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National Communication Association

NFA Panels at the 2018 NCA Convention in Salt Lake City, UT

THURSDAY-

1. Sauntering Towards Salt Lake: Performatively Playing with the Panel Format

Sponsor: National Forensics Association
Thu, 11/88:00 AM  - 9:15 AM 
Hilton 
Room: Salon I (Lobby Level) 
Although we praise dynamic and engaging performances at forensics tournaments, conference panels see us sitting behind tables, reading papers, devoid of the qualities we claim to value. This performance panel attempts to play with the nature of forensics panels by examines different NFA events and playing with the conventions and norms of these events, in hopes of forcing us to question how we perform, judge, and coach them.

Chair

Nathaniel Wilson, Doane College 

Respondent

Allison Kennon, Hastings College  

Presentations

Playing to the extreme: Lessons in performative exaggeration to teach oral interpretation 

It is no secret among practitioners that oral interpretation continues to shift its focus toward advocacy and argumentation (Johnson, 2016; Swift, 2016). However, this presentation serves as a representation of the necessity for continued study of performance theater by interpers in forensics. Utilizing a hyperbolic performance style of coaching rooted in the study of human movement as an expressive form to engage performers in a deeper understanding of their bodies and voices (Huxley, 1996). This demonstration of coaching practices relies on a combination of Rudlin's Ubermarionette (1994) and the furthering of western naturalist performance, which asks interpers to lose their personality as in forms of Asian theater and puppetry to gain better understanding of their text. (15 minutes) 

Performer

Abbie M. Syrek, University of Nebraska, Omaha  

Co-Performer 

Cameron Logsdon, University of Nebraska, Omaha  

The institutional sameness of the different: The effects of normative play on prose 

Although college forensics tends to reflect the actual America we see on a day-to-day basis (more diverse than say, a network sitcom), its speakers are taught to adhere to masculine, hegemonic, western styles of narrative, myth, and construction, making every speaker, regardless of race or gender, look like nearly every other speaker. Further, every story that gets presented as based on the same style or writing; white and male. That is: First person, distinctive narrative arc, loud, linear, and concrete. This prose interpretation will analyze ballots from prose interpretation performances presented by various individuals of diverse backgrounds and attempt to contextualize these performative norms and the inherent problems found within them. (10 minutes) 

Performer

Robert Imbody, University of Alabama  

Three questions, three points, and thirty minutes: An extemporaneous speech about extemporaneous speaking 

Extemporaneous speaking should be unique and varied in rounds, but the conventions of the activity produces anything, but variety. Speakers are given three question and thirty minutes to prepare to create original performances, but produce what in many ways are uniform three points speeches. Limited preparation has given way to conventional preparation. In this presentation the power of topic is given to a question writer who is not a member of the panel and who has agreed to write three questions about extemporaneous speaking and give them to the speaker thirty minutes before the round. The question writer and performer have agreed to only one condition, to push the conventional boundaries of what constitutes an extemporaneous speech. (7 minutes) 

Performer

Aaron M. Duncan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln  

“Breaking all the rules”: A duo performance of the rules vs. norms of duo interpretation 

Rules and regulations serve as guiding practices within organizations; these practices shape, challenge, and reflect cultural expectations for decorum and behavior. However, rules often bleed into cultural norms with little reflection on the variances and consequences of breaking either. Rawls (1999) articulates the difference, suggesting that rules are documented and required by institutions while norms serve as socially acceptable behaviors which individuals willingly engage. Swift (2006) contends that "norms within the forensics community may become competitors' or judges' basis for what is determined to be ethical and unethical decorum within forensics." This performance highlights the differences between "norms" within duo performance as well as a performed elaboration of NFA rules and guidelines for duo interpretation. (10 minutes) 

Performer

Darren L. Epping, Kansas State University  

Co-Performer 

Allison R. Bonander, University of Nebraska-Lincoln  
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2. A Steadfast Vision: A Historical and Critical Analysis of the National Forensic Association Through the Last Five Decades
Sponsor: National Forensics Association
Thu, 11/82:00 PM  - 3:15 PM 
Hilton 
Room: Topaz (Second Level) 
The National Forensic Association is an academic association dedicated to providing leadership in intercollegiate speech and debate education for the past 47 years. The NFA sponsors the annual national championship in Individual Events and Lincoln Douglas Debate during April and promotes and scholarly work in forensic pedagogy through publishing the National Forensic Journal. The NFA holds an important place as one of the leading intercollegiate forensic organizations. The uniqueness of this organization has seemingly been steadfast for most of its existence. However the NFA organization today with its focus on scholarship, pedagogy and competition through the lens of inclusivity is vastly different in detail but not in vision than when it began 47 years ago. Thus, this paper panel will critically analyze the last five decades of the NFA to focus on the changes to the organization. Each paper will offer a historical perspective on a decade and outline how the time period may have influenced the organization. Additionally, each paper will offer information about the organization and it's championship tournament during the decade such as who attended, where the tournaments were hosted, who ran the tournaments, events offered at the tournament, and the stated goals and objectives of the organization. The panel members hope these papers will be the foundation for preserving a living record of the National Forensic Association.

Presentations

1970's: The Beginning of the National Forensic Association 

NFA began during the height of socially progressive values. Between the Women's Movement and the Vietnam War protests, college students became very vocal about social issues. The first part of the paper will look at the era of the 1970's as it unraveled in the United States, while the second section of the paper will look at how this era impacted the vision and structure of our organization. The third section of the paper will talk about the locations, events, demographics of the championship tournament. 

Author

Lisa L. Roth, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee  

1980’s: NFA, Reaganomics and MTV 

The 1980's saw Americans embrace a new conservatism in social, economic, and political life with the policies of President Ronald Reagan. Often remembered for its materialism, this decade saw the rise of the "yuppie". The first part of the paper will look at the era of the 1980's as it unraveled in the United States, the second section of the paper will look at how this era impacted the vision and structure of the organization. The third section of the paper will talk about the locations, events, demographics of the championship tournament. 

Author

Nicole Freeman, University of Central Missouri  

1990’s: Examining how the National Forensics Association Closes Out the 1900’s 

The World Trade Center Bombing, the Oklahoma City Bombing, the signing of NAFTA and the Impeachment of Bill Clinton, all impacted the 1990's, leading to a time of unification, turmoil and utilizing our voices to be heard. The first part of the paper will look at the era of the 1990's as it unraveled in the United States, the second section of the paper will look at how this era impacted the vision and structure of the organization. The third section of the paper will talk about the locations, events, demographics of the championship tournament. 

Author

Richard Paine, North Central College  

2000’s: NFA moves into the 21st Century 

From the Y2K bug and the HP-Compaq merger, to Apple's rebound and an insider trading scandal, the first decade of the 21st century saw a wealth of historic events. The first part of the paper will look at the era of the 2000's as it unraveled in the United States, the second section of the paper will look at how this era impacted the vision and structure of the organization. The third section of the paper will talk about the locations, events, demographics of the championship tournament. 

Author

Katie Marie Brunner, Minnesota State University, Mankato  

2010's-Present: Understanding the Current Relevance of the National Forensics Association 

To understand the progression of the legacy, and the current relevance of the National Forensic Association, this paper will use the first part of the paper will look today climate in the United States, the second section of the paper will look at how this era impacted the vision and structure of the organization. The third section of the paper will talk about the locations, events, demographics of the championship tournament. 

Author

Karen R. Morris, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire 
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FRIDAY-

3. National Forensic Association Business Meeting

Sponsor: National Forensics Association
Fri, 11/92:00 PM  - 3:15 PM 
Hilton 
Room: Granite Conference Center (Lobby Level) 
This is the business meeting of the National Forensic Association. The meeting will include: committee/individual reports, discussion on current proposals and updates regarding the national tournament. The National Forensic Association (NFA) is committed to promoting intercollegiate forensics pedagogy, scholarship and competition through a lens of inclusivity.
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4. Boundaries of Play in Intercollegiate Forensics: Defending Safe-Space for Survivors of Abuse and Harassment
Sponsor: National Forensics Association
Fri, 11/93:30 PM  - 4:45 PM 
Hilton 
Room: Salon I (Lobby Level) 
With the rise of the #metoo movement and widespread disclosure of personal narratives of sexual assault and harassment, it is necessary for us, as Intercollegiate Forensics educators, to acknowledge that our community does not exist in a vacuum. We can, each of us, picture the crowd of suit-clad students gathered around the schematic searching for their respective names, events, and judge assignments. For a few students, this routine takes place from a momentary upside down. The name assigned to judge you produces a resolute fear, an impasse, a trigger of abuse not known to peers standing to your left and right. The interpersonal playing field of Intercollegiate Forensics is at once beautiful and resilient, fragile, and fraught with landmines. As survivors of sexual assault and harassment within the Intercollegiate Forensics community, we beg the discussion of what constitutes fair play in our organization, and to what extent boundaries of play need to be made explicit in order to protect current, former, and future members of our community. This panel defines "play" as the interpersonal relationships held from coach-student, judge-student, and student-student, etc. in order to unpack what implicit boundaries need to be made explicit. This panel discussion approaches the issue of abuse in Intercollegiate Forensics and proposes practical solutions to fostering and upholding safe spaces for competitors who have experienced sexual assault and harassment at the hands of current and former competitors, judges, and coaches.

Chair

Sarah Taylor Mayhak, James Madison University  

Co-Chair

Annelise Nicole Ewing Goodman, Black Hills State University  

Presenter(s)

Cimmiaron Alvarez, University of Texas at Austin 
Karin H. Nordin, George Mason University  
Katherine Harville, James Madison University  

Respondent

Megan Koch, Illinois State University  
****
SATURDAY-

5. Playing with Mental Health: A Discussion of Mental Health and Trauma in Forensics

Sponsor: National Forensics Association
Sat, 11/108:00 AM  - 9:15 AM 
Hilton 
Room: Salon III (Lobby Level) 
Forensics students are told repeatedly by coaches to find a topic they connect with, particularly as they search for performance literature or persuasive topics. In an activity where we encourage students to speak their truth and use the activity as a platform for their voices, a personal connection is a strong persuasive tool. When students chose personal topics such as depression, anxiety, or experience with trauma, they pour their heart and soul into the performance in an attempt to share their own experiences. However, when these performances are judged critically or poorly received, students view the negative feedback as an attack on their personal truth, which delegitimizes their personal experience. This panel discussion engages with issues of mental health and trauma in individual events. Panelists will cover a variety of topics such as coaching students through pieces that draw on personal experiences of mental health and trauma, coping with effects of a harmful team culture, evaluating judge responses to performances of mental health and trauma, and the expectations of performing personal experiences of trauma in order to win.

Chair

Ryan S. Rigda, Saginaw Valley State University  

Presenter(s)

Tomeka Robinson, Hofstra University  
Ryan S. Rigda, Saginaw Valley State University  
Katharine Hodgdon, Texas A&M University  
Thomas J. Roccotagliata, George Mason University  
Arthi S. Chandrasekaran, Wayne State University  
Kurt Imhoff, Northwestern University  

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6. Trigger Warnings in Forensics: Working Toward Ensuring Safe, Fair, and Respectful Play for All
Sponsor: National Forensics Association
Sat, 11/103:30 PM  - 4:45 PM 
Hilton 
Room: Salon III (Lobby Level) 
The goal of this discussion panel is to explore the potential use, misuse, and nonuse of trigger warnings in forensics. The panelists--which include DOFs, ADOFs, and undergraduate and graduate students--seek to cover a range of topics on the issue, including the pragmatic challenge of offering trigger warnings within the constraints of a round; the unique position in which judges find themselves when trigger warnings are offered; as well as the possible benefits and drawbacks of the inclusion (and exclusion) of trigger warnings in forensics for student-competitors, audience members, and judges alike.

Chair

Mallory L. Marsh, University of Nebraska-Lincoln  

Presenter(s)

Austin McDonald, Hastings College  
Yaw Kyeremateng, Concordia University, Irvine  
Alyssa Reid, James Madison University  
Amy Arellano, Boise State University  
Allison Kennon, Hastings College  

Respondent

Lee Mayfield, James Madison University


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