Keynote Speaker


Kevin Barge

J. Kevin Barge (Ph.D., University of Kansas, 1985) is a Professor of Communication at Texas A & M University and an Associate with the Taos Institute.  He is also a member of the planning team for the Aspen Conference, a community of engaged organizational communication scholars focused on developing practical theory and collaborative research that bridge academic-practitioner interests.

Kevin’s major research interests center on developing a social constructionist approach to leadership, articulating the connections between appreciative practice and organizational change, as well as exploring the relationship between discourse and public deliberation, specifically practices that facilitate communities working through polarized and polarizing issues.  Other research interests include investigating the role of reflexivity in leadership and management practice, examining ways to develop effective academic-practitioner collaborations, and developing practical theory.  Kevin’s research is inspired by interpretive and discursive research approaches and he is keenly interested in how collaborative research methods can be used to generate usable knowledge and forward movement in organizations and communities.

He has published articles on leadership, dialogue, and organizational change in The Academy of Management ReviewManagement Communication QuarterlyHuman Relations, Communication TheoryJournal of Applied Communication Research, and Communication Monographs.  Kevin has served on a number of national and international editorial boards for journals such as Management Communication QuarterlyJournal of Applied Communication ResearchHuman Relations, and Journal of Management Studies.  He is a former editor of Communication Studies and a former president of the Central States Communication Association.

Past Keynote Speakers

Ronald C. Arnett (Ph.D., Ohio University, 1978) is chair and professor of the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies at Duquesne University, and is also the university’s Henry Koren, C.S.Sp., Endowed Chair for Scholarly Excellence. As chair, he has developed the IMC curriculum at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels, informed by the department’s dual mission of “Walking the Humanities into the Marketplace” and “The Ethical Difference.”

Dr. Arnett is the author/co-author of six books and three edited books, including Communication Ethics Literacy: Dialogue and Difference (with Leeanne M. Bell and Janie M. Harden Fritz, Sage, 2009). He received the 2006 Everett Lee Hunt Award for Outstanding Scholarship for Dialogic Confession: Bonhoeffer’s Rhetoric of Responsibility (Southern Illinois University Press, 2005). Additionally, he has two books in press: the forthcoming Communication Ethics in Dark Times: Hannah Arendt's Rhetoric of Warning and Hope, (Southern Illinois University Press), and An Overture to Philosophy of Communication: The Carrier of Meaning (with Annette M. Holba, Peter Lang). He has authored more than seventy scholarly articles and essays and was the recipient of the 1999 and1979 Article of the Year Awards from the Religious Communication Association. 

In 2010, Dr. Arnett was awarded the Elizabeth G. Andersch Award from the School of Communication Studies at his alma mater, Ohio University, and in 2011, was named to the Collegium of Fellows of the International Communicology Institute.  Dr. Arnett is the immediate past editor of the Review of Communication and the current executive director of the Eastern Communication Association.

Our first conference theme was IMC and CMM: Finding Common Ground, which featured Coordinated Management of Meaning, developed by W. Barnett Pearce and Vernon E. Cronen, as an entrance into a theoretically-grounded conversation in IMC. Vernon E. Cronen served as our keynote speaker and the first conference was marked by idea-driven conversations as attendees discussed the teaching, research, and practice of IMC while enjoying the culture and history of the city of Wilmington and its coastal location.