the erosion of attention and the implications for cultural memory and problem -solving. Second, new media have fostered patterns of political interaction that balkanize citizens into their own echo chambers, impoverishing discourse, and weaponizing external and radical influence on campaigns and U.S. democratic processes. Finally, there are significant changes on the horizon for how young scholars interact, collaborate, and envision their academic careers, and what they value in a scholarly association may not reflect the values of the previous generation. How well scholarly associations address these challenges may influence how well we as a society can manage our social and political chaos in the long run.  


Star A. Muir, George Mason University  - Contact Me