RCA's panels at the NCA Convention in San Antonio, Texas, USA (Nov 2006)
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE RUSSIAN COMMUNICATION ASSOCIATION;
NOVEMBER 22, 2002; NEW ORLEANS
Dr. Olga Matyash convened meeting at 2:05, at the Marriot Hotel.
Those with previous RCA membership in attendance were: Steven Beebe, Donald Carbaugh, Mike Hazen, Nancy Jackson, Alex Matveev (email@example.com), John Parrish-Sprowl, Deborah Uecker, David Williams, Lee Williams.
New RCA members in attendance were: Joe Dailey (firstname.lastname@example.org), Susan Gravell (email@example.com), John Heineman (firstname.lastname@example.org), Tim Kovalik (email@example.com), Dean Kruckeberg (firstname.lastname@example.org), Kate Ksobiech (email@example.com),
Suzanne McCokle (firstname.lastname@example.org), Andrea Mitnick (email@example.com), Galina Sinekopova (firstname.lastname@example.org), Katerina Tsetsura (email@example.com), Kim-White Mills (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Olga gave a short report of the major RCA activities. Preparations for a summer school 2003 in Russia are underway.
Discussion focused on one of the current challenges for the Russian Communication Association, the creation of enough resources in the intellectual market in Russia, especially books.
The organization intends to facilitate development of a Russian Communication Association website that will, among other things, allow resources to be posted. How can departments provide resources for such a website? Answers to that question are evolving, but members understood a need to collect bibliographies from the various subfields.
Russian scholars are receptive to all kinds of materials in English. They have a great appetite for what is happening in the field of Communication in America. The article by R. Craig "Communication Theory as a Field" (1999) is being translated into Russian and will be published.
The meeting had no native Russian members currently living and working in Russia, attending.
Those attending provided brief sketches of their interests. They included:
- Olga Matyash, RCA President (currently teaching at Indiana U Purdue U Indianapolis, IUPUI) is interested in creating the ways of facilitating the development of communication curricula in Russia. Her research interests include communication competence in the context of organizational/business interactions and customer relations in Russia. She is also interested in communication theory development and in the conceptualization of communication as a field.
- John Parrish-Sprowl (IUPUI) interests include discursive processes and faculty & student exchanges. John mentions Bakhtin and states there are more such intellectual resources to be explored by Americans. He is about to leave for his third trip to Russia.
- Steven Beebe of Southwest Texas State University has been working with universities in St. Petersburg, Moscow, & Pyatigorsk Linguistic University.
- Donal Carbaugh of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, is doing research in communication ethnography.
- Mike Hazen, Wake Forest U, is interested in testing general theories across cultures) e.g., message-based approach to Hall's high context-low context theory)
- David Williams of the University of Missouri Rolla has been working on Russian political communication and mentions the journal Controversia which is available in both English and Russian.
- Nancy Jackson of Clemson University is interested in intercultural communication and visual rhetorical analysis.
- Deb Uecker of Wisconsin Lutheran College - intercultural communication
- Lee Williams of Southwest Texas State - organizational communication
- Andrea Mitnick of Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA, spent about three weeks in 2002 in Russia at an institute dedicated to educating diplomats.
- Suzanne McCorkle of Boise State University
- Kim White-Mills of Indiana-Purdue University - organizational communication, women as leaders
- Alex Matveev of the College of Staten Island, a Russian native interested in intercultural & organizational communication.
- Kate Ksobiech of the Medical College of Wisconsin is committed to doing work in Russia. She has interest in the Popular Opinion Leader Model, especially as it relates to safe sex.
- Dean Kruckeberg of University of Northern Iowa, is the author of a Public Relations book that has a Russian Edition. Dean was with a Soros grant group teaching PR.
- Katerina Tsetsura, a native Russian, Ph.D. candidate at Purdue at the moment. Her interests include international communication, public relations and ethics. She encourages U.S. professors to participate in teaching in Russia. Katerina's master's thesis from the University of Kansas compared U.S. and Russian public relations texts.
Olga Matyash said that many Russians would like to know more about what we do at this National Communication Association Convention and what kind of issues we wish to address.
Olga calls for a summary of interests and issues. Discussion centered on a series of questions: How can we facilitate knowledge of discipline among our Russian colleagues? How do we ship literature? Is there a possibility for internships or short visits or exchanges so Russian professors can visit and watch the curricula?
How can each of us contribute to the Website?
Nancy Jackson (email@example.com) will coordinate a project that will ship books, especially communication textbooks, to Russia. The priority destination for those books will be Russian universities, but shipping will be quite costly. As people produce ideas & get related information, they should contact Nancy via e-mail.
Nancy reports that the process turns out to be complex.
Employing a survey using a lot of questions about interests, Nancy has sought to find out what kind of books our Russian colleagues need. That process was not trouble-free since not all of our colleagues had access to e-mail, and - of course - not all of them were able to work in English. The question as to who needs what books remains, to a degree, unanswered.
Nancy says we have to come up with some kind of model so that individuals in Russia could be matched with an American. Victor (last name not recorded) in Russia will identify who needs books.
Publisher's overstocks provide us with a possibility. Shipping is expensive. If under 100 dollars, there is no tax. A question was raised as to whether some intercultural fund that NCA maintains might help. That fund, however, might be limited to the transportation of people.
We seemed to have no connection with U.S. State Department, which might have people who could help us with transportation.
Next conference in Russia is 2004, and - according to John Parrish-Sprowl -- taking books one person at a time might help solve the book moving problem. John also said that there is some kind of institution that helps to collect and move books internationally for purposes like ours. Nancy might attempt to contact them.
We discussed Russian-American organizations in many cities, each of which might be willing to give a small amount of money.
We estimated that we might need several thousand dollars to move the books that have already been contributed.
According to John Parrish-Sprowl, looking at institutions, perhaps the Soros Foundation, and asking for a large grant might allow us to use that foundation money to move lots of books to lots of institutions in Russia.
Smaller articles can be sent as e-mail attachments and - presumably with permission - posted on website.
We can also pay special attention to linguistics, philology, computer mediated studies, psychology, and English as a foreign language.
Katerina Tsetura says that there may be translation issues. Most students would not be able to use the English-language texts. She note the case with faculties of foreign languages where fluency is high. Those without language fluency do face problems. At Katerina's university, contributed books went to the library.
We were introduced to the journal Controversia by David C. Williams: An International Journal of Debate and Democratic Renewal. Volume 1, Issue 1 came out in Spring, 2002. It is a publication of the International Debate Education Association; 400 West 59th Street; New York, New York 10019 (www.idebate.org).
Submitted by Joe Dailey