RCA's panels at the NCA Convention in San Antonio, Texas, USA (Nov 2006)
RCA REPRESENTATION AT THE US NATIONAL COMMUNICATION ASSOCIATION ANNUAL METING
NEW ORLEANS, LA IN 2002
Dr. Olga Matyash, RCA President:
This year the RCA had a broad representation at the annual National Communication Association convention, which was held on November 21-24 in New Orleans, CA. The RCA, together with its International Committee (Dr. Steven Beebe, Southwest Texas State University as chair), had a Business meeting and a panel "Communication in Action in Russia: Building Russian and U.S. Partnerships in Teaching and Research" focused on the results the Pyatigorsk conference in June. Also, as RCA President, I gave a presentation at the business meeting of the World Communication Association (WCA).
At the RCA business meeting we discussed further cooperation among Russian and American universities and scholars; we also took a closer look at two issues of the current RCA projects: (1) how to organize overseas shipping of communication books from American universities to Russian universities; and (2) how American communication scholars can help with developing the RCA site - by sharing professional information ( bibliographies and lists of communication sources, syllabi, links to useful Internet sites, etc.). One of the major challenges regarding book shipment is paying the shipping expenses. Sending books to Russia could cost up to 100-200 hundred US dollars (if sent by the lowest rate, it is roughly a dollar/lb.). That is why most university departments with "extra" books hesitate to take on the task. The participants of our discussion, representatives of different universities, decided that it is necessary to search for fund raising opportunities and sponsors, which may take some time. At this time we agreed to look into different opportunities locally and come back to this question at the end of January 2003. We would appreciate any suggestions on this matter. The coordinators are Victor Shakhovsky (VSPU, firstname.lastname@example.org) and Nancy Jackson (Clemson University, email@example.com).
As far as the problem of developing the RCA site is concerned, American colleagues expressed their immediate readiness to share the materials from current Internet sites (individual as well as department sites). Among those who offered their help, are such distinguished scholars as Dr. Donal Carbaugh (communication ethnography, intercultural communication), Dr. James McСroskey (nonverbal communication, communication competence), Dr. Em Griffin (the author of a very popular textbook on Communication Theory), Dr. Robert Craig (communication studies as a field, communication theory), etc. In addition, several publishing houses specializing in communication (Sage Publications, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates), and also the World Communication Association agreed to link to our web site. The WCA leadership sees this as one of the first steps in the cooperation between the two associations.
In general, I can say that the RCA presence at the NCA conference has increased considerably, which I believe to be a direct result of our establishing an official partnership with the NCA. The interest in who we are and what we do has also increased. More and more often American scholars ask me to be an intermediary and help establish contacts with Russian scholars specializing in particular research fields (for example, right now all the research related to Bakhtin is very popular in the US, and American scholars are looking for partners in this field). I believe that launching our website with a database of participants can help to accelerate the process of establishing contacts. This is why creating the website is a priority task for the RCA right now. The manager of this project is Irina Rozina (The Institute of Management, Business, and Justice, Rostov-on-Don, firstname.lastname@example.org). Lev Vasiliev (Kaluga State Pedagogical University, email@example.com) is responsible for developing the database.
Our first conference in Pyatigorsk last June played an important role in attracting American scholars for cooperation with Russia. At the NCA meeting that was devoted to the results of this conference ("Communication in Action in Russia: Building Russian and U.S. Partnerships in Teaching and Research") most of the participants were very enthusiastic about sharing their impressions (both professional and personal) of their visit to Russia and working with Russian colleagues. Judging by their responses, many of them liked their Russian experience so much, that now they are planning their participation in our second conference in Rostov-on-Don.
Planning participation in the next NCA conference
The next NCA conference will take place in November 2003 in Miami Beach, Florida. The general theme of the conference is "Reaching Out/Reaching In." A more detailed description of the conference can be found at the NCA site: http://www.natcom.org).
The RCA leadership is planning for two RCA sessions: one will be conceptual The Challenge of Introducing Modern Communication Practices and Theories: how to reach out to a changing Russia, and the other will be a business meeting devoted, among other things, to preparation of the next RCA conference in Rostov. Those who would like to participate can send their application request to the RCA President Olga Matyash (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com), the deadline is February 2003. We hope that in spite of financial difficulties, Russian scholars will be able to take part in this important event uniting communication specialists from all over the world.