I participated in the National Communication Association convention in Philadelphia, November 10-13, 2016. I was a panelist for ‘Catching Ourselves in the Act’ Revisited: Taking Stock of the Past(s) and Future(s) of Communication Social Construction. The panel chair was Patricia Covarrubias; other panelists were Brenda Allen, Kevin Barge, Theresa Castor, Gloria Galanes, and Liliana Castañeda de Rossmann – pictured in the slideshow on my right. We discussed what has happened in the 10 years since the ‘Catching Ourselves in the Act’ conference on social construction theory, held in Albuquerque, NM. That event used an uncommon design, and was one of the influences on the format of the NCA Summer Conference on Intercultural Dialogue in Istanbul in 2009, the event which led to the creation of this Center for Intercultural Dialogue.
This conference was replete with such echoes of past events. I saw several of those who were at that Istanbul conference (including Erla S. Kristjánsdóttir – in the slideshow on my left, Jolanta Drzwiecka, and Eddah Mutua), or at the Macau Roundtable on Intercultural Dialogue in Asia (Todd Sandel, Sunny Lie, and Richard Buttny). Villanova University held a social event for past, present, and future Harron Chairs, and as their 2013 chair, I was invited, and got to see many of my colleagues from that campus (including Maurice Hall, Sherry Bowen, Heidi Rose, and Bryan Crable) as well as Marianela Nunez, who has managed to turn her MA thesis into a full-time job! I also caught up with several of CID’s advisory board members (Donal Carbaugh and Todd Sandel again), and saw many scholars who have researcher profiles on this site (John Baldwin, Yea-Wen Chen, Sara DeTurk, Gonen Dori-Hacohen, Tenzin Dorjee, Don Ellis, Beth Haslett, Ron Jackson, Trudy Milburn, Bob Shuter, Miriam Sobre-Denton, and Yael Warshel among them). One of the results of my conversations is that additional scholars have agreed to write new Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, or translate those already published in English, and these will start appearing over the next few months. Another result came out of discussion at the International and Intercultural Communication Division business meeting, and will result in a new series for CID – details to be announced shortly.
On the way from Vermont to Philadelphia, I stopped in New York to connect with Casey Man Kong Lum, and was given a guided tour of Chinatown, with a focus on food (he just co-edited Urban foodways and communication: Ethnographic studies in intangible cultural food heritages around the world, a book for which I wrote a chapter). In addition, he recently worked with the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) on a project called MOFAD City, contributing to a filmed tour of Manhattan’s Chinatown (clip shown above). While in New York, I finally saw Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava’s Oculus, the new transit hub at the World Trade Center, so a photo of that is provided in the slide show as well (a world tour planned around visits to Calatrava buildings would be a joy, given their beauty – I’ve already seen his work in Lyon, Lisbon, Dublin, Liège, Buenos Aires, Tenerife, and of course, my former home of Milwaukee). Given the emphasis on food as a form of communication in New York, it was easy to maintain that focus to find excellent multicultural restaurants in Philadelphia, and I enjoyed Afghani, Cuban, Indian, Japanese-French fusion, and Thai meals during my stay.
Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue