19th Biennial NCA/AFA Summer Conference on Argumentation

Invitation to Attend

19th Biennial NCA/AFA Summer Conference on Argumentation

The Cliff Lodge at Snowbird, Alta, UT, July 30-August 2, 2015


Theme:  Recovering Argument. The key term recover is richly ambiguous. Its primary sense, according to theOxford English Dictionary, is “to regain (something lost).” To recover argument, in this sense, might be “to bring back or restore” argumentation to human affairs, and to encourage reflection on useable traditions. Although doing so requires awareness of a past (another sense is “to remember; to recall or bring back to memory”), and although such awareness might be nostalgic, recovery can be much more complicated: To recover is also to re-cover, “to provide with a new cover,” as when an upholstered chair is refurbished with new fabric. Recovery also may alter more than appearances. Profound, fundamental change may eventuate only from intense struggle against a past: This is the sense of “getting over,” or recovering from, as when we speak of the “recovering alcoholic.” This example, finally, speaks to argument’s therapeutic potential: To recover is also “to recuperate,” or “to restore to health” a person, or entire peoples. Without presuming any particular answers, Recovering Argument thus foregrounds questions of argumentation in time: How is argument remembered? How does argument remember? Is too little remembered, or too much? What has been/is/should be lost/forgotten? What has been/is/should be kept/remembered? What has been/is/should be overcome? and, To what ends?


Keynote Speakers: V. William Balthrop and Carole Blair, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 


About the Conference:  The conference is the oldest gathering in argumentation studies, attracting scholars from around the world since 1979. It offers an unmatched combination of scholarship, conviviality, and fellowship in a spectacular natural setting. While international in scope, it offers an intimate experience: Attendees stay together and eat meals in common. Opportunities for direct engagement abound, both within formal sessions and without; some brilliant ideas have emerged from the hot tub! There is time for hiking and outdoor recreation in the magnificent Wasatch Mountains, and attendees and their families can take fuller advantage by arranging to arrive early or to stay after the conference concludes.


Schedule: The final conference program will be posted in July. For purposes of travel planning, conferees will be welcomed at 4:00 on Thursday afternoon; the keynote will begin at 4:30, followed by dinner and an evening spotlight panel. Panels run all day on Friday and Saturday; conference events conclude with a reception Saturday evening. No events are scheduled on Sunday morning.


Preview: The Thursday night spotlight panel will celebrate a career-long contributor to argumentation studies and friend of the Alta Conference: the late Dr. Bruce Gronbeck of the University of Iowa. A second spotlight panel, on Friday morning, will feature some of the most distinguished scholars in argumentation, who will examine the Ebola crisis from a variety of perspectives. Other panels will address a variety of issues that (re)cover diverse understandings of argument, including, but not limited to: visual and body argument, digital argument, mathematical argument, electoral debates, scientific  argument, legal argument, norms of democratic deliberation, pedagogy,  and prospects for academic debate.


Registration DeadlineJune 1st! Early registration is $110 for faculty and $35 for graduate/undergraduate students. The early registration period will end on June 1 at midnight, after which the price of registration will increase by $50. Visit the online registration portal today to reserve your spot at the conference:https://umarket.utah.edu/um2/commconferences/product.php?product=1


Lodging/Meals: Interest in the conference is high, and the room block at Snowbird has sold out. Consider staying at the nearby Alta Lodge, which has rooms available for $110+tax/night. Visit their website to make reservations: http://www.altalodge.com. Please note that if you are staying off-site but would like to eat at Snowbird and attend receptions during the conference, you will need to purchase a Meals-Only Package ($420) when you register for the conference. Also be aware that you will need to arrange for transportation between your off-site lodging and Snowbird.


For Further Information: Please visit http://www.altaconference.org/ and click on the 2015 Conference link. Additional housing and registration information is available under the Conference Information drop-down menu. The final conference program (once available) will be posted there as well. Questions regarding arrangements may be directed to the Local Host, Danielle Endres (danielle.endres@utah.edu) and Assistant Local Host, Joshua Trey Barnett (joshua.barnett@utah.edu). Questions regarding the conference program may be directed to the Conference Director.


Conference Director: Randall A. Lake, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, 90089-0281. Phone: 213-740-3944. Email: alta2015@usc.edu.