Ethnography of Comm conference 2012

The “Ethnography of Communication: Ways Forward” conference was held June 10-14, 2012, at Creighton University, in Omaha, Nebraska. Dr. Jay Leighter was the conference organizer, together with Dr. Donal Carbaugh; the National Communication Association sponsored the event as one of its summer conferences (along with funding from several parts of Creighton University).

I presented a paper co-authored with Dr. Patricia Lambert, of the Institut Français de l’Éducation in Lyon, entitled “A Prophet Abroad? The Impact of Hymes’ Notion of Communicative Competence in France and French-speaking Switzerland.” In addition, I was invited to participate in two roundtable discussions, one on “Ethnography of Communication Theory and Methodology: Taking Stock and Ways Forward” and the other “Ways Forward: Institutes, Centers, and Affiliations.” In the latter, I was invited to present a description of this Center, which resulted in many new “likes” to the Center’s facebook page.

Many of those participating in the conference are included in the following photo (though certainly several critical people are missing, including Dr. Gerry Philipsen and Dr. Donal Carbaugh).

One of the pleasures of the conference for me was the presence of so many of those involved in the NCA Summer Conference on Intercultural Dialogue, held in Istanbul in 2009, which led to the creation of this Center. This included several from the organizing committee (Drs. Tamar Katriel, Donal Carbaugh, Kristine Fitch Muñoz, and Saskia Witteborn), one of the guest speakers (Lisa Rudnick) and several of the participants (Drs. Todd Sandel, Chuck Braithwaite, Evelyn Ho, Eric Morgan, and Tabitha Hart). Another was catching up with Dr. Susan Poulsen, who organized “Ways of Speaking, Ways of Knowing: Ethnography of Communication” in Portland in 1992, the predecessor conference to this one in terms of topic. Other joys of the week included having time to connect with people I had not seen in a long time, previously only had met through correspondence, or students of my colleagues who I did not know at all.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue