111th Annual ECA Convention

Harboring Innovation

Baltimore, Maryland

Wednesday, April 1 – Sunday, April 5, 2020

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Call for Papers

Submission deadline: October 15, 2019 11:59 PST

“Innovate”:  To make changes in something established, especially by introducing new ideas, methods, or activities.  To create transformation, revolution, metamorphosis. 

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, an area with one of our nation’s richest and most innovative histories, offers a unique setting for our discipline’s oldest existing association to gather and consider the ways in which we innovate (and need to do so).  In 1608, Captain John Smith sailed north from the newly formed Virginia Colony and described the wild hunting lands that were the future site of Baltimore as “not inhabited but navigable,” foreshadowing the kinds of visionary leadership, creativity, and innovation that has characterized Baltimore throughout its long and sometimes challenging history.  Baltimore seems to be a place that grows both in calculated ways and out of adversity:

-Baltimore is the place where Francis Scott Key’s The Star Spangled Banner was born. 

-Baltimore overcame division and ruin in a difficult, gradual recovery from the American Civil War. 

-Baltimore has innovated in front of, and in response to, shifts and disruptions in the economy, education, technology, and healthcare. 

-Baltimore was a model to the nation for its major renovation of neglected downtown and waterfront areas after World War II. 

-Baltimore has orchestrated an ongoing and evolving renaissance after the collapse of the American steel industry, led by visionaries such as Under Armour founder Kevin Plank.

-Baltimore is a hub of art (home to the American Visionary Art Museum among many others), culture, sports, maritime pursuits, food, and entertainment (Travel + Leisure even named Baltimore “the coolest city on the East Coast” and Zagat listed it as “one of the most exciting food cities” in the U.S.).

In these and other ways, Baltimore has time after time exemplified innovation.  Now a highly diversified economy, Baltimore has innovated across manufacturing, healthcare, apparel, education, finance, insurance, technology, and government sectors.  The city has many renowned destinations dedicated to art and culture, religion, sports, and nature.  Like the communication field, Baltimore is a diverse community that has kept itself current, forward-thinking, and exciting

Our Baltimore Inner Harbor convention and the “Harboring Innovation” theme provide us with the opportunity to consider the lessons the city has to offer communication scholars. 

I invite ECA interest groups and members to develop programming for the 2020 convention that focuses on how we have innovated and how we need to innovate to remain relevant, cutting-edge, and unique—especially in relation to other social science disciplines.  In what ways does our scholarship and teaching keep the field at the forefront of studying the powerful impact of public, private, and mediated messages on our relationships, organizations, communities, and the environment?  What disruptions are communication scholars, practitioners, and teachers responding to with innovative theories, questions, methods, data analysis techniques, and practices?  What opportunities exist for us to innovate with our research, service, pedagogy, and practice? What are you doing that is unique? How are you leading the way?  How are you responding to your environment to ensure that your work and our field are addressing the practical communication concerns of society that exist today and that might arise tomorrow? 

Our “Harboring Innovation” 2020 conference will provide a venue to showcase how we are innovating, and to deliberate the ways in which we must innovate to ensure that the communication discipline continues to make an important impact at all levels of society.

Jennifer Waldeck
First Vice President
Chapman University

Please include the updated Statement of Professional Responsibility on all submissions:

In submitting the attached paper or proposal, I/We recognize that this submission is considered a professional responsibility. If this submission is accepted and programmed, I/We agree to register for the 2020 ECA Convention, pay fees, and present in Baltimore. I/We understand that presenters with last minute emergencies must make arrangements as possible for an alternate presenter as well as communicate their absences to both the Interest Group Planner and ECA VP; no shows will be removed from the official program.

To have time to confirm programming into the 2020 convention, notification of acceptance will not be given until the review process and initial session programming is drafted. (We do not wish to rank acceptances by sending out select notifications and having others wait.) Please expect to hear back about proposal acceptances no sooner than the traditional time of: January 2020

NOTE: A single paper or panel should only be submitted to a single interest group or affiliate organization for consideration.

Convention Acceptance Notifications: January 15, 2020


Thank you to the individuals listed here for their service to ECA and to our discipline.

First Vice President & Primary Convention Planner
                             Jennifer Waldeck
                           Chapman University  

Second Vice President
Sara LaBelle
Chapman University

Second Co-Vice Presidents
(Local Arrangements)

Leanne Bell McManus
Stephanie Verni
Stevenson University

Short Course Director

Ann Bainbridge Frymier
Ohio University

Director of Sponsorship

Tracey Quigley Holden
University of Delaware

Graduate Poster Session
Zac Johnson
California State University, Fullerton

Technology Coordinator

Douglas C. Strahler
Slippery Rock University

James C. McCroskey & Virginia P. Richmond Undergraduate Scholars Conference

Stephanie Tikkanen
Ohio University
LeeAnn Sangalang
University of Dayton

CONNECT Conference Director
Andy Kai-chun Chuang
LaGuardia Community College



2020 Interest Group Planners

American Society for the History of Rhetoric (ASHR) (Affiliate Organization)
David Hoffman
Baruch College - CUNY

Intercultural Communication
Rukhsana Ahmed
University at Albany, SUNY

Applied Communication
Mary Donato
Buena Vista University

Interpersonal Communication
Aimee Miller-Ott
Illinois State University

Argumentation & Forensics
Taylor Hahn
Johns Hopkins University

Interpretation and Performance
Elizabeth Whittington
Texas Southern University

Communication Administration
Mary Kahl
Penn State University, Behrend

Kenneth Burke
Cem Zeytinoglu
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania

Communication Law & Ethics
Jason Zenor
Geneva College

Media Communication
Noura Hajjaj
SUNY, New Paltz

Communication and Technology
Catie Clark-Gordon
West Virginia University

Media Ecology (Affiliate Organization)
Jeff Bogaczyk
Duquesne University

Communication Traits
James Durbin
Cleveland State University

Nonverbal Communication
Zachary Carr
SUNY, Buffalo

Community College
Andy Kai-chun Chuang
LaGuardia Community College

Organizational Communication
Michael Sollitto
Texas A&M University

Jessica Papajcik
Stark State College

Philosophy of Communication
Sarah DeIuliis
Duquesne University

Health Communication
Kelly Madden Daily
La Salle University

Political Communication
Sean Luechtefeld
Johns Hopkins University

Institute of General Semantics (Affiliate Organization)
Thom Gencarelli
Manhattan College

Rhetoric and Public Address
Valerie Schrader
Penn State Schuylkill

Instructional Communication
Sara LaBelle
Chapman University

Theory and Methodology
Matt Macino
Indiana University South Bend
  Voices of Diversity
Dan Strasser
Rowan University