Call for 2016 NCA Conference


The American Forensic Association (AFA) is now seeking submissions for the upcoming 2016 National Communication Association (NCA) convention. The convention will take place November 10-13, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The AFA is an association of educators committed to supporting forensic pedagogy. The AFA is interested in promoting and supporting research that enhances the theory and practice of argumentation, advocacy, and competitive debate and public speaking competition.

The AFA encourages submissions that reinforce the convention theme of  “Communication’s Civic Callings.” NCA Second Vice President Stephen John Hartnett, has expressed that the location in historical downtown Philadelphia was selected to spur a particular genre of conversations, specifically, 

“Ideally, the theme of “Communication’s Civic Callings” will spark conversations about our possible roles as teachers, scholars, and public servants situated within multiple communities. For example, with struggling education systems under increasing scrutiny, what are the civic callings of teachers and scholars to advocate for sound public education? With policing and violence issues grabbing headlines, threats of pandemics proliferating, environmental degradation accelerating, and questions of equality and equity fueling protests nationally and internationally, what are the civic callings of communication experts who research, teach, and engage these and other current crises? In an age of digital saturation marked by an alleged decline in civility, what are the civic callings of those teachers, scholars, and advocates who work on and in the media? As these questions indicate, the theme of “Communication’s Civic Callings” points to the intersections of teaching, research, and service, where our communication theories and practices rub up against the messy and joyous realities of daily life.”

The AFA encourages submissions that explore these new opportunities for forensics professionals and forensics education. The AFA specifically encourages submissions that explore how forensics practice can and should influence these civic callings. Submissions that examine how forensics education can play a greater role in civic life (home institutions, local communities, global communities, etc.) will be given priority in the review process.

The AFA will accept the following submission types: individual papers, panel discussions, and paper sessions. All submissions must be made via NCA Convention Central. For a definition of submission types, please refer to the step-by-step "How to Submit" instructions provided in the Convention Resource Library ( on the NCA Convention website.  Individual papers, paper sessions, and panel discussions submitted to the division may be theoretical, empirical and/or critical in nature. The AFA encourages a diversity of methodological approaches. 

Individual Papers: Individual papers should be less than 6,000 words and written to conceal authorship and institutional affiliation. Instructions on how to prepare an unidentifiable copy can be found in the Convention Resource Library. Papers should be accompanied by a description of no more than 150 words. Proposals must include author, description, keyword and AV requests (if any). 

 Panel Discussions: Panel discussion proposals must include a panel title, a 150-word rationale of the content and format of the panel, a brief description of the panel discussion, and panelist contact information. A Chair is required for a panel discussion. We encourage panel discussion proposals that include authors with diverse institutional affiliations, and to include the name of a Chair and a Respondent who are not one of the presenters. Proposals must specify if any AV capabilities are required.

Paper sessions: Paper sessions should include a session title, a rationale for the session, an overall description of the session, titles and abstracts of papers to be featured, and participant contact information. A Chair is required for a panel discussion. Sessions should include participants with different institutional affiliations. Proposals must specify if any AV capabilities are required.

All submitters are encouraged to review the Professional Standards for Convention Participants prior to submission, located in the convention resource library. Helpful resources, including step-by-step instructions on how to submit are also included in the Convention Resource Library. The AFA point of contact is Gordon Stables, University of Southern California,

 The deadline to submit is Wednesday, March 30 2016 at 11:59pm Pacific Time.